Unfortunately, it’s easy to let the importance of your remote employees fall by the wayside. After all, you don’t see them very often, and perhaps you don’t even speak to them every day. However, it’s important to avoid falling into the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality; your remote workers are just as important as the employees who work in your physical office, and it’s your responsibility to ensure they know this. This way, you can keep your remote employees feeling engaged, involved, and part of the team.
Include them in meetings
First of all, make an effort to include your remote employees in meetings and business decisions whenever possible. These days, software makes this easier than ever to accomplish. For example, you can consider using video conferencing software to speak with your remote employees in real-time. It’s also helpful to be able to see them face-to-face, rather than just corresponding via e-mail or other asynchronous communication methods.
In addition to video conferencing with your remote employees during meetings, you might also consider holding real-time chats with your team members throughout the work day as a means of checking in and staying in touch.
Plan team retreats and gatherings
Every once in awhile, there’s a good chance that your remote employees will have a chance to stop by for a visit. When this occurs, you need to go out of your way to plan a team retreat or celebratory event; doing so shows that you care about seeing your remote employees and giving them the opportunity to interact with the employees who work in your regular office.
Do what you can to make your gatherings fun; after all, it’s not often that your remote employees are in town, so it doesn’t need to be all business. Consider:
- a team baseball game
- a team dinner
- catered meetings
Schedule visits when possible
Finally, if your budget allows for it, make it a point to invite all of your remote employees out for a meeting at your headquarters at least once a year. This is a great way to make sure all of your employees are on the same page in terms of expectations and company goals. On the same note, members of management should make it a point to go out and visit remote employees at their work sites every so often as well.
Keeping remote employees involved in your business does take some effort on your part, but it’ll be more than worth it when your remote employees have high levels of job satisfaction and retention.
Teach your remote employees a lesson or two here.
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