- Support personal and professional wellbeing
Odds are you already have check-in calls scheduled with your co-workers. Use those calls as an opportunity to learn about potential issues they’re facing outside of work. A great way to do that is by having check-in questions at the beginning of the meeting. You can make the check-in questions simple (such as having people share their highs and lows of the week), funny, or meaningful. The important part is giving everyone a turn to speak and make people feel heard.
- Keep people updated
This one may seem obvious- but the point is to go above what you would do if you were in person at the office. Nowadays we have so many channels of communication it is important to leverage their features in order to promote inclusivity. One of my favorite tips is to send voice memos in lieu of text messages or short emails, so the receiver can hear your voice tone and feel more connected. We’re also huge advocates of cameras-on meetings, regardless of attire!
- Help them feel part of company culture
Almost all companies have had to onboard a remote employee since the beginning of the pandemic. Those employees haven’t had the chance to go in and be part of the culture, so a good way to make them feel included is by suggesting that they join different company groups or efforts. If there’s an ERG they would be a good fit for, send it their way. If your company is hosting a volunteering initiative, encourage them to join. Give them as many chances as possible to integrate with their peers!
- Help people feel empowered
Do your coworkers have good ideas? Let them execute on them. The best way to help people feel empowered is by delegating increasingly more complex tasks to them and making sure they know they will do a great job. Several studies show how important it is for people to be “hyped up” before giving presentations and how beneficial it is to share compliments around the office. Next time one of your coworkers has to present to a client or execute on a hard project, make a note to send them some words of encouragement beforehand.
- Make sure everyone’s voices are heard
There are several ways to make sure your employees feel heard during meetings. One of my favorite exercises is to have employees write down their thoughts on a subject before allowing people to share out loud. People are often influenced by the things they hear, and if someone high-ranking shares an opinion different from yours, you are likely to change your mind. Writing down your thoughts before sharing with the group is a good way to stay grounded to your intuition.
- Encourage remote employees to communicate with each other
This one goes without saying- teams who like each other work better together. Encourage your employees and coworkers to have groupchats where they share relevant articles, random thoughts about their projects, and some of their lives outside of work.
- Schedule hybrid working to maximize connection
If you can, plan a time for everyone to go into the office! You can share a meal or just run through a presentation together. The important thing is to make it fun and engaging. If possible, allow your employees to dress more casually, bring their pet, or bring food to share with the group. Make the most of your time together in person!
- Do fun activities to engage remote employees
You’re probably sick of virtual happy hours by now, but there are so many more activities you can plan to engage employees! My favorite for the holiday season is remote Secret Santa. You can use a site like Draw Names to pair gift givers and receivers, share everyone’s delivery addresses, and then plan a day to open the presents together. Offering tangible gifts can be really meaningful when people don’t have the opportunity to meet up, and bringing in the holiday spirit is always nice.
- Use communication tools to support and boost engagement
What tools do you already have under your belt? Do you chat on slack, share social media channels? Maximize the ways you’re connected to your coworkers and watch your productivity grow.
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