When you and your team are all working together in an office, you have so many moments where you can speak with anyone quickly and have a lot of informal communications. These conversations have so many important uses, including team-building and information transfer.
However, when you have remote employees, it’s very easy for silos to become established. They don’t have the same informal, “passing you in the hallway” type of conversations on which others rely.
So, the first thing you’ll want to do is set up structured, yet informal, regular check-in meetings with your remote team. Touch base on what’s happening in their world, what trends they’re seeing, what’s keeping them up at night, the status of their projects, and more.
Everyone wants to feel connected to the people they’re working with, so it’s not just performance that suffers when silos occur but you’re going to get frustrated employees.
That’s why video communication is so important for remote employees.
For one thing, you should be holding all meetings over video conferencing whenever possible instead of a phone call. But take it a step further and ask your team members to record videos of themselves. Perhaps a video recording of a weekly recap of their individual contributions or their department.
With videos, you can see emotion, body language, excitement, stress, confusion, and happiness in a way that you’d never pick up on in a written message. It will make a huge difference for them to express themselves in a way that’s more human and less time consuming than writing a recap email, and for you to take a pulse on what’s happening in the company.
Studies show that when we have a face-to-face conversation with someone, we rely way more on visual cues than what they actually say to us.
If you’re not keeping your remote employees engaged, or all team members for that matter, your team is not going to be aligned. When you’re not aligned, you’ll have as many companies as you have employees because everyone is going to build their own reality.
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