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How to Create a Sense of Belonging Among Remote Employees

Every great employer realises the importance of having their employees feel included at work. However, this has become a more significant challenge with the rise of the remote employees. Some companies only outsource to a few remote workers while others are made mostly of the remote workforce. In both cases, they are hiring remote workers because they want to have great talent on their side that is not available locally. So, how can C-level executives manage to create a sense of belonging?

1. Deliver recognition and feedback

Building and maintaining a continuous loop of feedback is something that managers often skip entirely. Yes, it can be difficult to give constructive feedback, especially when it requires a video conference to deliver. However, feedback is essential for employee development. Give recognition often and generously. Affirm good behaviour and improve performance with positive recognition. For those who are working for you on the other side of the planet, log recognitions in your company portal. That way, employees will see who are doing great work and what the company values. It will help them connect and learn from each other.

2. One-on-one meetings

It’s important to find ways to connect, even though managers may feel that they can engage in these meetings less regularly with remote workers. However, one on one sessions are essential to good management. Meet with your remote employees as frequently as you do with other team members. Otherwise, remote employees may feel socially excluded (and you’ll want to avoid that.) Make an audio call for regular meet-ups, but for delivering important feedback or any bad news, the video would be a better option.

3. Use available technology

Team members often engage in casual conversations in the workplace or between meetings. It gives employees the feeling of being on track regarding their work. Therefore, when they haven’t spoken with a supervisor or a teammate for a few days, they should be able to run through the latest status updates. That is where you should leverage technology that can handle the status updates. A useful project management tool can log project assignments, and due dates, and send notifications when the project completes. For casual conversations, there are instant messaging applications, such as Skype or WhatsApp for the desktop. Remote employees should be able to collaborate and share ideas because that’s what drives innovation.

4. Encourage Innovation

There will always be obstacles, and it’s your job to coach your team members that they can overcome them. It will encourage them to question things and to brainstorm, thus fostering a non-judgmental environment. They will loosen up, feel more confident with themselves, and feel trusted by their superiors. That way, you will get employees who want to exceed expectations.

5. Build relationships

It is difficult to build and maintain relationships with someone who is hundreds or thousands of miles away. Regardless of how well connected you may be, you still must invest time and effort to maintain your relationship. If there is a chance, invite them to visit your company office for a face-to-face meeting. That way, you will establish a trustful relationship by talking about aspirations, fears, or hobbies. Another way to build and maintain relationships is to send them tangible gifts. A company mug, pen, notebook, or jacket would be a nice gift. It will remind them that they’re not alone but a part of the team.

Don’t let your commitment to engaged employees fall short of remote workers. Equip yourself with the right technology and teach your high-level managers on ways to connect with their remote teams.

Making all employees feel included begins with finding the employees that fit in your company culture and support your vision. Through actively pre-screening and sourcing the right talents, Lionstep offers an out-of-the-box hiring process. For more information, visit our website or connect with us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn).

Author Alexandra Vrinceanu

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