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18 Tips for Managing Remote Employees to Keep the Work Culture Alive

Alice Henebury
Date Published:
May 2022
minute read
18 Tips for Managing Remote Employees to Keep the Work Culture Alive

How do you manage remote employees and build a high-performing team?

All organisations have a different way of structuring the workflow, including their approach to managing a remote team.

Hybrid working models have already been predicted for a number of years. The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic only expedited the issue which left businesses with no choice but to accept it as the new norm. Not everyone has experienced the same success once these changes took place. That’s why we’ll be sharing our tips for you to:

  • Boost business growth 
  • Maintain high work performance  
  • Decrease staff turnover

Why the Current Competition for Talent is Fierce

The great resignation has had an impact on modern employee engagement. More job seekers are now evaluating their own happiness at work and whether or not their needs are being fulfilled. In our latest report "Fighting Turnover", we've analysed what really matters the most for employees, and it turns out that:

  • Employees want trust and job satisfaction more than anything else
  • Managers are currently happier in work than their employees
  • Each generation has different triggers for leaving an organisation

Expectations have changed and organisations need to adapt to meet the underlying demands (if they'd like to retain their stars).

The Challenges of Managing Remote Employees

It’s difficult to collaborate on a project when you’re working with a team scattered across the globe. If you’re not being careful in your approach, it can affect the trust and relationship with your employees.

Even though there are benefits to having a completely remote team, it also comes with its own set of challenges such as:

  • Maintaining effective communication
  • Working with minimal supervision
  • Understanding the well-being of employees 
  • Keeping the company culture alive

5 Strategies to Overcome the Challenges of Growing Competition and Remote Management

Emphasise Product Differentiation

Product differentiation refers to the things that make you different from your competitors. Companies that offer an innovative solutions are more likely to attract candidates into making an application. The demand for niche products is one reason why some companies are able to attract top talent.

Salary isn’t always the decisive factor for hiring long-term employees. In fact, job satisfaction and company culture are the key factors people invest in and what reduce staff turnover.

Employees want to be part of something more than just a paycheck. In fact, lack of meaningfulness at work is one of the main reasons to why people decides to look for another job. They want to feel involved in strategic decision-making and work for a company they’re genuinely interested in where their skills are being valued.

Build a Cross-Functional Team

It’s valuable to have a remote team built with professionals who have expertise across different functions. This helps with making up for the lack of face-to-face mentoring and interactions by enabling people to work together to achieve a target. As opposed to working alone, it promotes:

  • Employee productivity  
  • Workplace diversity and inclusion
  • Leadership
  • Smarter decision-making

Address Your Expectations

You can establish your expectations not just through the paperwork. But, through meetings and video calls. It also assists with setting healthy work boundaries and clarifying why your expectations are important. For example, meeting deadlines and aligning schedules. This is difficult when you’ve got people working from different locations.

Once you’ve addressed your expectations and the employee understands their role, get out of their way and let them do what they do best. From time to time, use performance reviews to see how to provide support so that they can perform to the best of their ability.

Promote an Empowering Culture

A culture of recognition means helping your team members reach their full potential by boosting their confidence. Identify their needs and cooperate with them to allow them to do their best work.

Focus on what they can do rather than what they can’t do. If they’re finding certain tasks challenging, see what training could be provided instead of pressuring them to meet deadlines or shoving more work into their schedule.

Improve the Employee Experience

In recruitment, quality means more than quantity. It’s more expensive to go out there and recruit new talent than it is to retain them. An effective solution is to focus on building loyalty by improving the employee experience. When they feel their identity aligns with your brand values, it’s what brings more happy and engaged professionals.

One way to improve the experience is to help them reach their own goals and objectives. For instance, they may want to continue to develop their skills. In this case, it’s worth thinking about offering them growth opportunities such as training and online programmes. Or, providing management support to give them feedback on their work performance.

18 Practical Tips for Managing Remote Employees

As hybrid work has become the new norm, there are tips included to do with being a better leader to sustain the digital transformation.

1. Optimise the Employee Lifecycle

There are insights to be gained each time a member of staff joins and goes their own way. This helps with mapping out the employee journey, which gives you a better understanding of how to meet their needs. You can use these insights to improve the following:

  • Employee retention
  • Employee engagement
  • Employee experience

Despite working remotely, there are ways to give them the support they need to boost well-being. When you’re taking action to provide a better work experience, it’s what leads to them becoming long-term team members that’s motivated to perform at a higher level.

The intel required to optimise the employee lifecycle can be found through all key moments in the onboarding and offboarding process.

2. Prioritise Feedback

Employees benefit from getting constructive criticism because it reinforces the following:

  • Self-leadership
  • Job satisfaction
  • Professional development

Identifying where they can grow as a professional is one thing. But evaluating your current workplace practices is another. In other words, respond appropriately to employee feedback.

Listen to their perspective to get a grasp of their behaviours and habits. You also learn about any arising conflict or potential situations that can be dealt with in its early stages before it gets serious. For more advice, read our guide "8 Principles to Build a Culture of Feedback".

3. Use a Live Temperature Dashboard

Take action based on where workers need support to minimise and prevent any arising conflict.

A live temperature dashboard enables you to see what’s impacting the employee experience the most based on 11 scientific factors. One of these factors for example includes stress. If this category reveals a negative score, cooperate with your managers to work on the next steps to improve their well-being and job satisfaction.

4. Create a Work Breakdown Structure

A work breakdown structure (WBS) simplifies a project by outlining the smaller tasks and required deliverables step-by-step. It’s more effective to reverse-engineer the macro into micro because it allows the scope of the project to be managed easier. This lets your team know what needs to be done in full transparency, including the importance of their role.

Make the work schedule and timetable clear. So, employees know what they should be doing at certain times or periods.

5. Invest In Your Employees

Investing in your employees means you’re valuing them since you’re supporting their growth and professional development.

For example, invest in training and learning programs where they have the opportunity to sharpen their skills. This is another element in recruitment that attracts your ideal talent to make a job application.

More importantly, you’re showing that you care about what they bring to the table, which improves the following:

  • Employee loyalty
  • Workplace reputation
  • Team morale and motivation

6. Have Anonymous Conversations

Anonymous conversations give your employees the opportunity to share their concerns related to both their job and the workforce. They’re more likely to be honest and say what’s on their mind since they don’t have to worry about being judged by other co-workers.

If they can’t open up or share their own thoughts truthfully, then it prevents them from reaching their full potential. However, it’s not just your employees who suffer. It’s the success of your organisation that’s being put at risk.

7.   Don’t Overload Employees

An overloaded employee would have stacks of work that’s simply too much for them to handle by themselves. They often go past the standard working hours and end up finishing a lot later than expected.

This has a negative effect on overall job satisfaction. Hence, it could lead to damaging the company’s reputation.

Avoid piling their to-do list because it’s only going to add more stress. Don’t hesitate to provide them with the extra resources or support to help them reduce the workload. Read more about how you can protect your team from burnout here.

8. Align With the Interests of Your Employees

Another way to improve staff engagement and turnover rates is to align with their interests.

When the employee aligns with the company’s goals and objectives, they’re prompted to deliver because there’s a common vision. It makes sense for them to perform at their best level, especially if they know how they’re making an impact and if there’s a reward at the end of it.

One example is helping them reach work-life balance. This means they’ll have more time to spend on their personal lives. Not only would you be aligning with their interests. But, you're reinforcing the following:

  • Efficiency: they’re more motivated to focus during their hours of work to get the job done sooner.
  • Flexibility: you’re giving them more freedom with their work as long as it’s produced to a good standard and they’re meeting deadlines.

Do you know what really matters to you employees? We've got answers based on analysis of Winningtemp data.

9. Encourage Employees to Speak Up

Encouraging whistleblowing in the first place is useful for dealing with misconduct and wrongdoings in the workplace. As a leader, it’s your duty to respond to each concern seriously.

If employees can feel that their voices are being heard because you’re taking the appropriate measures using their feedback, more of them would be encouraged to speak up. Otherwise, it’s harmful to both their happiness and productivity. That's why we've added the category "Psychological safety" in Winningtemp.

10. Praise Your Employees

More than 90% of recruiters and employers have admitted that employee recognition is important. A culture of recognition really matters. In fact, they believe it has a significant impact on their engagement and loyalty.  

The main point here is to praise your employees for their efforts and good work. Making them feel good about their contributions is what improves team morale. When their skills and presence are clearly valued, it also has a positive effect on job satisfaction.

11. Clarify the Job Responsibilities

Clarify every person’s role at work at an early stage of the recruitment process and endorse those expectations throughout the employee journey. However, avoid micromanagement. It does more harm than good as it can lead to adverse results such as:

  • Burnout
  • Codependency
  • Frustration

Aside from setting your own expectations, candidates will have their own expectations too.

That being said, new employees could complete a document that establishes their perspective so that you’re both on the same page. From the start of their employment, you’ll know how to manage each individual and how to meet their needs.

12. Hire for Soft Skills

Communication is essential in a remote work environment. Since each person will have minimal supervision, it’s important that they’re reliable to work with.

Part of being the ideal employee is having a positive attitude that aligns with the company values. Having someone that’s self-motivated with a strong willingness to learn and adapt is crucial for are mote working position. It also gives insight into their potential and how they would get on with your existing team members.

To put it simply, hire those with strong interpersonal skills who match your vision.

13. Focus On the Results

In some cases, an employee will finish their work earlier than expected. But rather than rewarding their hard work, they’re often “rewarded” with having more tasks added to their to-do list. This makes their efforts feel less meaningful. Therefore, it’s demotivating because their level of focus isn’t taken into account.

Productivity isn’t dictated by how many hours you work. What’s more important is what you’ve managed to accomplish within those hours. Ultimately, it’s the results that lead to the growth and success of your organisation.

Besides encouraging flexibility and work-life balance, you're incentivising them to repeat the good work. As a result, it impacts the workplace efficiency as well as how engaged your remote workers are.

14. Find Team Opportunities

Collaborations are fruitful for both professional development and problem-solving. One of the main disadvantages of a remote work environment is that people have less face-to-face interaction. While some individuals may prefer to work independently, others may prefer to work as a team.

With that in mind, see if there are any opportunities where people could be put together when assigned to a project. Another way is to measure Participation and Team Spirit.

15. Respect Different Cultures

Not everyone has the same upbringing. We all have a different perspectives on certain things as a result of our own experiences. Empathy goes a long way when it comes to helping your employees align with your company’s mission and values. Moreover, having cultural awareness helps with building trust. It’s another aspect that affects the diversity and inclusion of your workplace.

16. Treat Your Employees As Humans

Your employees are individuals, not robots. They have their own personal lives outside of their job. Showing genuine concern builds your relationship with them. They’re more likely to open up about their own emotions once they see that managers empathise with them and are aware of what they could be going through. If they’re not feeling valued, it has a negative impact on their work engagement and productivity.

A predominant element of your business growth comes from the contribution of your employees. Their best effort and performance comes through the most when they feel happy at work.

17. Trust Your Team

Did you know that are 75% are more likely to leave a manager who aren’t open and honest? Unless you haven’t laid down the groundwork and informed everyone what’s expected of them, you need to trust your team to do their job. They’ve been hired for a reason.

Micromanagement plays a massive role in negative staff turnover as well as employee well-being. Don’t try to constantly supervise and instruct them on how to complete their tasks as it can lead to the following consequences:

  • Damaged trust
  • Lower self-esteem
  • Minimal creativity

While employee engagement is necessary to cultivate a thriving company culture in a remote environment, this only happens when there’s enough trust in the workforce.

18. Use a Remote Work Tool kit

A remote work toolkit is a collective resource that’s used to help you collaborate more effectively. There are different types of tools such as:

  • Office suite software: a platform containing a range of accessible productivity apps, e.g. Microsoft Office.
  • Project management: dashboards that allow you to structure the workflow and establish deadlines, e.g. Asana.
  • Team communication apps: a collaboration platform where it’s easy for workers to communicate, e.g. Slack.

Video conferencing: used to hold online meetings and connect with other team members, e.g. Zoom.

Using a range of tools is common for automating and streamlining work.

More notably, it’s not just useful for managing a remote team and maximising job performance. But, it helps with improving employee satisfaction.

Prevent a Decaying Company Culture by Using AI-Assisted Surveys

Workplace flexibility is a strongly valued factor to retain the top talent. Despite organisations adapting to provide a hybrid workforce, many are still facing the challenge of minimising staff turnover. Keeping the company culture alive in a remote environment comes from having engaged workers, which results from a positive employee experience.  

Understanding the mentality of your team can preventing issues from arising. Winningtemp has designed an intuitive AI solution for hiring managers and recruiters. Sounds good? Don't hesitate to talk to one of our engagement experts here.

THE WINNINGTEMP DEMO VIDEO  See how Winningtemp's pulse survey works Watch the 2-min demo

Clients have noticed a 21% increase in workplace satisfaction!

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Alice Henebury
About the Author
About the Author
About the Author
Om författaren
Alice Henebury
Alice is the Global Content Directory at Winningtemp and is passionate about creating excellent resources to help HR professionals engage their employees.

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