How can I keep my remote team engaged?
Lots of teams are now not based in one office where they can walk across the room to connect and collaborate. Teams are becoming increasingly flexible and dynamic with more and more people working remotely or from home. This new age of digital and dislocated teams, while creating an unprecedented level of flexibility, does come with its challenges.
Some of the core challenges to working remotely include, how can you continue to build and grow work relationships, how can you keep track of projects and how and when do you make the time to check in? The following strategies are ideas for how you can keep your team engaged even if they are scattered halfway across the world.
Organise weekly video meetings
It’s never been easier for all members of your team to connect into one call online. Putting aside some time each week for members to talk, reflect and share ideas is a powerful way to keep your team connected. This is significant in both formal meeting contexts and also just in providing the opportunity for team members to informally chat. This is a great way to keep the feeling of community alive in your team.
Make sure you have a great online systems
Organising a digital team can be difficult and it can be hard to find a centralised space where everyone coordinates tasks together. Lots of different project management software is available for this, but getting your team on board and collectively understanding how to use these tools is another challenge in itself. Perhaps providing a day of face-to-face training or webinars to make sure everyone is on the same page would be helpful for your team. This way you can hopefully prevent important tasks and processes slipping through the cracks.
Promote regular conversation
Days of silence as you sit by yourself completing task after task is a quick way to make someone feel lonely. Your team needs to have a reason to engage with one another in meaningful ways throughout the day. It could be through group projects that require collaboration or through your online messenger system, but these daily connections are critical to building a sense of community in your team.
Check in regularly on the morale of your team
With a remote team, one of the challenges can be that you miss face-to-face signs that your team is disengaging with each other or their work. Finding a simple way to regularly check in with your team to understand how engaged and valued they feel is critical. There are plenty of apps that can help with this, that will give you instant and regular feedback on how your team is going and whether the culture being created is engaging for them.
Organise a monthly or yearly face-to-face
While there are an incredible amount of pluses to having a digital team, nothing can be a substitute for a good face-to-face catch up. Whether you create a yearly retreat or a monthly get together, having some time when your team can be in the same room is critical to helping the sense of community to grow in your organisation.
The themes are clarify, connect and focus on building community
In all of the above examples there is are a couple of primary themes. Take a little bit of time to plan how you can help your team to effectively and clearly connect online, make sure these interactions aren’t just about work and when possible get your team together in-person. We hope some of these ideas have added to your toolkit as you manage your remote team and we would be delighted to hear any of your suggestions.