How To Engage With Your Team Remotely
As a remote team leader, you are responsible for cultivating the engagement between you and your team. According to the Harvard Business Review, 62% of employees believe working remotely positively impacts engagement. Just because you aren’t physically in the same space doesn’t mean you can’t have productive meetings and conversations throughout your work day.
Engaging remotely takes planning and consistency.
Your team will be looking to you to set expectations for communications and engagement. Below are three ways you can engage with your team remotely.
1. Regular Communication
It is critical to have regulation communications when you lead a remote team. Regulation communication will help everyone on your team feel like they are up to speed on all happenings within your department and organization. To keep your team engaged, you will need to prepare for regulation communication.
Consider the following:
- Weekly Meeting – Scheduling a weekly meeting is a great way to engage with your team. For example, every Monday at 2 PM, you can have a virtual meeting with your entire team. This is a time where you, as the leader, can talk about any upcoming information, and open the floor for your team to speak up about anything pressing. If you are a team member attending one of these weekly meetings, it is essential for you to speak up.
- Newsletter – Newsletters can help you disseminate important information to your team. For example, you can create a monthly newsletter that includes information about upcoming events, highlights team members, and has a message from you to your team. Newsletters are a great way to send the highlights of what is happening within your department or organization.
- Check-Ins – Depending on the size of your team, you may want to schedule regular check-ins with individual members of your team. These check-ins can be to hear how your team member is doing in their job and their life. For example, you can schedule a check-in once a month with each team member. This will allow you to listen to any issues they are having. This will help you engage with your team member and let them know they are a valued part of your team.
Regular communication with your team is critical to your team’s success. When you consistently engage with your team, they will feel seen and valued.
2. Tech Tools
You can use so many tech tools to engage with your team remotely. These tools can help you stay connected and quickly disseminate information.
Consider the following:
- Messaging Tools – There are many messaging tools available for you to use. For example, Slack is a popular messaging tool that allows you to create message threads. These threads can be project-related and also personal. Many teams will have a coffee chat thread where personal or random things can be shared. These messages can be read and sent in real time, which can help you engage with your team.
- Video Chats – Video chats aren’t just for meetings. Yes, you can use them to conduct business meetings, but you can also use them to engage with your team. For example, you can host virtual team-building activities where you play virtual games and get to know your team better. These virtual meetups unrelated to work can help your team feel more connected while working remotely.
- Project Tools – Project tools are virtual project management tools. These tools can help everyone on your team keep up to date on the status of projects and assignments. For example, Trello is an excellent project management tool. When you use a virtual project tool, your entire team can stay informed about their assignments and the status of their projects. You can also message team members on cards within each board.
Utilizing tech tools will help you say connected and keep your team engaged.
Supporting your team from afar can be difficult. Leading a remote team means you will have to make an extra effort to ensure your team feels supported. However, when you make the extra effort, your team will be more engaged and productive.
Consider the following:
- Recognize Others – Because you cannot stop by a team member’s desk and tell them how great they did executing a project, you will want to put in the extra effort to recognize team members. For example, you can spend a few minutes at the beginning of your weekly meetings to recognize team members. When you do this, your team members will feel supported by you and inspired to continue to do their best work.
- Listen – Part of engaging with your team is taking the time to listen. For example, when you set up check-ins with your team members, make sure you allow them to speak. Listen to what they tell you and take action when necessary. This will help them feel supported and make them want to engage regularly.
- Respect Boundaries – As the team leader, it is your responsibility to respect the boundaries of your team. This means being mindful of meeting times and length. This also means not expecting responses from your team during off-work hours. For example, if you’ve had a long day full of meetings and are starting to respond to messages from your team after work hours, you will want to preface your message. You can write something like, “Please don’t respond to this until tomorrow.” Or you can schedule your email responses, so your team member doesn’t receive them until the following day.
When your team feels supported, they are more likely to engage.
Engaging with your team remotely may take a little extra effort and preparation. However, your effort will make your team feel more connected and more inclined to engage.
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