18 Sep 2020 How to Maintain High Employee Morale in Remote Teams
Times have changed, and many teams around the world are finding themselves in a new telecommuting ecosystem that has brought various challenges that go along with it. Whether your employees are new to working from home or have always been remote, proactively guarding your companies’ culture is vital to any remote team’s success. A few simple additions to daily routines can make team members feel valued, included, and a trusted part of your organization, which impacts both morale and retention.
Don’t forget your “hello’s,” “how are you’s,” and other check-ins.
Working remotely frequently opens the door to abrupt communication for a variety of reasons. Distractions from home life and the feeling of just generally being out of sorts due to a lack of a formal work environment, in many cases, can cause employees to forget to care for other team members in a way that often happens organically in the workplace. An excellent way to cultivate care in remote teams is to have a “camera’s on” culture where people can have a chance to connect with each other face-to-face.
Keep transparency and open communication as a core component of your interactions.
Remote team members commonly feel alienated, uneasy, and out of touch; therefore, leaders must communicate often and openly with their teams. Being transparent and honest with employees about changes and company news uproots anxiety, fear, and creates a psychologically safe space for all employees. Forthrightness will also help to build trust and promote an environment where employees can also provide feedback.
Schedule recurring team meetings to foster connection.
Time to debrief, share, and talk through obstacles as a team promotes togetherness and builds rapport among team members. Encouraging team building activities can be done in a virtual environment, and teams should be encouraged to get together at least weekly to touch base. Fluid discussions among employees promote the investment in emotional currency throughout an organization that will carry teams through times of conflict. Keep in mind that team meetings don’t always have to involve work. Employees can have a game night, costume contests, talent shows, competitions, or take part in a virtual happy hour or pizza party.
Managers should be mindful and encourage self-care.
The coronavirus pandemic has excessively disrupted many people’s lives, and leaders should be mindful that struggling employees all handle adversity in their own way. Some employees will be more open about their obstacles and feelings than others. Leaders and businesses should encourage self-care and stress management routines for their staff. This can be framed in a wellness program and by offering mental health and exercise initiatives as part of your company’s benefits package.
Giving back to the community brings teams together.
Employees are holding organizations accountable to their social and environmental (and even political) footprint now more than ever, and providing ways to give back to the community could also impact your retention rates. Creating a space where employees feel connected to their local community demonstrates kindness that employees internalize and spread to their coworkers.
Business as usual no longer exists, and companies are now facing the new reality of the modern era. The way we work has changed and will continue to evolve, but remembering the fundamentals of care, kindness, and mindfulness will help teams thrive in a digital world and keep humanity in the workplace.