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6 Tips for Managing Remote Employees

Many organizations spent the last year with their teams working remotely, leaving managers searching for ways to keep employees productive and engaged. When organizations first experienced large-scale remote work, many believed it would be temporary. However, with the right system in place, business owners found that their operations thrived and decided to keep this workstyle permanently.  

Here are a few tips to put your remote work operations in place.

#1 Lookout for Signs of Distress in Employees
Managers should use both direct conversations and indirect observations to get visibility into employees’ challenges and concerns. Two-way dialogue between managers and employees ensures that communication efforts help, rather than hurt, morale. To facilitate regular conversations between managers and employees, provide managers with guidance on how best to broach sensitive subjects, including alternative work models, job security, and tension among departments. Make it clear to the team that you support and care for their well-being.

#2 Equip Employees with Useful Tools
Make sure employees have the technology they need to be successful, which may mean more than just a mobile phone or laptop. For example, if you expect employees to attend virtual meetings, do they have adequate web cameras?Also, don’t just assume that people are comfortable with the new technology or know-how to operate normally utilizing virtual communications. 

#3 Repeatedly Reinforce the Company Values
Companies typically spend years building a set of values to explain how much they care about their employees, customers, and the community around them. Make sure to reinforce these values with employees, so they remember why they love working at your company.

#4 Focus on the Output, Not the Process
In the remote landscape, where many people are juggling work and family commitments from home, it’s important to enable employees to complete their work in efficient and productive ways for their lifestyle. Your 9 a.m. team meeting may be better attended an hour later, or you may have to forgo a lengthy approval process for new ideas. Providing flexibility empowers teams to complete their assignments in their own way. 

#5 Increase Recognition of Accomplishments
Effective praise motivates recipients and serves as a gesture to other employees of how good work is valued. Recognition doesn’t need to be monetary; consider public acknowledgment, gifts of appreciation, development opportunities, and other low-cost perks.

#6 Encourage Team Innovation
During times of innovation and risk-taking, employee engagement is often at its peak. Constraints on the freedom employees have to be creative in their jobs often lead to a disengaged team set on autopilot. Make an effort to highlight the value of employees’ continuing to reevaluate their activities and see where they might have opportunities for positive changes.

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