5 Ways to Make Your People Feel Valued in a Remote Working Set Up
The harsh reality of remote working is that without the active participation of leadership in creating a supportive culture of value, dysfunction will sweep in.
But the key to making sure your remote teams feel valued relies on a mix of old-school communication and new-school tech solutions. Once you get the right balance, you’ll find remote team engagement rises… and productivity along with it!
So here are the 5 best ways to make sure your remote team feels valued.
Remember: empathetic leadership still works
There is no price on the value of an emphatic leader. Statistics show leaders who display traits such as active listening and who provide personal forms of one-on-one feedback result in more engaged, happier staff which, in turn, creates a much more productive workforce.
In a workforce that's hybrid or remote, empathetic leadership is the glue that holds a team together, even when leaders don’t feel they have the skills to show empathy or relate to their teams in any meaningful way.
Learning simple non-verbal communication skills such as mirroring goes a long way in de-stratifying communication and building bridges between task giver and task doer. But never discount the power of perceptions, too - simply being there for your teams, speaking to them, and learning about their remote setups and how you can help improve them goes a long way in helping build a confident remote team.
Not everyone communicates the same, and prioritize clearly
This point is best illuminated via a simple question - do all of your people communicate the same way?
A healthy workforce will have diverse ways of doing nearly everything. Some people are note-takers. Some are serial chatters. Some are quiet producers. Everyone has quirks and traits that make them unique.
In our view, there is a simple way to make sure every employee feels engaged and valued - adjust how you communicate and set goals, but always clearly, and consistently prioritize purpose and value.
This means you can thread the managerial needle by empowering your remote people to work to the best of their ability while keeping the entire workforce focused on your set goal.
There are myriad ways of doing this, from internal social networks (which we particularly champion!) to providing personalized feedback and reviews based on specific tasks completed.
Reward the right kind of work, engagement and productivity (and learn to gamify!)
Gamification works. Trust us, we’ve built entire productivity and engagement tools based on the incredible value gamifying rewards and recognition gives to remote teams.
There is a simple equation behind how gamification works.
Gamification rewards tasks. The rewards don't have to be complex, but they do need to be context-driven and relevant. The psychological benefit of goal-oriented rewards is profound.
It’s been proven across the business world to increase employee participation in tasks, tests, assessments and learning, in some cases increasing the completion rate by 50%.
This, in turn, creates engagement. Engaged teams make for better business outcomes, “Organisations with a more engaged workforce can claim a 41% lower absenteeism rate, 40% fewer quality defects in product testing, and a 21% higher profit margin”.
LutherOne’s digital award certification system is a perfect example of how gamified rewards increase remote workforce participation and a tangible feeling of value.
Make obvious efforts to reduce proximity bias
Proximity bias is a surefire way to guarantee remote workforce disengagement. Your remote employee’s sense of value will be directly influenced by their perceptions of how reward and recognition relate to proximity to the office or the boss.
By utilizing a simple suite of digital tools like 360 feedback and engagement tools, you can consistently engage your remote teams and make sure they are all heard, equally, across the board. This will immediately shift perceptions into positive frames of value for all your people.
Be obvious in your efforts to reduce proximity bias and your remote teams will feel more valued
Feedback, feedback, feedback
We cannot fly the flag for continuous feedback enough. It’s been proven to help remote teams stay engaged, stay happier, stay visible and stay connected to their peers.
But remote teams will feel distant, and the real trick to creating a high-value feedback culture is remembering the continuous part.
Even if you don’t focus on providing work-related feedback, simply having an open door policy of continual contact - an “open digital door” policy - will make every remote team member feel heard and valued. It also doubles up as a quick route to mitigating any issues with remote teams, any unhappiness or disengagement, via a personal, discrete form of communication.