Bringing Unity to a Remote Team
There are tons of advantages to working remotely and hiring remote workers, but there are some setbacks too. The lack of face-to-face communication and in-house team-building can cause contract or remote workers to feel less company loyalty, dedication, and connection. Here are five ways for you to bring unity to a remote team so that you can work together seamlessly.
1. Small Talk
Small talk also creates a foundation for communication about work related issues. Taking the first one or two minutes of a conference call to talk about the weather or a common neutral interest will lighten the mood and show that you care about them and not just the project at hand.
This will help people be more open to asking questions and challenging each other, leading to a better end product. If a team hasn’t established trust and open communication, they’ll be less likely to collaborate successfully. This can lead to a loss of confidence and less successful projects.
2. Positive Feedback
Depending on the tasks that you’re outsourcing, many times remote workers never see the end product or hear how their contribution has caused your numbers to increase (but they certainly hear when something is wrong). A simple note or email can make a world of difference. For instance, if you hire a call center and have received several customers commenting on their great interaction with a certain representative, let her manager know. “When there's someone who praises other employees and it creates a symbiotic relationship where the team knows what pleases the leader and then keeps doing that? That's what creates a successful company. That's what generates massive revenue,” explains John Brandon on Inc.
3. Face Time
I’ve been on countless conference calls using speaker phones or just the audio on my laptop, but it never has the human-to-human connection like a video call. There’s just something about seeing a real person with facial expressions that takes away the robot persona that email and social media has created. Now, you don’t have to do this every time; but even just one video chat can establish a bond with a remote worker and yourself.
4. Job Security
One of the biggest hurdles that contract or remote workers face is the uncertainty of job security. If their contact with the company quits or gets fired, then their roles might end too, and workload for contractors isn’t always steady.
One of the greatest ways to bring unity to your team is to let your remote workers know that they are valued and appreciated. You can do this by talking about your long-term plans involving them, or asking where they see themselves in the company in the future. After all, it’s easier to keep a person on your team than to spend the time and money to recruit and train a new team member.
5. Emphasize Unity
Remote teams must be reminded that they are one team with common goals, in spite of being in different locations. You have to highlight how their individual roles and collective efforts fit into the big picture.
Regardless if you are managing a remote voice services team, a virtual assistant, or contracting with a software development company or marketing firm, everyone wants to feel appreciated and heard. Author and speaker John C. Maxwell once said:
“Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.”
If you get the best team that you can (remote or in-house) and treat them right, the success of your business has the potential to be limitless.