How To Build a Relationship with Remote Employees
Building relationships and involving remote employees in decision-making process is important for organization. Some of the ways you can do so are discussed here.
Employer-worker relationship plays an important role in the growth of the company. Just as companies invest a huge sum in maintaining relationships with their clients, they should adopt a similar approach in maintaining healthy relationships with their employees. Given the benefits that remote employment offers, companies are proactively willing to explore that option as it has surged from being 9% in 1995 to 37% of the total work-force in 2016. As the number is constantly rising, it is believed that the concept of being physically present at the workplace will extinct as remote working has accrued mutual benefits to the employer as well as the employee. However, that doesn't mean that will be the end of all the problems. On the contrary, it will subsequently create new ones. Remote working can cause disengagement in the employer-worker and would erode the camaraderie amongst co-workers. A disengaged relation can lead to problems that can nullify the benefits of remote working. So companies must take into account all the factors at play and make decisions that nurture strong and healthy relations with the employees.
Include them in decision-making.
Companies usually make important decisions only after proper due diligence and taking into account different opinions. As employees are the ones performing ground level duties, their input before making decisions at the management level or framing policies that are pivotal for the company's growth is critical. But including each and every stakeholder is not feasible; and when it comes to remote employees, the possibility of including them in decision-making is zilch. If so, the employee might feel isolated and would ultimately lose interest. Getting sidelined won't go down well with them and would belittle their importance in the organization. So companies must resort to policies that ensure inclusive decision-making. They can also ensure the same just by reaching out to their remote employees through various mediums and asking for input on different instances. So measures like this can boost the morale of the employees and will not let them feel isolated.
Arrange regular meet-ups.
Being out of the loop for a prolonged period of time can hamper the productivity altogether. Also, being left out of communications can make the employees feel that they are only a subordinate part of the company, and negativity would ultimately surface in their minds. So it is advisable that the concerned manager undertakes the responsibility of maintaining cordial relationships. Arranging regular meet-ups doesn't necessarily have to be in a formal setting, but meetings can be arranged on different venues. It can certainly help in maintaining good relations with the employees by whole-team engagement. Even if whole-team engagements are not possible, at least try to bring the key employees together. Ensuring regular employee engagement can be beneficial as it can help in keeping them motivated and perform well.
Reward the employees.
Remote working may involve working in different parts of the world along with people of different ethnicity and culture. Working in a different environment can be challenging. Remote working already results in disengagement, and it can further cause discontent amongst the employees if they don't receive a fair compensation for putting in the toil. Managers must take into account these factors and offer allowances such as relocation allowance, food, and travel allowance to such employees.
Employees are an important resource for the organization. Various studies have pointed out that companies having a cordial working environment and high employee-engagement ought to be more productive. Therefore, companies must actively seek to maintain such reliable work ethics amongst their regular as well as remote employees.