The number of remote workers in America has shot up 115 percent in the past decade. The No. 1 reason that remote workers quit? They feel lonely and disengaged. Many of my followers lead remote workers, so I sought out solutions to help them feel included. Author Dan Schawbel has several tips for managers, including:
- Remote employees will work harder if they have a sense of connection, so let a remote worker lead your staff meeting several times a year.
- Fly remote workers in once a year for an offsite meeting or social event.
- Use video conferencing for meetings, so remote workers get to see and hear everyone, which is much better than an email.
- Remote workers want to collaborate and share their ideas, so consider deploying tools and technologies that increase employee collaboration and make it easy for people to have a voice.
- If you celebrate a team accomplishment by going out to lunch, send the remote worker a thank you note and gift card, so they can go out to lunch in their hometown while the team is celebrating live.
- When company-branded ‘swag’ is given away in your office, box some up and ship it to your remote worker’s home.
- During week one, schedule a video conference call and introduce your remote worker to the people who they will have the most interaction with. Or better yet, fly them to your office and ensure they meet the right people face-to-face and attend orientation.
- Schedule a weekly one-on-one with your remote worker to increase their sense of connection and give them facetime.
WHAT CAN I DO? Execute on the eight ideas above and share these tips with the rest of your staff. These pointers will remind your office-bound employees to join you and go out of their way to help remote team members feel connected, appreciated, and engaged.