Do everything you’re supposed to do with on-site employees, but do it on steroids.
Overcommunicate. Until they complain about too much communication, keep overcommunicating. (Note: I’ve never heard of an employee complaining about management over communicating)
Redesign onboarding to reflect remote employee (and company) needs, and bring remotes into the office for – at least – the first week or two of their employment.
Encourage all remote and on-site employees to communicate with each other. It can’t all be on the manager.
If you have birthday or lifecycle celebrations for on-site employees, have them for remote employees as well. They must feel included.
Encourage remote employees to have occasional, casual colleague discussions (coffee, wine, lunch, etc.)
Company-branded “googies” or “swag”. If you have these items, make sure the remotes get them too.
When conducting one-on-ones, make sure to include information on the company – who’s doing what; goal achievements, etc.
If an employee is working in a different state or municipality that your home office, make sure you’re up-to-date on any state- or municipal-specific labor laws.
If an employee is working in a different state, they still need labor posters, but they don’t have to have them posted in their living room! Order the poster to yourself. Take a digital photo and e-mail that to the employee, making sure they acknowledge they’ve received it.
When communicating, use Emotional Intelligence. Observe them. Focus on whether he/she/they are engaged, connected, happy (or not).
When conducting a team meeting, keep an eye out for those who are not talking, and make sure to get them participating. Don’t let the frequent talkers talk too frequently at the expense of quiet employees.
Set clear expectations for performance and hours of work/communication. The moment those expectations aren’t met, make a phone call.
You trusted them enough to hire them. Focus on results, not their process.
Not every conversation needs to be on Zoom.
Focus on what I call “The Proximity Challenge”. Most managers tend to delegate plum assignments to those who are nearby. Avoid this trap.
Tell them how you prefer to be communicated with – what medium, when times and how. Ask them the same thing.
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Letter to Leaders & Swenson Insights
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