It doesn’t matter if you’re new to remote work, a seasoned pro, or only work from home part-time, all remote employees must do the same thing: form stronger bonds with their colleagues. Even if you’re a one-person shop, you’re still part of a group.
While people have adapted to remote working quite well, there are still some areas where we need to improve. We’ve all had a steep learning curve, and this was always going to happen.
Maintaining team spirit and morale is tough as we transition to remote working. While some people appreciate the seclusion of working from home, others like and cherish the sense of being part of a team or something larger than themselves; they enjoy working toward common goals.
This is why it’s critical to establish strong team relationships even among those who are geographically apart.
Tips for Developing Strong Relationships with Remote Team Members
Even when new hires work remotely, the same rules apply. Regardless of your office environment, there are a few key elements to maintaining effective working relationships, especially with new workers.
1. Make Onboarding Comfortable for New Hires
New hires are unfamiliar with the organization, its policies, procedures, and so on. When a new worker works remotely, they don’t have the option of asking someone in the office for help.
HR departments might want to consider FAQs that answer the most common queries posed by new hires. Consider establishing a buddy program so that new hires have more than one person to turn to for help.
2. Be Available
Managers a multitude of duties. Even when we’re all in the office, onboarding new hires takes time. Moreover, onboarding a distant new hire might take even longer.
Managers could inform new hires that they would be checking in with them frequently. It’s not that they don’t trust them, but that they simply want to ensure that everything is running smoothly. They can also signal to staff that you’ll eventually back off. However, let them know you’re available till the new hire is settled in.
3. Study Their Working Mannerisms and Let Them Know Yours
Managers and new hires are in the same boat. While they’ve barely spent a few hours together during the interview process, they’re already working together. They must find ways to convey how they prefer to work.
4. Set Performance Expectations
New hires want to know how their work will be done and how their performance will be evaluated. Managers should aim to meet with new hires one-on-one to go through their job description and the company’s performance assessment process. Tell them how their work relates to the organization and what performance standards will be used to evaluate them.
5. Give Credit Where it is Due and Be Consistent With it
After discussing performance goals with new workers, managers must provide feedback on how they’re doing. When employees do something well, let them know. Reiterate the positive aspects.
And when something doesn’t meet the performance level, correct them. Employees will presume that what they’re doing is acceptable if they don’t get any feedback to suggest otherwise.
6. Place a Premium on Trust and Respect
It’s critical not to conflate remedial feedback with being harsh. We all make errors. New hires are certain to make blunders. Give them advice in a respectful manner and let them know the best method to perform the assignment.
Managers should receive training on how to convey feedback from their organization. This doesn’t have to be lengthy. Include a one-page task aid to assist them in leading the conversation.
7. Don’t Neglect Training
In these cases, it’s always a good idea to put yourself in the employee’s shoes. If you were an employee, you’d undoubtedly be seeking ways to improve yourself, broaden your skill set, and advance your career.
As a result, training is quite vital. Remote workers require not only the training they need to execute their jobs but also training that will help them understand what they’re doing and offer up new options.
New employees are deserving of our attention. Building a working relationship helps them get off to a good start in their professions and propels them forward. It contributes to staff retention and engagement.
But wait, there’s one more thing. The task does not end once the new hire has settled into their new position. Managers must devote time and effort to overseeing their onsite and remote workers.