How to Develop Your Remote Employees from Afar

Whether your long-standing team has started to work-from-home due to COVID or you’re trying to integrate remote new team members, it’s increasingly challenging to supervise and develop your people. From handling performance issues to nurturing company loyalty to providing mentorship, managers in various industries are struggling to handle their duties virtually. However, the pandemic continues and WFH arrangements have become the norm. Here are three ways to develop and manage your remote employees, even from afar.

Schedule Regular Video Chats

The potential for misunderstandings grows exponentially in email, text, or IM. Your team members may already feel stressed and vulnerable if they’re newly remote. Provide the emotional and social support they need through video chats. You can schedule these weekly or even daily, and they’re a great way to show that you care about your team member’s well-being.

This is also ideal for addressing performance issues, giving constructive criticism, or talking about difficult topics. These sorts of conversations go over much better in-person, but in remote-work situations, video chats are almost as effective.

Boost Confidence Through Videos

In addition to video chats, you can get creative with your regular updates and performance reviews. Create an encouraging video that celebrates and motivates your people. With today’s video technology, it’s easy to make a personalized video for each team member. You can list their top achievements for the week or month, express thanks for their hard work, and so on.

You can also acknowledge your team’s progress with video updates. Send these videos to your team on a regular basis, then follow up with video chats to go over any details. Your team will appreciate the more personal approach — and probably be more likely to reach out to you with any concerns.

In both types of videos, try combining fun animations with footage of yourself speaking to your team. Roll in still photos, charts, and other images as available. The key is to make each team member feel that their voices are heard and their efforts appreciated.

Host Virtual Happy Hours

Your team is probably accustomed to Zoom meetings, but when’s the last time you all hopped on to just chat? Remote teams don’t have the luxury of post-work hangouts and happy hours, so why not start a new virtual tradition? You can either schedule this during working hours and offer some fun activities that can be done virtually (e.g. charades, word games), or outside the workday and allow team members to kick back with a cocktail and chat via Zoom.

The importance of social bonding among your team members cannot be overstated. Try to strike a balance between structure (e.g. asking people what they’ve been working on or where they need advice) and “free time.” The video call is simply a means to achieve this organically.

Wrapping Up

Video is the closest thing we have to in-person conversation. During these times of isolation and stress, that’s more important than ever. If your goal is to nurture your team members’ motivation and successfully address their problems, you need to facilitate a connection with them. Also, give them a chance to connect with each other. This helps conflicts get resolved, partnerships to be forged, and overall camaraderie to develop. Through the power of video, this is easier than you might imagine.

Need expert assistance creating video updates and motivational videos for your team? Shoot us a message — we’re glad to help!