Hybrid and Remote Employees: 4 Tips for Creating a Dynamic Working Relationship

Remote and Hybrid Employees: 4 Tips for Creating a Dynamic Working Relationship

Refer to these tips if you already have a remote work option for your workforce or are considering adding a remote work option.

Many small and mid-market businesses have remote employees for a variety of reasons, including to save money on office costs or simply for convenience. But how can businesses help ensure that off-site workers remain properly engaged and committed to their work from afar? These four tips can help you create a dynamic working relationship with remote employees:

1. Stay connected

Technology can help keep leaders connected to their remote and hybrid workers. Social collaboration, video conferencing and chat sessions are a few ways that leaders can help employees who work off-site stay in the loop. Technology allows mobile staff to stay abreast of integral day-to-day operations. It also offers a forum for remote workers to brainstorm, collaborate and offer feedback to team members in other locations. These collaboration sessions build team synergy and can help ensure remote and hybrid employees feel included and like they are a needed part of the team. Equipping your remote workers with access to the right technology and communication tools will not only help them learn and grow, but it will also help them stay connected to the broader team and overall boost engagement.

2. Measure impact instead of hours

Today's leaders must adapt to the reality that hours do not equal impact. Evolving work conditions require us to pull focus away from monitoring productivity for exempt employees and put the spotlight firmly on what the person does for the business. Rather than putting undue focus on the "when" and the "how long," leaders are encouraged to focus on the "what" and the "how well."

According to Amy Leschke-Kahle — VP of talent insights and innovations — measuring the outcomes and the impact of work is more helpful than measuring the hours worked.

"Today's leaders must adapt to the reality that hours do not equal impact," says Leschke-Kahle. "It's no longer about employees working a lot of hours. Instead, leaders should focus on the quality and impact of the work when they evaluate employees' performance rather than the amount of time it took for them to complete the work."

This insight showcases how important it is for organizations to empower employees to work in a way that suits them best, knowing that on some days employees might blast through tasks at an incredible pace, and on other days they might invest several hours into just getting the basics done.

3. Schedule face-to-face meetings

Although technology can help foster employee engagement, sometimes nothing beats actual face-to-face communication. Technology doesn't allow you to observe body language, for example, which could otherwise help you determine whether employees are satisfied with their roles. If resources allow, it may be beneficial to schedule periodic in-person meetings with your remote workers, even if it's just once a year. Even one meeting, perhaps for training, could help create a working relationship that proves worthwhile.

4. Reward employees

Implementing a remote and hybrid employee recognition program can help single out an employee who may otherwise go unnoticed. On-site employees are highly visible to others and co-workers can witness each other's accomplishments. However, a remote worker could do an equally outstanding job but could easily go unrecognized because of physical location.

Leaders should create opportunities to give recognition to their remote employees whether it's in a group forum on a team video call, via email announcements or in a team group chat. Broadcasting accomplishments somewhere online or in a business newsletter gives remote employees recognition that's well deserved but that they may not otherwise be recognized for. This helps take the mystery out of what workers do when working remotely, and, in turn, the public acknowledgment of their accomplishments helps garner the respect of their on-site co-workers.

Creating an environment where remote and hybrid workers can truly thrive takes time and intentionality.

For a deeper dive into how you can create a positive employee experience, check out the guidebook, Four Stages of the Employee Experience.