The well known adage “culture eats strategy for breakfast” doesn’t just refer to culture created in an office. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that remote working, whether hybrid or company-wide, is here to stay.
But companies are still struggling to stem the tide of employee burnout that’s directly tied to remote working conditions.
Here are Cake’s top tips for keeping remote teams engaged long past the end of the pandemic… Whenever that may be.
Offer work from home perks
It’s the small things that add up and make a workplace feel more like a home. So how do you transition these perks when your employees are literally working from their own homes? They’ve already got their tea, coffee and meals sorted, so you might need to think outside the box.
Companies like Employment Hero offer (in their language) Hero Dollars which provide access to discounts, Employment Hero’s online marketplace with reduced prices on thousands of everyday items. Not bad, right?
Instead of a gym membership, consider organising Zoom yoga classes, learning and development opportunities or have some tasty treats delivered to your team members' doors. From cookies to DIY cake mix, the culinary world is your oyster.
2. Make play a priority
This might sound like a fluffy suggestion but hear us out.
Working remotely can be super isolating. Team members miss out on day-to-day gags with their co-workers; impromptu moments of surprise and delight! There are no banana peels to slip on or games of ping pong to dust off the cobwebs. And gifs over Slack are fun, but might not always cut the mustard.
Believe it or not, these little moments of play and connection are often the difference between what makes us stay or leave an organisation, whether we realise it or not.
Creating social events online that have absolutely nothing to do with work and everything to do with creativity and play bring teams together and generate innovation by providing much needed breaks from one’s day-to-day responsibilities.
Try a Zoom drawing or painting class, dance session or talent contest. How incredible would it be to see Sally from accounts play guitar? Or Gary the developer do the splits? Talk about a bonding session.
3. Remember to include remote workers
This is particularly important if you have a blended working environment. That is, some workers at home and some at the office. When the majority of the team is in-situ, it’s easy to forget the few who are participating in cyberspace.
If you treat employees as “out of sight out of mind”, the results they produce are likely to nosedive and, worse, you might see them look for an environment that considers how to better manage their remote needs.
Some easy ways to include your remote team are:
- Invite them to events in the office
- Organise team lunches to attend
- Offer them alternative perks (see above!)
- Ensure office technology is set up in a way that is remote-friendly (i.e. big screens for meetings and speakers to ensure everyone can hear).
4. Reward team members with equity
Potential ownership of a slice of the company means employees start thinking like business owners. It’s common to see a spike in collaboration, productivity, and innovation when teams are incentivized with equity.
The Cake platform tracks vesting and automatically updates team members each time they achieve a vesting milestone. Yahoo!
Transparency on the Cake platform makes equity feel more tangible, and means you don’t need to keep track (and keep reminding) your team when their equity vests. Cake does it for you!
You may not be physically present with your team members, but when they see their equity vesting over time, they’ll be reminded their hard work is paying off, keeping them connected and energised to achieve the company goals and mission.
5. Encourage Career Development Opportunities
According to Employment Hero, 1:1 feedback sessions can play a vital part in developing your individual team members:
“89% of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are key for successful outcomes? So with this statistic front of mind, it’s never been more crucial to pencil in some time with your remote workers. When you have honest conversations with your direct reports, you increase trust. And when trust is built, employee engagement improves.”
A significant part of any employee lifecycle is discussing room for professional growth, development and opportunities. What better way to do this than during scheduled time, dedicated to individual employees on a weekly or monthly basis.
Arguably, remote workers need this dedicated attention more than those workers feeding off the buzz in the office. So, hop to and start scheduling those Zoom meetings!
6. Begin the week with team check-ins
Many companies start the week with team huddles or meets, to set priorities for the week ahead. But how many teams take 10 minutes to ‘check-in’ on a personal level before getting into the nitty gritty of work?
So what is a “check-in”?
Each team member receives 2-3 uninterrupted minutes to let the rest fo the team know:
Their energy level out of 10
In a remote environment, energy levels wax and wane and it’s important to know where your team is at. If someone’s at a 10, you’ll know it’s all systems go and you can safely stretch them out of their comfort zone. If they’re at a 3, you know to be a little more gentle with them that week.
Anything that’s distracting them
This could be anything from anxiety about a pending work project to waiting to hear about an offer they’ve made on a rental property or maybe someone has proposed to their partner and their mind is buzzing with romance and excitement!
It’s a great way to connect with the team on important life events and understand where their focus, beyond work, might be pulling them.
If you’re a team of less than 10, it’s possible to do a company-wide check in. If you’re larger than 10, it may be wise to break the Monday check-ins into smaller groups, or break out rooms.
Their top 3 goals or priorities for the week
This should relate specifically to work. Getting each team member to articulate and record their goals in a small group setting, fresh-faced on a monday, not only helps teams stay accountable to each other but can help the less organised list-makers among us, get on top of their to-do list.
Remember to record these goals and check back in on them at the beginning of next week’s check-in.
Now, go forth and remotely prosper!
Liked this article? Read more on remote work over from Employment Hero.
This blog is designed and intended to provide general information in summary form on general topics. The material may not apply to all jurisdictions. The contents do not constitute legal, financial or tax advice. The contents is not intended to be a substitute for such advice and should not be relied upon as such. If you would like to chat with a lawyer, please get in touch and we can introduce you to one of our very friendly legal partners.