The importance of employee engagement was discussed in the blog “Driving Remote Employee Engagement”. Remote employee engagement has been pushed forward as a priority for many organizations as the “new business reality” looks like many employees are going to continue to work virtually from home, and offices will see a major reduction in the number of people physically present at any given time. This new reality will require managers to upskill their ability to engage their teams in order to remain productive.
Remote employees can sometimes feel disconnected from the team, so it is critical to show them you care about them as discussed in the blog “Remote Employee Engagement: Know Your Employees”. Once you have taken the time to have a solid understanding of what employees on your team are passionate about, what obstacles/challenges may be impacting them, and what motivates them, you can start to apply a person-centered leadership approach to driving engagement.
Here are five things to do when applying a person-centered leadership approach to remote employees:
- Build a relationship. Take the time to talk to them on a regular basis. This could be in the form of a daily video chat check-in. If you have a larger team, it might be a call once a week or even bi-weekly. This shows them you care and value them as part of the team.
- Provide growth/stretch opportunities. Understand each remote employee’s goals and look for opportunities to increase their skills and knowledge. They will grow in confidence as they succeed at doing things they have never done before. Be available to mentor and coach them along the way.
- Help them build networks. Being a remote employee can make the employee feel isolated. Giving them cross-functional assignments or putting them on special task forces will introduce them to individuals in the company they may not interface with on a regular basis. If possible, make them a “go-to” resource for others in the company by letting them become a “subject matter expert” on a specific topic.
- Remove obstacles and provide resources. Remote employees can become quickly discouraged if they do not have the ability or resources to get the job done. Make sure you eliminate any barriers that would keep them from succeeding at reaching their goals.
- Hold remote employees accountable. Just like a sports coach will hold a player accountable to execute their roll on the team; a manager must hold remote employees to performance standards that help the team or organization accomplish its goals. Employees respect leaders who are consistent and will hold them accountable.
When using a person-centered leadership approach, remote employees will feel more connected and loyal to both the manager and the organization. This connection will keep employees engaged, resulting in more productivity and increasing the likelihood of these remote employees giving greater discretionary effort to get the job done.