It’s quite hard to show that you care for your employees especially when you are not seeing them face-to-face. When it comes to managing your remote workers, you may find it more difficult to communicate with them or express yourself which can sometimes lead to misunderstandings.
Your remote employees thought that you don’t care an inch about them, but in fact, you are truly grateful that you have them on your team. However, when you fail to express your appreciation, your remote workers are likely to leave – even if they enjoy the perks of working wherever and whenever they want.
According to this Forbes article, 66% of employees would quit if they feel unappreciated. Even without looking at the statistics, I think anyone (no matter where they work) would quit their job if their efforts are not rewarded and recognized.
So before it’s too late and your remote workers start cutting ties with you, show them that you really care with the following tips.
1. Regularly talk with them – but it shouldn’t be always about work.
I’m not telling you to frequently bother your remote employees and flood their Skype or Slack with chat notifications and ask how their work goes every single time. That’s micromanaging.
Your remote worker may find this really annoying especially when both of you have already agreed a particular reporting schedule. If you keep pestering them about the status of their work, this might make them feel that you don’t trust them.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that all remote workers hate having small chats with their clients or employers. Why don’t you try getting more personal with them? Instead of always talking and pressuring them about work, say ‘hi’ from time to time.
Talk about the things they like to do, or try to find out what motivates them. This way, you’ll get to know more about them and you can use what you’ve learned to keep your remote employees engaged and enthusiastic about their work.
2. Make them feel that they’re a part of your team.
Don’t keep your remote workers out of the loop. Don’t treat them as strangers just because they are working from a different side of the world.
Start by introducing your in-house team to your remote team. You can do this by creating a common group chat where both of your teams can freely talk with each other. It might be a little awkward if you let them be, so as the boss, you take the initiative of engaging both of your teams.
Whenever your company has office celebrations, always include your remote workers in your plans. If it’s not possible for your remote team to visit your headquarters office, you can always make use of social media live video streams.
There’s a Halloween party? Make your remote workers dress up and join the fun too! Christmas? Anyone would be happy giving and receiving presents, so don’t fail to include them in your gift exchanges!
3. Surprise them and send them a birthday greeting.
You don’t miss greeting and giving a little present to your in-house employees whenever it’s their birthday. But how about your remote employees? Do you at least send them a birthday greeting? No?
If you don’t, perhaps it’s high time for you to jot down all of your remote workers’ birthdates and mark them on your calendar.
Greeting someone on their birthday is just a simple gesture but it will mean a lot to your remote employees. Because hey, there are only a few clients or employers who take the time to know when is their remote worker’s birthday.
Even if it’s impossible for you to send them a delish birthday cake and a yummy gallon of ice cream, you can always send them a birthday greeting via chat or email along with that colorful virtual cake.
4. Ask them what they need and provide them if you can.
While it’s mostly the remote worker’s responsibility to provide the necessities of enabling them to work from home, you can still do something for them as the client or employer.
For example, one of your remote employee’s tasks is to post regular content on all of your social media accounts. Manually posting and sharing content on several platforms can be quite tedious, so providing them a tool or two can help them do the job faster and more efficiently.
To help your remote employee get the job done, ask them what tools they need so that you can provide. Usually, your remote worker already has a particular tool in mind that they would like to use.
However, make sure that when you ask, you are really willing to help and stay true to your promise of providing them the necessary tools for their work.
5. Recognize and reward them for a job well done.
Your remote workers will appreciate it if you reward them with financial incentives or bonuses for their exceptional work. However, if you are tight on cash, there are still other ways on how you can show your appreciation without breaking the bank such as:
- Reward them with flexible hours. While all remote employees definitely enjoy working from home, some or most of them are not really enjoying the perk of working on their own time. Most are still working from 9-5. But if you and your remote employee have already built a trusting professional relationship and you know that they are really someone who delivers, why not reward them of working on their own terms?
- Announce their great work in front of everyone. Have a common group chat for both of your in-house and remote teams? Then let everyone know that your remote employee has done a great job! This simple act will go a long way and you’ll be surprised on how much this will help your remote employee gain that additional boost to their confidence, morale and enthusiasm at work.
- Send a handwritten thank you note. Saying ‘thank you’ via chat or email is plain easy. Why not try doing something different? Go traditional! Writing a thank you note via the old school method only shows that you have given the extra time and effort to recognize the achievement of your remote employee. It will make them feel valued and very special.
For more recognition ideas, check this article from American Express: 101 Ways to Recognize Employees (Without Giving Them Cash)
Showing your appreciation doesn’t always involve a big ton of money. Just by doing the above mentioned simple gestures, you’ll make your remote workers feel loved.