“Leaders must work on journeys, not just destinations.” Dean Crisp
“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Dean Crisp
Keeping Your Remote Workers Engaged
November 24 2020
By Dean Crisp
In our podcast this week, we took a question and answer approach to answer the many questions I receive and that our staff hears from across this great country. While the questions were wide-reaching and I encourage you to listen and share it with others, there was a topic that stood out – how to make sure your remote, non-essential workers who most have been sent home during the pandemic, feel engaged. The tips I offered were 3. Let’s take a look at each.
- It will take effort on your part as the leader to keep communication open. Be sure you are spending the time necessary to make them feel engaged. To check on them as to what unique challenges they are facing as they work remotely. Do they have school-age children who are learning virtually? Are spouses working from home? Do they have the information and access to the information they need to perform their duties?
- Maintain trust – often, our support staff is already viewed as “lesser than” the patrol officer on the beat. Being told they are non-essential can heighten this “fear” factor if you will. Making sure you are maintaining the trust and building on that trust is critical. Communication is a must. During normal work situations, many employees gain knowledge through the “informal” network where they hear about work-related information at the water cooler or at the coffee pot. Make sure you give them the “formal” information they require to do their jobs effectively. It will make them feel connected and allow you to feel that the correct information is communicated to them.
- Clarify expectations. Make sure they understand what is expected of them daily while in this remote situation. No longer will you as a supervisor be able to walk by their desk and “chat” or “view” what they are or are not doing. Setting clear expectations of what is expected daily, weekly, monthly will help with this. As a supervisor, you have to get comfortable with the fact that you can’t see them for a full workday. You have to have confidence that the work they are producing is what is required. The best way to do this is by clarifying your expectations of them, but also clarifying their expectations of you.
This tips will help beyond the Covid-19 pandemic as many employers will want to keep the remote worker arrangement. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable by doing these three things now and you will find your role as a leader becomes much better, faster.