The modern workplace has experienced a revolution like no one has seen before. As executives, consumers, managers, and clients alike adapt to a digital environment, it’s more important than ever to keep remote teams connected both to each other and to projects. For leaders asking themselves how to keep their teams engaged in today’s ever changing climate, the following five practices are a guide to help keep your remote teams engaged, connected and productive.
Take Advantage of Collaborative Online Workspaces
Real-time project coordination is even more essential in a digital environment. Collaborative online workspaces like Trello, Basecamp, and Asana foster the kind of effective communication and idea exchanges that create the best results. Professional Services Automation (PSA) solutions like Mavenlink allow managers to allocate resources, delegate tasks, assign deadlines, and give feedback on projects while constantly staying in touch with their teams and having visibility into progress. The ability to respond quickly to changes establishes versatility and mitigates anxiety when unexpected developments occur. Real-time collaboration, especially with screen sharing and video conferencing capabilities, heightens the sense of team ownership over collective projects and keeps all individuals on the team continually engaged throughout the process.
Actively Use Instant Messaging Systems
Virtual communication systems are essential to maintaining team engagement. Instant messaging through platforms like Slack not only ensures effective collaboration and project coordination, but prevents coworkers from feeling isolated by encouraging the kind of lighthearted and easygoing conversations that happen over coffee or lunch in an office setting. They also prevent misunderstandings and confusion by allowing questions and clarification to be easily asked and answered. Instant messaging systems can closely imitate the ongoing conversations and interactions that happen in an office setting, and ensure that individuals on the team remain in close contact. It’s important that remote teams develop individual relationships and smaller collaborative groups with each other as well as with their managers.
Schedule Regular Meetings
Regular meetings keep the entire team connected on a group level. On top of work conversations and progress updates, it’s important to create time for light discussion and health check ins, especially during the current crisis. In a digital environment, consistent meetings establish some stability and a routine throughout an otherwise flexible and variable schedule. Ensuring that individuals on the team are contributing and present during these virtual gatherings prevents isolation and stagnation in a work from home environment where the days can begin to run together. In remote settings, disengagement can happen quickly and easily, which is why it’s important to keep everyone on the same page in a direction of growth and productivity. From a management perspective, scheduling one-on-one meetings with team members helps leaders stay equally engaged with each individual in the group. Virtual meetings help managers maintain consistency as well as transparency with their team.
Facilitate Personal Connection and Communication
In a time where nothing can seem certain, a remote work environment should be as stable and steady as possible. Meetings and instant messaging systems are great ways for everyone on the team to stay in constant communication, but these platforms are only useful if there is true connectivity and engagement. It’s easy for remote teams to begin to simply go through the motions, which is why it is up to managers to encourage and create an atmosphere where personal connection is emphasized. Inviting everyone to share about daily wins and struggles during meetings is a strong way to sustain positive, working relationships. Engagement is best derived from team members developing a sense of shared purpose and vision, and building interconnectedness is always a good approach.
Affirm Success, Productivity, and Collaboration
Celebrating team wins goes a long way. Recognizing individual contributions to collaborative projects highlights the unique talents everyone y brings to the team. It’s also important for managers to recognize team successes in public forums like company meetings, which encourage continued growth through positive reinforcement. Productivity can be a challenge in remote settings, and sharing individual progress allows team members to collectively learn from each other.
Keep Your Remote Team Connected
Mavenlink provides much-needed support for managers and project leaders to keep their teams connected, productive, and engaged during the current WFH climate. Learn more about the tools available for you and your team today.