Importance of Communication with a Remote Employee
Managing employees is no easy task, especially if your have remote employees. Managing a remote employee requires more motivation and dedication, than an on-site employee, to make sure they feel they have an important role within the company – even though they aren’t actually in the office. There are a few ways to fulfill the difficult task to help you manage a remote employee:
Benefits of Communication with a Remote Employee
Schedule conference calls periodically during the week to communicate with your remote employee. Show your employee you are interested in their work and you are willing to help them resolve any problems that your employee may have.
- Is the employee having issues preventing them from meeting deadlines?
- Does your employee need additional help with anything?
- Does your employee have all the information that is required them to complete their projects?
- What steps is your employee taking to complete certain tasks?
If you are truly interested and want to get involved with your remote employee, schedule a virtual meeting. This will allow your employee to actually show you what’s going on instead of only hearing about it. Try overseeing your employee for the day. Spending the day with your employee during a virtual meeting for a few hours has a few benefits: Benefits for the employee:
- Builds trust
- A feeling of importance
- A chance to be social
- Less isolation
Benefits for you:
- Increases productivity
- See how your employee completes difficult tasks
- Saves money vs. traveling
Set Guidelines for Responses with your Remote Employee
I’m sure, at one time or another, you have gotten frustrated because you can’t reach someone, particularly an employee. An employee took days to reply to an email or hours to return a phone call. It’s annoying and I’m sure your felt like they were avoiding you. The best way to make sure your response time needs are met is clearly stating what you expect from your employee.
- What is the allotted response time to emails?
- What is the allotted time for returning phone calls?
- Will the employee be required to answer the phone or emails after hours?
- Do the response guidelines pertain to you as well?
Have your employee create an away response with the times they aren’t at the computer so you know when they will return.
Define Goals and Expectations for your Remote Employee
Express the goals and deadlines to your employee. Make sure you and your employee are on the same page and they understand exactly what is expected and when you expect them to complete each step for each goal. Documenting progress with benchmarks to keep track of completion for each step toward goals gives you comfort to know that your employee is actually doing the work.
In conclusion, communication with your employees, whether on-site or off-site, is vital. A remote employee is easily forgotten when not in the face of others. Remote employees aren’t around as much as on-site employees, they can easily be left out. Allow your remote employee access to the same feedback, recognition, and guidance that an on-site employee would have.