A significant part of managing a remote team involves building meaningful connections among your employees. Encouraging everyone to get to know each other on a personal level enhances collaboration and productivity. The stronger the bonds among you and your team members, the more engaged and loyal they will be. This is why cultivating relationships from the start needs to be a priority.
Use these tips to create and nurture relationships among your remote team members.
Focus on Casual Conversations Before Meetings
Ask an icebreaker question at the start of each team meeting. Examples include “Where is your favorite place to travel?” or “What is the most daring thing you ever have done?” Make sure the question is open-ended and not too personal. Give each team member time to talk as much or as little as they want. These questions help you learn more about your team members as individuals and result in fun bonding conversations.
Connect Through Video
Video chats provide visual cues that are not present with written communication. Understanding body language helps improve the quality of your conversations. It also lets you and your team members learn more about each other. Getting a glimpse into everyone’s home office can provide insight into whether they prioritize neatness, enjoy hanging dog pictures on the wall, or drink coffee or tea out of a favorite mug. This helps uncover commonalities and promotes the sharing of personal stories. All of these actions help develop relationships.
Enhance Your Written Communication
Because there are no verbal cues or body language associated with writing, your message may not come across as it is meant to. One way to overcome this is by including emojis, such as a laughing face, to show when you are being funny. Also, soften your messages to make them personable and friendly. For instance, instead of saying, “Max, I need those numbers by Friday, please. Thanks,” you might say, “Max, I hope you had a great weekend! Please have those numbers to me by Friday. Thanks so much!” Effective communication encourages openness and transparency among your team.
See whether your team members who live nearby can meet for coffee or lunch. You might do this once a week, once a month, or twice a year. Or, if you are traveling to an area where a team member lives, try to schedule time to get together. They may be able to show you destinations you otherwise might have missed. This can enhance your relationships with your employees.
Need to Hire Remote Employees?
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