to improve employee relations

to improve employee relations

In 2020 remote work has become the norm for a wide variety of companies. A large number of companies have transitioned to working from home during the pandemic. And after a successful year of remote work, businesses discovered the benefits of hiring remote employees and are thinking of adopting permanent remote work policies moving forward, figuring out how to build a strong relationship with remote employees. Businesses have also witnessed how valuable remote work can be and how professionally employees manage the work from home flexibility with greater enthusiasm than an office. According to Upwork, 41.8% of the American workforce continues to work remotely. So surely remote work is the future of work. 

Remote work has its advantages, such as working time flexibility, reduces office overheads and enhances team performance. It has made it easier for employees to join companies that are on another part of the globe. On the other hand, the disadvantages are teams don’t feel connected, reduced interaction, isolation and it becomes a big challenge to keep everyone properly motivated. With more companies shifting to remote working culture, HRs have to learn how to manage remote teams smartly and improve relationships with each employee. 

Why is it important to build relationships with the remote workforce?

The definition of the employee experience is very simple, it is a journey an employee takes with the company. It is how they feel about their company’s purpose, brand and culture, which directly impacts employee performance, retention and productivity. Companies with highly skilled employees are able to achieve double the customer satisfaction and higher profits than their competitors who have inadequate employee experience. Since unhappy employees are more likely to look for another job, that can damage the growth of your business. As a manager of a remote team, it is your responsibility to ensure that your employees can trust you to support them whenever they need you. So how do you make sure you have a good relationship with all your employees? Fortunately, there are some easy ways that you can try to improve employee relations, no matter how much you are apart from each other. 

1. Help Remote Teams Stay Focused:

Being the HR manager or leader of the company, you have to ensure that your remote workforce feels as aligned as possible. Remote employees sometimes may feel detached from the rest of the other team members as they all are working from different locations without seeing each other face-to-face. You have to come up with ideas on what you can do to build a strong remote team to bring success to your company.  You have to help your remote team to stay focused, you can set short-term and long-term goals and celebrate when they achieve their goals. The celebration is a great way to improve employee relations whether they’re sharing an office or working remotely.

2. Understand the Hybrid Workforce:

The concept of a hybrid workforce is where some employees work from home and others attend the office regularly or at their flexible time. Understanding how to keep a good balance between these two different kinds of teams is crucial if you want your business to flourish and enhance employee relations. 
To have a good balance, start by setting up a schedule that all employees have to follow, regardless of their working module. As there is no scope for in-person meetings, you must try to conduct video conferences to ensure that everyone can get involved, at least 2 times a week.
To keep your in-office and remote workforce connected, it’s also worth formalizing a document highlighting which tools they should be using every day for regular conversation. 

3. Support Suitable Schedules:

Working hours between in-office employees and remote employees never match. So when your remote employees choose their own hours, you will need to ensure that they are dedicating the right amount of time that is asked by the company. Employee monitoring software can help to tackle this situation.  The software can be used to monitor both in-office and remote workers at the same time. With various features like random screenshot, productivity and time tracking, this software can help you get valuable data to help you set guidelines for the employees to enhance their performance. 

4. Make Collaboration Fun:

Unnecessarily lengthy meetings are boring, and for some remote workers, joining consecutive meetings can get a little monotonous over time. To keep your team engaged and interested in the collaborative experience, try to have informal meetings. Encourage your remote team members to attend meetings without any official dress code and allow them to turn off the camera if it is not their turn to speak.
While these points might not be suitable for every meeting, try to conduct informal meetings whenever possible. While you are having meetings with your team make sure you talk to each employee, take their feedback and listen to them. 

5. Manage Data Sharing the Right Way:

For remote teams to perform better, there is always a constant flow of information in the workforce. Employees must know how they can get access to useful information and what are the guidelines to deal with particular data. To make it easy, you can create a single location for your employees to use information as a base for internal knowledge when accessing important data.
Ensure that the only assigned employees who can alter or move that information are those who need it most. Also prepare a set of best-practice guidelines for your teams to follow for insights on how to use information effectively and keep data secure. 

6. Promote Healthy Work-Life Balance:

Often employers forget that employees have personal lives that take priority. Employees who feel supported by their seniors develop a greater sense of loyalty and perform better. Provide them with benefits for a better work-life balance. These benefits may include flexible work schedules, breaks during working hours,  paid time off and health benefits. 
Besides providing these benefits, your attitude towards your employees will make a big difference. So try to be supportive to your employees and never show disappointment when they share their personal problems with you. 

7. Focus on mental health:

The mental health of employees should always be a top consideration, because remote workers have the tendency to work longer hours than regular workers, and have fewer boundaries between their professional and personal lives, so giving them extra work means ceasing time from their personal lives. Employers need to make sure their benefits are actually beneficial for the mental health needs of all employees, and managers should be alert to signs of chronic stress on their teams. Try to assign them tasks that they can finish in timely, for emergency projects with short deadlines, assign more employees instead of putting all workload on one.

Strengthen Your Employee Relations

With more remote and hybrid teams, the workplace continues to change.  Try to adapt ways to improve relationships with your employees to create a team more likely to achieve their individual career goals. Be proactive and intentional about maintaining good relations. 

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

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