The recent shift to remote work has compelled many companies to adopt a completely remote setup without much prior training or guidance. If you're new to managing remote employees, it can be challenging to identify and implement best practices right from the start. You might be identifying ways to keep your team connected and maintain high company morale. Additionally, ensuring each team member receives the necessary support may pose its own challenges.
Thankfully, there are learning management systems (LMS) and various remote engagement tools and strategies that can assist you in effectively managing your employees and fostering a strong sense of teamwork, even when working with a global workforce.
Distribute technology training via LMS
Whether it's to communicate, collaborate, or simply get the job done, many employees will need to use new software to stay productive while working remotely. Using your LMS to distribute remote technology training is the simplest way to ensure everyone has access to the information they need. With just a few clicks, you can push software training to the whole organization or to a specified group of learners.
Another benefit of using your LMS to distribute technology training to remote workers is that it boosts your return on the time you invest. For example, not only does offering instructor-led training or a webinar provide an opportunity for remote workers to learn and ask questions as a group, they can be recorded and hosted in your LMS for future reference.
Use multimodal communication
According to Buffer's "State of Remote Work" survey, loneliness and "collaborating and/or communication" were the second and third biggest struggles reported by remote workers. When you're managing remote employees, it's important to combat these effects through positive and frequent communication.
Email-only communication can come off as cold and impersonal. Using different modes of communication can humanize your interactions and demonstrate flexibility to your teams.
For example, encourage informal instant messaging among employees for quick questions, and be sure to respond quickly when employees reach out.
Video conferencing is a great option for team bonding. It's easier to engage in casual conversation when you can see your coworkers face to face. Many managers find that daily videoconferences keep their teams feeling connected.
Video chats are also a good option for delivering one-on-one employee feedback. Optimistic body language and tone can be lost over email or phone calls and make criticism feel less constructive.
Ask your employees what they need
As remote work continues to expand across the globe, checking in on a regular basis to see how work is going will make employees feel appreciated and boost morale. It's also a great opportunity for remote employee recognition. When you take the time to personally share with employees what they're doing well, they'll be encouraged to continue improving and delivering valuable work.
Employees might feel overlooked if you only reach out about work needs, though. Ask if there's anything you can do to support them as people during this transition. Investing in your team's mental health will remind them that they have a support system at their disposal and that you value them as individuals.
When people are working in the same space they live in, the lines between work and home can get blurred—making work feel stressful. The number one struggle cited by respondents to the State of Remote Work survey was "unplugging after work." It's important to set boundaries for both your sake and theirs.
Let your employees know the times you'll be online and available during the day, and make it clear that you won't be available for non-emergencies outside those hours. If possible, connect with each employee about personal needs outside of work and build individual schedules to accommodate them.
Gamification and Incentives
Motivating remote employees can be a daunting task, but gamification can transform learning and development into an engaging experience. Advanced LMS platforms often incorporate gamified elements such as badges, points, leaderboards, and virtual rewards to encourage healthy competition and foster a sense of achievement. Employees become more enthusiastic about completing training modules, and the sense of accomplishment drives them to excel in their roles.
Social learning and collaboration
Remote work can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation. To combat this, advanced LMS platforms facilitate social learning and collaboration features. Employees can participate in virtual discussion forums, share insights, and collaborate on projects, fostering a sense of camaraderie despite the physical distance. Such interactions not only enhance learning but also promote a positive work culture and strengthen team bonds.
Integrations with productivity tools
To streamline remote employee management, consider an LMS that integrates with various productivity tools and software. Integrations with project management tools, communication platforms, and other work-related applications allow employees to access relevant training resources directly within their daily workflow. This seamless integration saves time and enhances productivity, making it easier for remote employees to access essential information without switching between multiple applications.
Find what works for your team
All teams operate differently. There are no hard rules for managing remote employees. If anything, the flexibility of remote work means it's possible to get even more creative with how your team functions. It's a time to experiment and flow in the direction of your team's strengths and preferences. Be open to new possibilities, and you may be surprised by what your team can accomplish.
Learn how your LMS can simplify managing remote employees. Connect with an Absorb LMS representative to discuss your team's needs.