By Jim Wong, CPA | February 21, 2018

The conversation surrounding company culture is a hot topic in today’s corporate environment. Many businesses are making efforts to define their culture, including employee engagement, recognition and work-life balance. Defining workplace culture is certainly a process, however, it becomes more challenging in a workplace that includes remote employees. At Brilliant™, we offer colleagues flexible work arrangements. As a result, we understand the challenges that come with staying well connected with remote employees.

While challenging, the process of creating an exciting and engaging culture for your team members near and far is certainly possible. The first step to achieving this is to make all colleagues feel like they have a voice both inside and outside of the office.

I wanted to share some of my insight on how to engage remote colleagues. This is a topic I’ve written about before, but it’s worth a reminder.

Take a look at the 4 Tips to Keeping Remote Colleagues Engaged below!

1. Keep Up with Communication If your organization relies on technology to interact with remote colleagues, it’s important to find the right programs or software that fit the needs of your team and spurs engagement. For video-conferencing, be sure to find a reliable program that can be easily accessible by computers and/or phones or tablets. FaceTime, Zoom and Skype are great programs to use for video-conferencing or when you want to be able to see the other team members. This type of technology, especially for younger generations, will allow them to show their personality and character when speaking with you.

2. Accommodate In-Person Interaction Understandably it’s not always feasible to meet with remote employee every day, however, it’s important to devote some time to meeting these employees in-person. While video-conferencing technology continues to improve, there’s something special about face-to-face interaction. Perhaps inviting remote colleagues to travel to your office on a monthly or quarterly basis could be a beneficial way to get the team engaged with team members within the office and you to further develop those connections.

3. Be Accessible When it comes to being accessible to remote employees, leaders and managers need to make it clear when they’re available. A simple way of doing this is sharing an Outlook or Google calendar with team members. This keeps everyone on the same page even if they’re not necessarily in the same space. This also gives them autonomy to make decisions based on your availability.

4. Engage & Entertain Even if you don’t have a meeting scheduled with a remote colleague – make it a point to reach out in writing. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, a cool industry article or even a funny meme with these team members, along with asking them about their workday. This will ultimately build trust, engagement and a sheer reminder to the remote colleague that they are a significant part of the team.

These are only a few tips to keep remote colleagues engaged and included. Do you have other suggestions? Comment below and let us know.

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