/ Increasing engagement of your remote workers

Knowledge Base Article
Article Type: Blog
Author: Nicole Gee, Bibi Martin

Increasing engagement of your remote workers

remote workers

Nicole Gee & Bibi Martin of BMIM on transforming your leadership style to increase engagement of your remote workers

Is your business facing the challenges of efficient working patterns e.g. remote working, flexible working hours and zero contract hours? The physical separation can create circumstances in which conventional management approaches may no longer be appropriate. How can you remain effective in your leadership but also increase your employee engagement and retain your remote working staff?

▼ What do you need to do?

  • Strengthen the bond with your employees by building meaningful relationships
  • Increase your visibility & accessibility as a manager or a leader
  • Reduce professional isolation of your remote staff
  • Increase perceived fairness by your team

▼ How to achieve this? 

Drive your organisational culture of the remote workers As a leader you can indirectly influence the motivation, behaviour and empowerment of your team by changing the culture towards one of relations-oriented behaviours. Improved culture will improve the climate for psychological contracts.

▼ Ensure your workers have meaningful and diverse work assignments, task autonomy and recognition

This will not only increase their satisfaction, engagement and commitment but also motivate them to aim for a greater scope for personal achievement, more challenging assignments and increased opportunities for advancement and growth.

▼ Mentor your employees through open and supportive environment

Drive and reinforce remote employee performance and positive behavioural change through goal-focused active listening, feedback and coaching. Clearly communicate strategic corporate expectations including how their job outcomes fit into the bigger company strategy and customer mission. Provide resources and tools for them to be able to perform their jobs and communicate amongst each other.

▼ Link organisational strategy with your HR practices e.g. reward and strong organisational design

Organisational strategy impacts on the employment contract through HR practices which implement it. If you provide your team with roles that have clear accountability, flexibility, stimulation and value, you are more likely to build job satisfaction and engagement in your team. This needs to be balanced with a reward strategy (salary, bonus and benefits) that supports the attraction and retention of staff.

▼ Adopt consultative and participative management style 

Encourage your team to contribute ideas and effort towards identifying and setting organisational goals and involve them in decision-making. This will mitigate the feeling of professional isolation from your team and therefore increase their engagement with the organisation.

▼ Employ face-to-face communication 

Implementing a communication strategy focusing more on face-to-face meetings than primarily relying on emails and phone calls, will build more meaningful workplace relationships with remote workers and will reinforce team roles, responsibilities and conflict resolution. This will reduce the feeling of professional isolation.

▼ Match the right tasks with the workplace attractors

Relationships, contribution, recognition, work fit, flexibility, learning, responsibility, innovation, security, location – identify the work attractors that your employees value most to keep them loyal to your organisation.

▼ Ensure your management style is fair 

When your team perceives a sense of fairness i.e. they feel valued as individuals, they tend to believe in the goals and values of your organisation and are willing to exert more effort on its behalf.  Conversely, when this isn’t in place it is a significant demotivating factor and will impact staff retention.

Transformational leadership is about consultative and participative behaviours by mentoring your employees through open and supportive work environments. Organisational strategies are key to building a positive relationship with your remote site workers but must also be combined with excellent and visible management.

As a manager are also expected to demonstrate increased visibility and accessibility through open communication consisting of increased face-to-face communication, connecting your team through collective organisational goals, and formally recognising your team’s efforts.

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Post originally published via the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) – click here

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