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9 Ways to Better Manage Remote Workforces to Avoid Cultural Divide

January 19, 2022 | By Accurate Background

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According to a report by Accurate, just 45% of managers indicate that they get the education and training necessary to manage their remote workforces. What is one way to best manage a remote workforce to avoid the company culture divide that may exist in a hybrid or remote workplace environment?

To help you avoid a culture divide in a hybrid work environment, we asked business professionals and leaders this question for their insights. From checking in constantly to knowing when to listen, there are several things you can do in a hybrid work environment to best manage a remote workforce and avoid a culture divide.

Here are nine ways to better manage remote workforces and avoid cultural division:

  • Check-in Constantly
  • Prioritize Time to Connect
  • Share All Project Highlights
  • Listen to Your Employees
  • Celebrate Wins Often and Loudly
  • Incorporate Interactive Training Tools and Technology
  • Normalize Informal Feedback
  • Use a Work Collaboration Platform
  • Know When to Listen

Check-in Constantly

One of the biggest differences between the two spaces is a need for a well-balanced check-in system. In traditional offices, managers can observe employees doing work or solicit informal updates upon running into each other in the building. In virtual workspaces, the check-in process needs to be more regular, mindful, and intentional. A remote supervisor who checks in too frequently gives off micromanagement vibes and erodes trust, but one who checks in too infrequently can leave employees feeling lost, unsupported, or isolated. Managing remotely means employing multiple check-in options such as periodic video meetings, weekly self-evaluation forms, virtual one-to-ones, and project management software. These tactics can help employees feel more connected to managers, coworkers, the company, and the work. Here is a guide to managing remote teams: https://teambuilding.com/blog/manage-remote-teams

Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding

Prioritize Time to Connect

Nothing – nothing – is more important than managers’ connection with their team members. Leaders who are successful at nurturing remote teams know that it pays dividends when they budget and invest in connecting. Prioritize time to connect, whether via Chat (like MS Teams, Slack, WhatsApp, or text message). Pop open a video chat when an email string gets too long and overly complicated. Use your tools and get together virtually! And, don’t underestimate the power of a quick, “Hello! How are you? How can I help you today?” goes a long way. In addition, hosting a weekly 1:1 meeting to review tasks and priorities will be a key to staying connected and aligned. Results will follow!

Niki Ramirez, HRAnswers.org

Share All Project Highlights

One of the crucial aspects of unifying employees is ensuring they know what their colleagues are working on. That’s a natural glue for their professional relationships. It helps start conversations and unlock synergies, such as using one person’s findings to inform another project.

Rebeca Sena, GetSpace.digital

Listen to Your Employees

The best way to manage a remote workforce is to listen to your employees. Most companies are still trying to figure out how to manage their remote workforce, and having a workplace with unique individuals with different personalities in different locations can make it all the more challenging. Also, after a year of remote work, most people have also experienced Zoom fatigue.

Recently, instead of having a meeting every morning, we started skipping some days or changing the time of our daily meetings. We have also incorporated fun activities online via Zoom and or in-person at our shared workspace. This was all done based on team feedback.

Rronniba Pemberton, Markitors

Celebrate Wins Often & Loudly

Remote and hybrid workforces have benefits, but it also leads to disconnected team members. One way managers can stop that divide is to celebrate team wins often and loudly. If people are recognized for their day-to-day successes, it changes the team culture. Others will see those appreciations and will be inspired to do their best work as well. The visibility will also create a sense of connection and awareness that doesn’t exist otherwise. Everyone wants to feel like they’re winning, so find as many excuses to celebrate as possible.

Logan Mallory, Motivosity

Incorporate Interactive Training Tools and Technology

Training remote employees is one of the hardest things to do when working remotely. It is a challenge and many companies fall short on training their remote employees correctly. This is why it is so important to invest in the right tools and technology to make the training process more interactive and engaging. More will stick with the employee if the training is engaging and not drawn out and boring. Teaching employees how to use tools, manage situations, and work with employees is essential to training an employee effectively. Invest in the right tools and make it easier for your managers to train new employees and make it easier for them to manage them in the long run.

John Wu, Gryphon Connect

Normalize Informal Feedback

One of the effective ways to avoid a company culture divide in remote and hybrid work settings is to ask for regular feedback.

It is more challenging to identify cultural shifts in the workplace. That is why the importance of constant and regular feedback is more apparent in remote and hybrid settings. Performing anonymous surveys and one-on-one virtual interviews will help determine if there is a cultural divide occurring.

This way, business leaders can address these problems in real-time and avoid their development to organizational silos.

Lisa Richards, The Candida Diet

Use a Work Collaboration Platform

The most actionable method is to standardize the communication within the company by using a work collaboration platform that also functions as a communication tool. You need to make sure that you integrate your remote workforce into all the critical decision-making processes and make sure that information accessible to the employees in a hybrid workplace is also accessible to them.

Kathryn McDavid, Editor’s Pick

Know When to Listen

Leaders had to adapt to the new remote work reality without having much time to prepare. Initially, their primary role was to manage their teams virtually and deliver on pre-pandemic goals. However, effective leadership involves much more than that. It’s also about social skills, such as empathy and emotional intelligence, to support team members in these challenging times.

The key lies in finding the right balance between showing understanding towards your employees and keeping your finger on the pulse regarding their performance. Successful leaders recognize the right time to motivate their employees and know when to listen, show empathy, and provide help.

At Zety, we found it helpful to schedule weekly individual meetings with each team member to be aware of any challenges they might be facing. You don’t want to step into their private sphere but show that you are there for them if you see anything alarming.

Peter Bryla, Zety

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