As we begin a new year, it’s becoming increasingly clear that remote work is here to stay. Your team members don’t want to go back to their pre-pandemic daily commutes, and you may have found that remote work has had an overall positive impact on your organization.
But the transition to remote work won’t come without some challenges. Remote workers may struggle with feeling isolated or burned out, collaborating with colleagues, or losing motivation. And your managers may not be well equipped to help their team members overcome these challenges. It’s important to better support your managers through this transition, so they can do the same for their teams.
Here’s how you can set your managers up for success with their remote teams in 2022.
Update your policies and processes to better support remote work
HR policies and processes outline company-wide expectations and help your managers create a positive, consistent employee experience. If you haven’t already, develop or update your policies and processes to ensure they will support your remote or hybrid team in 2022. This might include:
- Your remote employee onboarding process. Onboarding remote workers usually differs from onboarding colocated team members. For instance, your managers may need to schedule virtual team introductions in advance via Zoom, rather than simply walking around the office to meet colleagues. Think through these details and incorporate them into your remote onboarding process to help managers create a strong employee experience from day 1. And make sure you gather feedback from remote and colocated team members alike to improve your onboarding process over time.
- Your remote work policy. The transition to remote work happened suddenly for many organizations, and informal policies may have been developed on-the-fly or even on a manager-by-manager basis. And companies that already embraced remote work prior to the pandemic may have changed some of their policies to be more flexible and supportive. Document everything—including eligibility requirements, expectations for availability, and reimbursable expenses—so your managers have a formal remote work policy to reference. This can help them answer their team member questions correctly and ensure a consistent employee experience across the organization.
- Compensation policy. If employee relocation might result in a pay adjustment, make sure that’s reflected in your compensation policy. Over half (55 percent) of people considered relocating last year, but only 21 percent actually did. And 50 percent of workers said a pay adjustment would be very or extremely influential in their decision to voluntarily relocate. Make sure your policy is clear upfront so managers can discuss the possibility of remote pay adjustments with their team members when it comes up.
Provide the tools managers need to support remote workers
Remote and hybrid teams benefit from the right infrastructure to support productivity, collaboration, and remote inclusion. If you don’t already have them, you may want to consider these tools for your remote workforce:
- Project management tools like Asana and Wrike provide a shared view of projects to all stakeholders so everyone understands their role in project completion. This aids team collaboration, while allowing managers to stay informed of each project’s status.
- Instant messaging tools like Slack or Google Chat enable informal communication through channels and direct messages. When managers and their remote team members can’t simply tap one another on the shoulder to check-in or ask a quick question, instant messaging can bridge the remote communication gap.
- File sharing solutions like Google Drive and Dropbox allow your team to create, store, and share files on the cloud. This ensures that teams are able to access the most up-to-date files for their projects no matter where they’re located.
- Video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts enable virtual meetings. This will allow managers to get “face time” with their remote team members for regular one-on-one meetings, while also enabling stronger collaboration between team members.
- Performance management tools like Kallidus Perform enable continuous employee feedback so your team members understand their goals and progress toward them. This is particularly helpful for remote team members, who may otherwise fall victim to proximity bias during review cycles.
Offer manager training programs
Many of your managers may be supporting remote teams for the first time. Incorporate some manager training programs, like Kallidus Learn, to help set them up for success. For example, you might want to train managers on things like:
- Management soft skills, such as communication, empathy, and delegation.
- Remote employee engagement and retention strategies, including recognition, professional development, and virtual team building.
- Your policies and procedures, and how to talk about them with team members.
- Technology power user techniques.
Final thoughts on setting managers up for success in 2022
There will undoubtedly be more challenges and opportunities ahead as we settle into our new normal. Stay in tune with your managers to anticipate and address areas where more support will be needed. If you take care of your managers, they can better care for their teams.