5 Tips to Develop a Stronger Relationship with Your Remote Workers

One of the potential challenges of transitioning to a remote work model is to maintain a strong relationship with your team members. Since you don’t get to see each other every day, it can be easy to feel out of touch, even if you’re emailing or pinging each other throughout the day, especially if you are now 100% remote.

Here are some tips that can help you continue to build a strong relationship with your remote workers:

Schedule One-on-One Calls

Dedicating time to each of your team members individually, is a valuable practice, as it builds engagement and makes them feel important. Start by having an authentic and personal conversation. Check-in on them, see how they’re feeling and how their families are doing. If you have recently adopted this work model due to COVID-19, ask how they’re feeling about their new routine and if they need help. Create a safe environment for them to feel like they can also share non-work-related topics with you. Make time to talk about their personal development and, finally, touch on work, if you feel like there’s anything you need to discuss. Try to limit the work-related conversation to just performance factors that may need addressing. Anything else, like progress on projects, tasks, etc., should be discussed during touchpoint calls with the entire team.

Choose Video Calls over Voice Calls

Having a remote team doesn’t mean you can’t see each other at all anymore. Technology has made it possible for people to see each other even if they’re not physically together. Whenever possible, choose video calls rather than relying only on emails, chats, or voice calls. That virtual face-to-face interaction minimizes the sense of being alone or isolated. Additionally, it is a great way to maximize meeting effectiveness, since there is less temptation to multitask while they’re on camera, thus paying more attention to the topics discussed.

Make Time for Non-Work-Related Meetings

Schedule a call once or twice a week, just to “hang out” and catch up on a more personal level. Make this time 100% non-work related. Talk about what they do outside of work, share funny stories, hobbies, play games. The list of options is endless, from virtual happy hours to virtual charades to virtual book clubs, and everything in between. Just get a little creative and take some time to break away from the stress of your daily routine.

Remind Them Their Opinion Matters

Your team understands your processes from a different perspective than you —as a business owner— do. Let them know their feedback is necessary to make things work well. Remind them they have the power to speak up when they identify roadblocks, have any questions or concerns, or suggestions for improvement. That will remind them they are a valuable asset to your business, helping increase engagement and loyalty.

Celebrate the Wins

Make it a habit to recognize your team for the little things, as well as the big things they do. In our society today, we very quickly focus more on pointing out the negative and end up overlooking the positive. Merely saying “thank you” can be a great strategy to build stronger and better relationships.