eight profitable suggestions for connecting with hard-to-reach workers
With so many of us working remotely and sometimes feeling connected around the clock, it can be hard to believe there are employees who are hard to reach with communication. However, many organizations have key stakeholders with limited visibility to executives or even their supervisors. These people may be constantly on the move from their home base, in a production hall with no phone or email access, or part of a global organization whose team members are literally in different worlds – across different continents, cultures and time zones.
So what can you do to get in touch with those hard-to-reach employees while also managing those who are usually in the office but are working remotely for the time being?
As with any communication challenge, connecting with hard-to-reach employees (and all employees) starts with thinking about your audience and then understanding how they'd like to receive information.
- What is important to you and how is it best communicated?
- What is the best thing to grab your attention?
- What information do they need to get their job done (and what could be too much information)?
- How can you help connect the dots between your work and corporate goals?
As much as they appreciate the convenience of being on the go or working remotely, people who are not in person at work can feel far removed from their co-workers. They still need human connections, conversations and insights – especially from their supervisor or manager – even when they are miles away or in the workshop.
Here are 8 tips you can use to help remote or hard-to-reach employees feel included and valued:
- Communicate predictablyBe planned and strategic when staying in touch with your team, especially during uncertain times when they are concerned and need encouragement. Establish regular meeting times and encourage dialogue during the meetings. Make sure team members know that invisibility doesn't mean misunderstanding and explain how best to contact you if necessary. This helps them know that their posts and questions are welcome, and gives them a sense of when to expect feedback.
- Answer quicklyAn afternoon can seem like forever to someone waiting for your input or response but not seeing that you are busy or in an all-day meeting. Even a quick email or text is helpful to acknowledge receipt of your message and to say when to reply. Share your daily calendar with coworkers so they can see when you are in meetings or out of the office. Do your best to answer questions when they are asked and when you don't know the answer say it and follow within 24 to 48 hours.
- Share what you know, what you don't know, and what you find outEspecially in times of change and uncertainty, employees need to hear from you more often, even if you haven't figured out everything. Chances are you know a lot That would be helpful for your employees. While you may have to wait to communicate until you have more answers, more clarity, and more detail – resist the temptation to wait. It's best to share what you know and invite a dialogue about what they think.
- Often guessThe little things mean a lot to an employee who has little interaction with their manager or colleagues. Show appreciation for a job well done and Recognize employees who deliver what you need or respond quickly, especially for those who are not face-to-face with you and your colleagues. Highlight the achievements of hard-to-reach employees in team meetings via corporate communications and the intranet.
- Pick up the phone or plan more frequent personal contact pointsWhen you hear your voice and know that you took the time to get in touch, you are showing employees that they are valued. Use these opportunities to find out how they are personally, what support they need in their daily work and how you can help. Take the opportunity to listen to their needs and collect information about what concerns them.
- Schedule regular shift meetingsHold regular shift meetings for all teams so managers can share company updates with employees. A The planned cadence of the connection points gives you regular and natural opportunities to exchange updates and have an open dialogue on various topics.
- Use group text messaging to your advantageUse group text messaging to deliver important or urgent messages to highly mobile workers. Integrate this approach as a channel in your communication plans and, if possible, links to articles or pages on the company's intranet that contain more information.
- Train supervisors to improve their communication skills with remote workersWherever they are, employees need to hear important messages repeatedly So that they can sneak in and they want information from their managers about their daily work. While employees rate managers as their preferred information channel, research by Gartner shows that many managers feel ill-equipped to communicate consistently. portion Frontline leaders understand and practice effective communication can help their teams and the organization.
Remember, employees need to know their voices will be heard, whether they're on the go, in the shop, or working remotely with technology.
What steps do you take to connect and connect with your remote workers?
– David Grossman
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