During this time of supreme health and safety measures for our employees, and rapid transitions for many teams going remote, here are some reminders that are the backbone of high functioning remote programs:
1. Front line supervisors need high touch with employees. The best way to ensure supervisors (who are new to remote working) consistently interact with their employees - is to calendar it. Schedule it until it becomes habit. At least one interaction (formal or informal) per day, per employee.
2. Fast response time - remote employees need to feel connected to their colleagues and their supervisors, and if work from home is new to them, fast response time is critical. Keep your supervisors out of meetings/away from admin tasks, and on their computers, where they can interact with their employees for most of each work day.
3. Set and share expectations for both employees and supervisors on a) how quickly they will respond to each other b) visibility and participation in daily chat rooms c) visibility and participation in team meetings/huddles. Going remote is not "going quiet."
4. Hold frequent huddles and team meetings, using video if possible. Minimum once per week is recommended. The goal is to invite/prompt reps to share their experiences with each other, raise their questions, be seen and heard. If band width/video is a problem at certain day parts in your business, calendar the video meetings, aligning with other work groups. Even 15-20 minute meetings will drive connectivity. Celebrate work and personal things that your employees value. Camaraderie comes over on video - it works!
5. Leverage chat rooms/Microsoft Teams/Slack, etc. for real time exchanges and connectivity. Employees feel lively, visible and connected when they are active with their colleagues in dedicated virtual meeting spaces. Lead your exchanges away from IM/email, and into your chat channels. Make your chat channels "the place" where exchanges happen. When you leaders do that, your employees will follow.