How do you stay on top of your remote workers? Through effective communication of course.
Remote work is becoming more and more common. Today, as much as 4.7 million or 3.4% of the U.S. population are working remotely. Many organizations have seen the value of outsourcing their talents in offshore markets. This allows them to enhance their business operations while keeping costs down. Companies enjoy the luxury of having improved productivity resulting from their employees’ increased morale. However, remote work does bring its own unique set of challenges that managers have to deal with. Among these is managing remote team communication.
There are indeed communication methods that you can leverage to pull this off easily. But in practice, things are a bit more complicated. Organizations have to understand that bridging an effective remote team communication path with their employees can be critical in ensuring the company’s continued growth.
Here’s how you can pull it off:
Strategies for Better Remote Team Communication
Different Cultures, Different Communication
Global communication means understanding that people can come from widely differing backgrounds and cultures. One obvious hurdle is the language barrier. You have to exert the utmost patience because not everyone will communicate the same way that you do. If you are outsourcing to the Philippines, you already know that language typically is not an issue as those in the BPO industry are largely English speakers having been educated in English schools.
That said, you have to learn about their culture and how they communicate. This way, it will be easier to establish some common ground where your team can understand one another. Here are some useful tips to help you get it right:
Train Your Managers
It pays to have your managers receive cultural awareness training to equip them better when working with employees with various cultural backgrounds.
Avoid the Jargon
Whenever you meet with your team, avoid highly specific jargon or localized expressions, which may confuse the other parties. Try to use simple terms and be concise with what you want to communicate.
Set a Norm and Stick to It
When working with a multicultural team, you may have to deal with different working styles and personal preferences. As such, it is still important to have a norm that everyone on the team should stick to. Instead of having your managers dictate their preferences, encourage them to use methods that will work best for the team.
When you often manage your team via email or other communication channels, it can sometimes feel impersonal and cold. Since you may be working from different time zones, working hours may differ. Expecting your workers to reply to your email as soon as you send them may be unrealistic. It can be easy to lose the humanity of communicating with your remote workers, leading to frustration. Moreover, this frustration can lead to more internal issues. That’s why it is crucial to have at least weekly or monthly feedback sessions with your team.
Know where they are coming from both in their work and personal matters. When your remote workers feel that you understand where they are coming from, you can expect more transparency on their part, This is one of the elements of proper collaboration. Here are some tips to help you:
Start from Onboarding
If you want to make your remote workers feel a sense of belongingness, it should start from your onboarding process. It is a given that most onboarding will deal with mostly HR concerns and other functional tasks. However, it should also include social onboarding that allows new hires to get the human connection right away.
Make It Part of Your Culture
Establishing a human connection is not a one-time thing. It should be present throughout your organization. While it does not have to be company-wide all the time, it helps to maintain this culture within teams. Allow them to have virtual meetings where they can discuss anything else but work.
Improve Collaborative Work
Teams often have different projects they are working on. But, it pays to have different teams work together. Not only is it good for business, but it is also good for your employees. They can be allowed to showcase their work to other members of the team and it allows for flexibility.
Meet the Team
A global company may have upper management that may choose to delegate some of the tasks to the more senior team members. While it may be effective in managing the overall operations, it is still a good practice to ensure that everyone in the team knows each other, including their roles and working hours. When you meet your team, you can get a better insight into what improvements you can make in your processes. Here are some ideas that bring results:
If possible, set a video call meeting at least once a week just to see what everyone else is up to. It can be to discuss what everyone else did during the weekend or just about anything that isn’t work-related.
Unlike culture breaks, your team bonding sessions can be done at least once a month. In these sessions, you can have anyone from your team take the lead into providing activities that can boost the morale of each team member.
Lunch and Learn Sessions
One of the ways you can encourage your team is by providing them with opportunities for growth. By setting collaborative exercises, it would be easier to learn what their professional interests are and how they can impact your organization. Not only will it help them familiarize themselves with the business, but it is also a good way to enrich them professionally.
Communication is critical in ensuring that your global company has what it takes to manage remote employees. Learning effective global communication strategies can help solve some of the many challenges that companies have to deal with. Once you’ve mastered remote team communication, you will quickly realize how your workers’ morale can significantly increase productivity.
MultiplyMii offers bespoke offshore staffing solutions that help ease your global communication woes. Learn what we can do for your business, schedule a call now.