With more and more employees working remotely, it has become increasingly important for human resources (HR) departments to provide support to ensure that these remote teams remain productive and successful. However, this is a task that is easier said than done.
Unfortunately, a whopping 86% of fully remote employees admit to experiencing workplace burnout, with 67% reporting that they feel pressured to be available at all times. Not only can this be detrimental to productivity, but it can also lead to higher turnover rates and decreased morale among team members - which can in turn disrupt the overall success of an organization.
In order to address these issues, HR departments must be proactive when it comes to providing support for their remote teams. Let's take a look at some strategies HR departments can use to maximize their support and provide effective guidance for remote workers.
Set clear expectations from the beginning
It's pivotal for HR departments to establish concrete objectives and expectations right away. This includes outlining specific timelines, setting boundaries and standards that remote teams must follow, and ensuring full comprehension of every task at hand among all team members.
If there is any ambiguity, HR teams should communicate openly and proactively with both remote employees and their managers in order to ensure that everyone involved understands what is expected of them. This can help to eliminate any confusion and ensure that teams are prepared and focused on their tasks.
Foster open communication and collaboration
One of the primary challenges of managing remote teams is that it can be difficult to foster open communication and collaboration. With face-to-face interaction eliminated, getting people to communicate openly and regularly is tricky since the majority of communication is done through emails, phone calls, and other digital channels.
This reduces the chance for idle chatter and even meaningful conversations that can quickly break down barriers, build relationships, and create a sense of community. To address this issue, HR teams should strive to create an environment where open and honest dialogue is encouraged. This means having regular check-ins or video calls, setting up online forums or chat rooms for team members to engage in conversations, and scheduling team-building activities.
Make HR open and accessible
What is core HR within your organization and what type of HR services are available? Is there a dedicated HR team for remote teams or do they have to rely on the centralized HR department? These are all important questions that HR departments must answer in order to ensure an effective remote working environment.
By making HR open and accessible, it is easier for remote teams to seek guidance and support when they need it. HR departments should also provide resources such as online courses, videos, or webinars that help remote employees stay informed and up-to-date on workplace policies.
Provide access to mental health resources
As mentioned before, burnout is a common issue among remote employees. This generally occurs when there is a lack of balance between work and personal life, or when employees feel isolated from their teams. In order to combat this issue, it is important for HR departments to provide access to mental health resources so that employees can take the necessary steps to alleviate any stress or anxiety they may be feeling.
This can include providing access to counselors, offering flexible working hours or a work-from-home policy, and offering discounts on online mindfulness courses.
Ask for feedback
Feedback is the cornerstone of any successful team, so it is important for HR departments to solicit feedback from their remote teams regularly. This can be done through surveys or online forums, or by simply engaging in one-on-one conversations with team members.
By asking for feedback, HR teams can get a better idea of how their remote teams are doing and what changes need to be made in order to ensure that everyone stays productive and happy. You should also consider setting up an anonymous feedback system if employees are reluctant to share their opinions publicly as this can encourage honesty and openness.
Provide ample opportunities for training and development
Another major hurdle that organizations struggle with is providing remote employees with ample opportunities for training and development. With most training sessions taking place offline, it can be difficult for teams to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and technologies.
This is especially true in hybrid environments, as the employees that are situated in the office may feel as though they have access to more opportunities than their remote counterparts. To address this issue, HR teams should look for ways to create an equitable learning experience, such as providing online courses that are available to all team members or hosting virtual training sessions.
Remote workforces offer a multitude of advantages for both employers and workers alike, yet managing these teams can be tricky. Fortunately, HR departments can provide the necessary frameworks to ensure that remote staff are set up for success by implementing policies and procedures that promote communication, collaboration, and development.
To create a fulfilling work environment and help remote teams reach their highest performance, HR departments should ensure clear expectations are set for employees, maintain open communication channels between team members, as well as provide access to mental health resources. This will not only increase motivation among workers but also boost morale which in turn can make sure that everyone stays productive and engaged.