Growing and nurturing a healthy company culture can be difficult when you only see your team for a few minutes each week. This can be especially challenging if those moments are hampered with deadlines, challenges, and discontent.
But one of the easiest ways to overcome this dilemma with your remote teams and workers is to ask the right questions.
Questions are how people form a bond and build trust.
By asking the right questions that are purposeful and appropriate in tone, you can establish better team cohesion.
Asking the right questions allows company leaders to connect with their teams and makes room for a highly engaged workforce – even if they work all over the world.
Here are some questions designed to help you provide a robust culture and support your remote employees and teams.
How are you feeling, and what’s your energy level?
This may seem obvious, but when you are present with an employee, the quick check-in is done at the desk. You not only hear their answer, but you can see their non-verbal communication. This gives you insight into how the person is really feeling. It isn’t as easy to pick this information over email or instant messaging.
Overtly asking a person how they are feeling and what their energy level is like forces people to consider it. It also allows them to be open and honest about it. They don’t just have to say they are great!
What challenges are you currently facing?
It’s always important to find out what is not working, so it can be dealt with immediately before it gets out of hand. It doesn’t help the company or the employee if you let the small challenges turn into a quagmire of complicated messes that need to be untangled.
What wins did you have last week?
This question helps you learn what is going well for your remote worker. Allowing them to share both big and small wins helps you to recognise their hard work. This will help foster a positive connection with the remote worker and will enable them to understand their worth to the organisation.
How can we improve daily communication?
Every person has individual preferences and communication styles. Learning the preferences of your remote employees can help one on one meetings more impactful.
Knowing how and when you should communicate with the remote worker makes it easier for them to move forward with their work without interruption or resentment about being bothered all the time.
What aspects of your work do you find the most energising and purposeful?
Part of being an effective leader for your employees is learning about their unique strengths and abilities. An easy way to do this is to find out what gives them the most energy and excitement in their day. What they feel most alive when doing.
This allows you to match work to their strengths and drive performance. When you find out what type of work is the most meaningful to them, you learn what they are passionate about. This helps you curate more opportunities to help them grow and expand.
What is the most draining or challenging part of your role?
Finding out the difficulties can show you where their growth is being hindered. It can also indicate what type of work isn’t meaningful for them. This is just as telling as knowing what they find purposeful.
A remote employee may be trusted to execute a particular job well. Still, it doesn’t mean that they find any joy or excitement in the situation. You will never know this unless you explicitly ask the question.
What skill would you most like to improve?
As technology speeds up, new pathways for personal development in the workplace begin to take shape. For those working remotely, they often miss out on these opportunities.
Most employees have a deep desire to expand their skills, personally and professionally. And you, as the leader, can help them achieve that. Attempt to create opportunities for your employee to empower them to grow and develop alongside the company.
Are you completely clear on what your role is and what you are working on?
Role clarity fosters psychological safety. Without direction, employees flounder and don’t achieve – for themselves or the company. It is essential you make sure they are clear on what they are doing and why they are doing it.
When do you thrive the most – when you work with others or when you are alone?
Just because they are remote workers, it doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate human contact.
- If an employee is more introverted, they like to create space to develop their own ideas and work.
- If they are more social, they enjoy connecting with others to share ideas.
As the leader, it is your responsibility to implement ways for them to work within their personality type, so they feel safe and respected.
How do you recharge throughout the day?
Although it is believed remote employees have a lot of perks, it is well established they take fewer breaks than their office-based counterparts. You need to encourage them to look after their wellbeing by taking proper breaks, away from the computer; otherwise, it will lead to burnout.
Today, many companies are commencing to swing more towards remote work, some for the first time. Use these questions to build bridges and make sure that your remote workers are aware of their value within your organisation.
© The Remote Work Index