Gasp… Ask the remote workers what I can do for them!

Have you been considering remote staff? We asked Nathalie Lynton, a veteran HR professional, about how she has engaged and managed her remote employees.

"During my 18 years in HR my motto has been ‘The further away from HQ an employee is the double the love the love they get'.

We do this by way of care packages sent over to let the person know we are thinking of them. A small gift can go a long way. A bottle of wine with a note to say thanks for your input and enjoy your weekend is a powerful statement. I’ve also done the reverse, when gearing up for a big a project sending a tea and coffee selection with a note to say “We’ll muck in together” can go a long way too.

Though sometimes a remote worker is not so remote as you would think. It could be that my remote worker is on a client site 20 kms away for 6 months and they start to become part of client’s culture. In HR circles, its referred to with the un-PC term as ‘Going Native’. Your employee becomes disengaged from your company culture and engaged in your client’s cultur e. Often times they resign from your organisation only to join your client. Though only 20 or kms away they are more emotionally ‘remote’ that a traditional remote worker. You need to keep them in the fold."

One of the best ways you can get the most out of your remote people is to ensure they have the right tools to ensure they can collaborate effectively.
— Nathalie Lynton

"One of the best ways you can get the most out of your remote people is to ensure they have the right tools to ensure they can collaborate effectively. Remote workers need, all employees need, a seamless user experience that allows them access to apps and information from anywhere and on any device. Enterprise mobility tools that support users are fundamental to keeping remote workers engaged. Likewise, a unified communications to keep all the teams and people connected is critical to keeping remote people feel less remote. Fully enabled Sykpe for Business Office 365 / Azure that facilitates people knowing who is on-line, allowing instant messaging, instant video calls, group chats it’s all critical for a collaborative experience.

I also book in extra time in the remote worker’s managers diary to check in in them more regularly, so they don’t feel so out on a limb, I ensure they are invited to all meeting virtually and assign HQ Coffee Companion. This is where a person at HQ will go for a virtual coffee online in a video conference with the remote worker. They go and get a get coffee and sit back down and drink and talk and have their coffee once a week or so. Remote workers miss out on vital water cooler conversations, this loops them back in.  

The other thing I do and have done is – Gasp…. Ask the remote workers what I can do for them!"

You can check out Nathalie through her LinkedIn profile here

Jo Palmer