The rise of remote work has changed the way companies are managing remote employees and as the trend continues, it’s crucial to ensure that all employees feel included, regardless of where they work from.
As a HR leader or executive within your company, you play an important role in fostering a culture of inclusiveness and diversity.
A more inclusive workplace not only benefits your team, staff, or employees, it can also lead to increased productivity, job satisfaction, and more positive company culture.
And we know that when our staff feel like they belong, they are more inclined to want to achieve more successes for the organisation, they are more productive, and they are happier in their everyday work lives.
And don’t we all deserve to work for an employer who makes us feel like we are valued, respected, and supported?
With this in mind, in this article we’re going to dive into five ways you can create a more inclusive work environment for all staff, including your WFH team members.
Tip 1: Clearly define expectations when managing remote employees
One of the key challenges in managing remote employees is ensuring that everyone is on the same page when it comes to expectations. Take the time to clearly define expectations for all employees – in-office and remote.
Establish clear and concise guidelines for communication, working hours, and the use of company resources. This helps remote employees feel more confident in their work and helps to prevent misunderstandings.
This can be done through regular check-ins, establishing clear working processes and procedures, and ensuring your instructions for each task or project are clear and understood by everyone involved.
Tip 2: Encourage open communication and regular check-ins
Open communication is essential in building an inclusive workplace, and this is especially true when it comes to remote employees.
It’s important for managers to establish clear channels for both formal and information communications. Many remote teams use office chat programs such as Slack and Teams to hold informal conversations – these build connections and offer other forms of communication.
Regular check-ins, whether by phone, video call, or email, are a great way to keep remote employees connected to the rest of the team and ensure that everyone is on track.
It’s also important to encourage all team members to share their thoughts and ideas, and to provide feedback and support when needed.
Tip 3: Foster a sense of community among remote workers
One of the biggest challenges of remote work is feeling isolated and disconnected from others.
Managers can take steps to foster a sense of community for all, by creating opportunities for remote employees to get to know each other and build relationships. This could include anything from virtual coffee breaks, through to team-building icebreaker activities, or even a virtual lunch or an after-work social drink.
It’s important to recognise and celebrate remote employee’s contributions to the company – consider birthdays, work anniversaries, culturally symbolic dates, or other milestones as opportunities for connection.
Tip 4: Provide equal opportunities for career development
Remote employees should have the same opportunities for career growth and development as their in-person co-workers.
This means that as inclusive leaders, you’re going to want to offer training, mentorship, and other professional development opportunities to all employees, regardless of their location.
Regular performance evaluations and goal-setting sessions can also help remote employees to stay on track with their professional development.
Unsure how to start here? Simply ask your staff what their career development goals are.
Tip 5: Ensure equal access to resources and technology
All employees need access to the resources and technologies required to successfully fulfil the requirements of their roles.
This includes things like access to company software and databases, hardware like laptops and mobile phones, and other tools and resources.
On top of the physical tools they need, remote employees will also need to be aware of the processes in place to resolve any technical or access issues they encounter while working from home, whether through a help desk, online resources, or other means.
Building a more inclusive remote workplace
Managing remote employees can be challenging, but by following these five tips, you can create a more inclusive workplace for all employees and their diverse working requirements.
By fostering open communication, a sense of community, and providing equal opportunities, you can ensure that remote employees feel valued, respected, supported and connected to the team.
Supporting your leaders to learn more
When it comes to creating inclusive workplaces, leaders don’t just know what to do – they need to learn the skills of inclusion and then practice these daily.
Empower your leaders through our Inclusion Habits for Leaders program where we teach them exactly what they need to do to ensure their teams feel included, that they belong, and are happy to come to work every day.
Ready to get started? Complete our questionnaire to see if you qualify for the program and we will be in touch directly with your next steps.