Video meetings, persistent team chat, and consistent in-person connections are all important for keeping a connected feeling with remote employees, says Lisa Walker, Vice President of Brand & Corporate Marketing at Fuze. “Remote employees will always talk about how they feel disconnected from HQ and disconnected from the company,” notes Walker. “That’s just one of the things you always hear from people who are remote.”
Lisa Walker, Vice President of Brand & Corporate Marketing at Fuze, discusses how to keep your remote employees feeling connected in an interview with Logan Lyles of Sweet Fish Media on the B2B Growth Podcast:
There is Just a More Personal Connection With Video
What’s really interesting in managing a distributed team is the importance of video meetings. We know that if a leader turns on video then the rest of the employees on the call will turn on video as well. You have to lead by example there. The nice thing about video is that you are seeing everybody. There is just a more personal connection when you are able to see everyone.
What I say to both managers and employees participating in video call is that it is all about creating the perfect frame. You don’t have to have a clean house, but you have to have a clean shot of yourself in the video. There is kind of a personal brand here. If you have a large team on a video conference from around the country or around the world, everyone has that opportunity to present a personal brand moment. You should be curating at least one good frame. There could be chaos around that frame but there is an opportunity for you to be consistent on that weekly team call.
Video Meetings Help Remote Teams Feel Connected
Every time that team call happens and that video flips on you know what you are getting from people. That’s what we are talking about in terms of work mode. You have to create environments where you can be productive. One of those important environments is video. I think it is really important as a manager to have those video meetings. In those video meetings when you get together, start with a few of those conversations that are more personal and then segway into company updates.
Remote employees will always talk about how they feel disconnected from HQ and disconnected from the company. That’s just one of the things you always hear from people who are remote. Make sure that you are getting ahead of things your team may be hearing about the company. It’s important that you give a very transparent company update when starting a video call. Then get into the team stuff. Just do those first two things off the bat to make sure the team is feeling connected.
Keep a Persistent Team Chat Going
Second, for me is chat. Some people do it over Slack. We obviously here do it over Fuze. There are lots of different tools out there. Keeping a persistent team chat going in that asynchronous communication is just a great way to have the team feel bonded. They will talk about personal and professional in that chat stream and that’s fine. For specific projects where it needs to be more formal, you can create those project chat streams that are separate.
Bring People Together In Person
The third thing, which is the hardest, because it cost more money, is bringing people together in person as often as you can. For us, within the marketing team at Fuze, we do that twice a year at a minimum. We just did that this past week. It was wonderful. We had our sales kickoff and then we stayed together as a marketing team yesterday and had that time together. Make sure that you are finding those opportunities and making the case for budget if you need to.
The other thing that a lot of managers don’t do and is a potential missed opportunity is that when you are out in other cities meeting with customers or at a conference if you have an employee within striking distance, meet them. Even if there is no office there, take them to coffee or lunch. Take those opportunities, don’t just fly in and out. If you have employees in that region, find a way to go have a personal connection with them and meet face to face.
>> Listen to the complete B2B Growth podcast interview.
What is Fuze?
Fuze sees itself as part of the future of work movement. Digital technologies are generating significant opportunities for both people and companies alike. Employees are demanding consumer-like experiences to match technology in their personal lives, with greater flexibility on where and how they work. Work is personal and employees want the opportunity to choose their workstyles, schedules, and tools.