How to create a sense of belonging for remote workers
The growing number of people who work from home or as independent contractors may wonder: what does ‘workplace culture’ mean? An organization’s culture should instill a sense of belonging in all its employees – that they’re members of a team with a common mission and that support is readily available.
A sense of belonging provides self-esteem and a sense of purpose. In its absence, the workplace becomes a ‘get through the day’ task instead of an opportunity for ideas to be shared.
When employees feel like they belong to their companies, they contribute to a positive culture; they are enthusiastic about their jobs and the company; they are engaged, and they are productive.
When employees feel like they are a part of the organization, they will work harder and spend more time and effort on their work. In contrast, a lack of belonging leads to people doing what’s expected and not much more. Additionally, they have less incentive to develop meaningful relationships.
People in the best companies feel that they are personally responsible for the organization’s success, and even feel connected to it.
Now that you know how vital it is for an organization to have a sense of belonging. Here are 7 ways for your remote workers to feel a sense of belonging
1. Give Plenty Of Opportunities To Remote Employees
Often, remote employees feel cut off from their teams and far from meeting planning when they are on the road. Managers would do well to allow their team members to take part in planning team meetings in advance.
You can show remote workers that they are key members of your team by allowing them to contribute to a meeting’s agenda. Also, it can help participants overcome communication challenges and mitigate any discomfort they may experience in a group setting.
2. Schedule Visual Meetings Timely
A weekly conference call or Zoom meeting with remote workers is helpful. It’s important to create regular group or one-on-one meetings with remote employees in order to ensure that they feel included and supported at work. In addition to being on camera, a phone call is an alternative in case a video call is not possible. The benefit of such get-togethers is that they show people that you care about them enough to invest your time with them.
3. Networking Opportunities To Employees
When your team meets virtually – especially if they are logging in from a distance – it’s important to give them the chance to network. Fun networking job opportunities can be introduced to every meeting, perhaps using prompts to stimulate discussion and connections. These prompts can provide an opportunity for individuals from diverse backgrounds and levels to learn about one another and connect with one another.
4. Be Mindful Of Time Zones
Make decisions after you’ve heard from everyone who should be involved to make sure people in all time zones feel included. Additionally, if you sometimes need to ask a colleague to join a meeting outside of their normal working hours, we recommend skipping video. People are more likely to jump on and participate if they aren’t expected to look good in front of the camera.
5. Send Them Physical Packages
Make your employees or teammates feel special and wanted. Often, send them cakes, or some snacks along with a thank you card stating how much important they are to the company and you are grateful to them for contributing to the organization’s growth. This gesture will make them feel important and special.
6. Recognize Your Employees’ Efforts
Another way to create a sense of belonging is by sending an email to your team when something good happens and highlighting the individual remote team members who are making a positive contribution. You can also express your gratitude in other ways, such as sending remote workers to store gift cards or company-branded promotional materials, such as notebooks or pens, to “give them a physical reminder of your acknowledgment.
7. Take Time To Recognize Things That Affect Workers
You can also create a sense of belonging when you take time out from your busy schedule to interact with the remote workers. Have a healthy and interactive conversation with them and ask if they are facing any issues in the organization. Ignoring issues is the quickest way to make someone feel ignored. Make your employees feel seen and important. Remote jobs are already dealing with professional and personal challenges, make sure to listen to their issues and get them resolved.
To make remote employees feel valued and integrated into the company culture, managers and colleagues can take practical steps. Your small efforts can make someone feel important to the company. Understand your employees and the challenges they are facing. They are an important resource, make them noticed and heard.