If you don’t like the term “remote” workforce because it sounds just too far away? We’re with you. Engagement Multiplier has teams in both Chicago and the UK, but we’re far from remote – because we make a point to stay connected.
The Engagement Multiplier Recipe for Connecting Across Continents
Before you can create an engaged workforce that can, and does, work anywhere, you absolutely must have one thing firmly in place… An Engaged Purpose with which everyone, deeply, aligns.
Everything you do for engagement begins with creating your Engaged Purpose, which is:
- A clearly articulated, living, breathing, written statement
- An answer to the question “Why do you do what you do?”
- Shared with every member of the business
- Regularly updated as context for creating and maintaining a sustainable business model
- Used to drive strategy, direction, and business activities that leadership has confidence in
- A connection between everyone in the business and the organization’s purpose, goals and strategy
- Aligned with customer relationships
Often, new clients come to us already confident that they have an Engaged Purpose, when what they really have is a mission statement that was written by a copywriter for their website, intended to be read, primarily, by their customers and/or shareholders. An Engaged Purpose is the complete opposite: it’s written for your employees and states the larger purpose – the why and who for – behind what you do.
For example, let’s say you’re a roofing company. Your mission statement might read “We provide top quality service with a satisfaction guarantee to all of our customers.” A Purpose, however, might read: “We keep families warm, dry and safe from the elements through quality workmanship.”
Whether you build widgets, walls, or iPhone apps, you have a greater purpose. Your Engaged Purpose allows everyone to connect with it.
It’s All About Effective Communication Strategies
Regularly scheduled communication is important in keeping everyone on the same page, no matter where they are. But you need more than that.
At Engagement Multiplier, ideas we use to keep everyone engaged include:
- Schedule a regular time to talk – Communication is key to making sure your separate teams feel connected. Whether it’s through a video conference or regular call, schedule specific times to get together, and stick with them.
- Use video chats and audio files. Body language and eye contact is incredibly important to both effective communication and feeling connected on a human-to-human level. It’s also just plain cheery to hear “Good morning!” from your boss, even if sometimes he’s on the opposite side of the pond!
- Find innovative, fun ways to communicate. We’ve invested in Beam technology. In simple terms, the Beam robot allows team members from our UK office to move around our Chicago office – and vice-versa. It’s the next best thing to being personally present – but without the cost or inconvenience of taking regular transatlantic flights! Sometimes, the fun-loving camaraderie the workplace can be diminished by geographical distance, so whether or not you have your own Beam robot or not, find ways to inject a little fun into your mode of communication.
- Use a Weekly Energy Sheet. This is a simple yet highly effective way of connecting our team to not only what’s going on in the business but also the things that are team are finding energizing. It’s a one-sheeter, split into three sections. On the left side of the page is a section for business updates with details on business performance, and a one-line summary of our top 5 business initiatives (with short notes on progress made so everyone can feel excited by our momentum). On the right side of the page is a space for every employee to share what happened that was great the previous week, anything they’re proud of that made them feel good which they want to share with the wider team. At the bottom of the page is a “gratitude” section, an opportunity to recognize a colleague for going above and beyond to help create an extraordinary outcome. We fill it out every Friday (it only takes a few minutes) and send a PDF copy to everyone. It’s a great way to go into the weekend with an update from every member of the team on what’s energized them in the week that’s just passed. It puts a smile on everyone’s face!
Once you have your Engaged Purpose firmly in place, engagement for dispersed teams and even work-from-home employees naturally follows. From there, your challenge becomes maintaining the high energy, momentum, and good feeling that comes with face-to-face interaction, which you can only do through committing to better communication.