Want to Know How to Build Quality Remote Relationships?

There's power in a handshake and looking someone directly in the eyes. But in business, we don't always have the opportunity for an in-person interaction. Sometimes, it's logistically impossible, and our connections must develop at a distance. 


That's my wheelhouse. I've spent the past decade building relationships across time zones and felt so much joy, recognizing how fortunate I am to meet so many good people. 


Good remote relationships start with being mindfully present and communicating clearly. 


Here are five tips for developing quality working relationships with your virtual employees (VEs): 


  1. Be Fully Present and Expect the Same: Our world is so filled with distractions and digital noise. It's a real problem. Show that you can block out distractions and focus on what's important. When you meet with virtual employees, dedicate your full attention for the allotted time. This seems so simple and perhaps not worth mentioning, but it matters immensely. There are no random encounters in the break room or the hall, so you must make the most of your interactions. Demonstrate the attention and focus you want from your VE so they can model the same back to you. This means actively listening, asking thoughtful questions, and demonstrating genuine interest. It's about being in the moment and making others feel valued and heard.


  1. Use Plain Language: Avoid jargon and overly complex language. Opt for clarity and simplicity. But when jargon is necessary, take a moment to clarify that your employee understands the term. Clear and concise communication is the thread that connects people across distances, ensuring that messages are understood, expectations are met, and misunderstandings are minimized. In written correspondence, organize your messages logically with clear headings, bullet points, and paragraphs. Be aware of the tone you convey and consider the recipient's perspective.


More Tips on Communicating with Employees 


  1. Build the Relationship on Transparency: When working with a virtual employee, clarify what's happening and why. When individuals understand the reasoning behind choices that affect their work, they gain confidence in their leadership and the organization. Provide regular updates on projects, office changes, personnel actions, and other office news that in-office employees are privy to. You don't want remote employees to feel like they're always out of the loop. Such communication also helps prevent misunderstandings and builds your VE's trust in you as a communicator.


  1. Communicate the Big Picture: Virtual employees should be exposed to the organization's mission, values, and culture. Let them know how your company improves the world and why their role is crucial. When VEs understand the big picture of how the company impacts lives positively, they develop that sense of purpose needed in our day-to-day duties.  


The Cost Benefits of Hiring VEs are Undeniable   


  1. Encourage Peer Collaboration and Team Building: Your VE needs to understand your organization is a long-term collaboration project with team members carrying out various duties and helping each other when needed. A VE can feel isolated or left on a "digital island" if they don't feel connected to a team, so arranging regular team activities online is helpful. Likewise, if you're torn on a particular decision, ask for input from everyone on the best course of action and get them to explain their reasoning. Whether on-site or off-site, all employees appreciate the acknowledgment that their voice matters. Let them know it does.


The more virtual employees are involved in daily communications, the more their presence is felt and the more connected they feel. It begins to feel like they're just in another room, not a different country. 


Hiring is Hard; Here’s How We Help   


You may not be able to shake their hand or pat them on the back, but as long as you communicate and commit to being present for your VE, you'll see that the human touch is quite alive. And there's so much to gain in the process, both in the financial benefits and the personal experience. 


If you're interested in learning more about virtual employees and how they can help your business, click here to set up a time to chat with me that suits your schedule. 


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