Maintaining Effective Communication with Your Remote Employees

A Cultural Shift for a Productive Remote Workforce

Tiffany Brown

Communication is a distinct differentiator for increased employee engagement. How leaders and employees choose to communicate impacts the employee experience, as it sets the tone and dynamics of an organization. Effective communication is a powerful tool that, when done correctly, will set your company apart, attract top talent, and create space for employees to be part of the conversation. 

Follow these two steps to engage employees through a blended communication approach

Listen & Clarify

Giving your employees a legitimate voice to be heard is essential to any company’s culture and helps you establish trust and a sense of belonging. Perhaps more important than delivering messages is listening to those communicating within your organization. Seek clarification from individuals if there is ambiguity and take time to understand what is being heard. Hearing your employees gives them the space to thrive. Your employees’ success is your organization’s success. 

Identify Answers to Relevant Questions
  • Have we created space for our employees to communicate with leadership and each other?   
  • Have we listened actively and empathetically to our employees?
  • Have we sought to clarify ambiguity? 
Select Appropriate Tools

Hearing directly from your people will help you create a positive experience that translates to business continuity for your company. Digital workspaces unlock many feedback channels that let you capture, listen, and take action based on the suggestions of your employees. 

Apps like 7Summits Ideas help you crowdsource, listen and respond to your people. Unleash your employees to influence the next evolution of your digital workplace, enabling their voices to be heard while enabling others to vote and interact with the submissions they like best.

Provide Structure

While creating space to communicate is an important first step, employees need structure to know how to be part of the conversation. People tend to gravitate toward real-time communication, but finding a common time with different time zones and full calendars may be challenging. Real-time communication is beneficial for building rapport, and is essential if a decision needs to be made quickly. Asynchronous communication is sending a message in a thread or collaborating on a document. It allows for employees to contribute on their time and can be referred to later. Though it may not be the best for immediate action, asynchronous communication gives more flexibility, which empowers employees to take ownership and solve problems on their terms. 

Identify Answers to Relevant Questions
  • Do we have a plan and necessary tools for synchronous and asynchronous communication?
  • Have we communicated and demonstrated from leaders to employees when to use each communication type?
  • Do we have a plan to reinforce employees’ communication behaviors? 
Select Appropriate Tools

Just because meetings and brainstorming sessions can’t be held in person doesn’t mean your organization needs to suffer a decline in collaboration. Communities built on Salesforce give you the ability to facilitate virtual discussions using features like Chatter.

Working sessions can be held among an entire team, or within private conversations. Your employees can also post questions directly to solicit feedback and responses from colleagues, letting them crowdsource answers in a collaborative space.

Developing an Organizational Digital Strategy 

At 7Summits, we’re experts at building digital workspaces on the Salesforce platform that strengthen workplace culture. Our experience in Change Management and Digital Strategy, combined with our pre-built Employee Digital Workspace community template helps us do that with more success and faster for our clients. Specifically designed to serve the needs of virtual workers, the components packaged in our digital workspace are fundamental to maintaining a collaborative and productive work environment, regardless of where colleagues are located.

While challenges may arise when trying to virtually enable communication, collaboration, and human connection within your workforce, leveraging a digital workspace will help to create a strong employee experience and drive business value.

Tiffany Brown is a Strategist at 7Summits leading digital transformation and user experience strategy through the application of design thinking and change management principles. She analyzes complex business problems, establishes innovative future-state visions, and builds actionable plans that ensure adoption and speed time-to-value.

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