Becoming the manager of remote employees can be tough. You probably have never met them face to face, readying body language is hard, and to them you are often just distant “authority figure” that holds the keys to their paycheck.
Building and changing the relationship dynamic between a manager and their remote employee takes time and deliberate effort. Using a tool like Candid can help with this immensely by providing you with targeted question to ask remote employees during your 1 on 1 meetings.
Remote work is different. You don’t have a commute, you don’t (easily) have “water cooler” talk, you have to work hard to keep work/life separate. With all these differences, it doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with your remote employee though!
- What’s your favorite part about working remote? – One of the most important things you can know about your remote colleague is why they are working remote.
- What is the biggest challenge you face on a daily basis? – When you work in an office it’s a lot easier to see what challenges your employees face. When working remote, you can’t see the person nearly as frequently. Asking this question can lead to excellent conversation and being the foundation of a productive relationship.
- What is your biggest pet peeve? – Like nails running across a chalkboard, seeing your pet peeve every single day can be an excruciating experience. For remote employees this is doubly true! The answer could be something as simple as “people not putting video chat links in meeting invites”.
- Do you feel challenged by being a remote worker compared to those in the office? – The gist of this question is that you want to make sure your remote employees are treated the same as their in-office colleagues.
- Do you feel that you know your co-workers well? – When you are remote it can be hard sometimes to feel like you are part of a team. The answer to this question can help inform your strategies to make remote employees feel connected.
- Are our tools effective for remote working? – The right tools can make a job awesome and conversely the wrong tools can make a job unbearable. Within reason you should support letting the team use the tools they want to be effective.
- Is there anything I can do for you? – This is a simple question, but often yields excellent results. Modern people management is often about being a servant leader and asking your remote employees what you can do for them helps drive that point home.