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7 Ways to Engage in Feedback with a Remote Team

employee engagement blogAccording to the 2018 SHRM/Glob force employee recognition report, 89% of HR leaders agree on the positive impact of ongoing peer feedback in their organization. This survey proves again that constructive feedback is a powerful employee engagement tool. It becomes more vital for employees who work from home (WFH).

WFH is not a fad. This style of working is here to stay. HR leaders need innovative ideas to stay connected and coordinated with the employees working remotely.

To make your life easier, we bring you seven proven ways to build a practical feedback culture within your team members who work remotely.

 

7 WAYS TO ENGAGE IN FEEDBACK WITH A REMOTE TEAM

 

1. Regular 1-on-1 Feedback Sessions

Many HR professionals swear by the effectiveness of 1-on-1s. It is a medium of feedback where you communicate with one team member at a time for feedback. But before starting, make a checklist of questions to ask. Plan the questions based on the direction you want your discussion to proceed.

The take away from this kind of session can be:

  • Employee’s concerns regarding their teammates and bosses.
  • Positive and negative factors in the organization
  • Resources they need to perform better

 

2. Set-Up Feedback Policies

The process of feedback should be pre-decided and consistent. Thus making feedback policies and adhering to them will help. You can create separate policies for people working remotely. Because, unlike your regular employees, they don’t have instant personal excess to you and other team members.

The policy should provide clarity about who can give feedback to whom and the process of feedbacks. Clarity on the duration between feedbacks is also vital. Feedbacks can be monthly, quarterly, six-monthly, or yearly.

 

3. Make the Feedback Positive

Positive feedback is an excellent motivator for the team. It gives them reassurance and encouragement to work on more challenging projects. Team members who do WFH need positive feedback more than the employees directly working with you. Some productive ways to provide positive feedback are –

  • Celebrate small successes – You can invite them to the office weekly or monthly and announce their achievements.
  • Encourage ownership and pro-activeness.
  • Provide points and small gifts as gestures.

 

4. Train Your Team in Exchanging Feedback

Giving and receiving feedback is an art. The correct usage of words, proper body language and facial expressions matter more than a layman thinks. A simple sentence like “you can be more open to criticism” can be misunderstood in many ways, especially if conveyed in a message to a person who is doing WFH.

Teach them how to express themselves. They might also need to learn how to accept feedback positively. If you don’t prepare your team to exchange feedback, you will risk making your company a battleground.

 

5. Apply Variety in Feedback Channels

While making feedback policies, assign a variety of feedback channels. Create a mix of channels for overall employee engagement. Test the comfort level of your employees in each situation. They might prefer different mediums for different hierarchies.

Examples of feedback mediums are Feedback forms, 1-on-1s, 360-degree feedback, individually or in a group. Some employees might prefer anonymous feedback. You should respect their concern and provide them with privacy.

 

6. Follow-up on the Feedback

If you don’t follow up on feedback with necessary action, it will lose its whole point. The goal of doing the feedback exercise is to bring positive change. To act on your team member’s feedback is essential to gain their trust.

Whenever you act upon the feedback, show your team that you did. Inform them that this decision of change is bought into the organization because of their feedback.

 

7. Check Employee Engagement

Merely rolling out feedback policies will not solve the purpose entirely. You should check its implementation also. When your team is working remotely, they are not always available. So if they skip their turn with the HR or their boss, someone needs to remind them to complete the feedback exercise at the earliest.

You can introduce a separate survey to check the implementation of employee engagement activities. Provide your team with a checklist of activities decided by the management. They can check the ones conducted regularly. This way, you will know which ones are left out. You can follow up on them later.

 

Key Takeaway

Feedback exchange is crucial in every organization. But it can backfire if not done with proper planning and in the right manner. The communication with remotely working team members should be precise and clear to prevent any misunderstanding. The tips mentioned above will help you to execute feedback sessions successfully.

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About the Author: Liliana Chitnis is a former HR professional who now works as a content marketing executive at Naman HR, an organization that offers end-to-end HR solutions to help companies build a strong human capital base. She strongly believes in the power of consistent training in the workplace. Liliana writes about various topics related to human resources and shares trends, techniques, and tips with her readers. She loves to read and practice yoga regularly and occasionally binge on Netflix.

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