This story originally appeared on Remote.co on March 26, 2018 and is authored by Beth Braccio Hering. Only Local’s portion is repurposed here. The link to the full story on Remote.co is below.
Cultivating a feedback-friendly remote culture helps everyone at a company. Employees who feel confident enough to tell leaders what is and is not working provide valuable insight that can spur organizational change. Likewise, workers don’t have to second-guess their performance when they have managers who routinely provide constructive feedback; they know which actions their boss finds praiseworthy and they possess a roadmap of what needs improvement.
Establishing an environment where such give and take is the norm, however, requires effort — especially when team members work from different locations.
Here are some ways to bridge the distance and build a feedback-friendly remote culture:
Make it the norm.
An annual performance review or a once-a-year engagement survey isn’t going to cut it. These out-of-the-ordinary actions tend to feel impersonal and oftentimes are too far removed from actual events for either workers or managers to remember details.
“People want to feel connected to their company and team day-to-day. And leaders should want to take the pulse of their teams regularly,” says Neil Bedwell, founding partner at Local Industries.
Thus, it pays to provide multiple outlets so that opportunities for feedback are everywhere. Scheduled check-ins via phone or Skype offer managers and telecommuters a designated time for one-to-one conversation. Group conference calls or brainstorming sessions encourage idea generation and multiple perspectives on overcoming challenges. And a channel on the company’s chat platform devoted to anytime thoughts serves the same purpose as an in-office suggestion box.
Or try this suggestion from Bedwell, which is particularly suitable for remote workplaces. “Learn from consumer products and focus on fast-twitch feedback collected in short bursts of one-to-five quick questions submitted in seconds through a mobile device. I prefer graphics, grids, and emojis as response mechanics over numbered choices or open-form feedback.”
Originally published at remote.co on March 26, 2018.