Be it a punch in the gut or a standing ovation, feedback is extremely important today, especially in the new normal of remote work setups.
In remote organizations, establishing a positive culture is already a challenge. On top of that, communication barriers, coordination issues, and team conflicts have dramatically impacted the feedback loop.
According to a recent company culture report, 70% of employees prefer a good company culture over a higher salary. And a good feedback culture is the key to team building and productivity enhancement in remote companies.
But, how can I provide real-time feedback to my team members when they are working in different time zones and locations?
Well, this post has all the answers for you. Just keep on reading to find 11 interesting tips to harness the feedback culture in your remote team.
Why Do Remote Teams Need Real-time Feedback?
Let’s look at some statistics to understand why your remote team is in dire need of real-time feedback:
- A Business Insider study stated that remote work is bad for team communication. It creates a problem for remote team managers to interact with their team members and provide them with instant feedback.
- According to Forbes, 4 out of 10 employees feel disengaged when they don’t receive feedback on time. In fact, 82% of employees are happy to receive any kind of feedback from their manager—negative or positive.
- Employee recruitment and retention are already big issues for remote organizations. But, with constant feedback, they can reduce the employee turnout rate by 14.9%. (Source: Zippia)
11 Tips for Building a Positive Feedback Culture
Have you built a new remote team? And now, struggling to harp a positive feedback culture in your team? If so, there is nothing to worry about; just follow these easy 11 tips to provide real-time feedback to your team:
1. Foster one-on-one communication 👥
One of the important soft skills that remote managers should have is proficient communication. They need to establish a smooth communication flow between remote workers so they can easily interact with one another or management.
Besides this, managers should establish a one-on-one communication flow with individual remote employees. At least once a month, they should interact with each employee to know;
- What do they like about their job?
- What excites them to come to work every day?
- How can you help them to become better at their job?
With well-structured informal communication, you can easily understand your team's problems and provide valuable feedback to help them.
2. Provide a positive feedback 👍
Mostly, companies provide feedback only when they want employees to improve their performance. They don’t often engage with employees when they're doing their jobs with full dedication and engagement.
In a remote setup, your employees already feel that they are being neglected and are not contributing to anything big. In this situation, when you only provide negative feedback to your employees, it will impact their morale and productivity.
So, there is no harm in patting your remote employees' backs once in a while and appreciating them for all the hard work they are doing to achieve your company's goals.
3. Train your managers to provide feedback 🧑🏫
Your managers will also be new to remote work setups. They have never worked in an environment where their team is located in different time zones and locations. Therefore, you should first provide formal remote work management training to your managers before asking them to manage a remote team.
You should train them in different team management concepts like recruiting remotely, providing feedback, etc.
In addition, you can just hire new managers considering the post-pandemic recruitment challenges. You can hire managers who know how to manage remote teams using the right tools. This will save you all the training trouble.
4. Stimulate trust and transparency 🤝
Trust and transparency are two vital factors in fostering a positive feedback culture in your organization. First, your employees need to feel safe; only then will they be able to provide honest feedback. If your employees are worried about the repercussions of their feedback, they will never share their honest feedback with you.
The company leader's responsibility is to furnish a safe and transparent feedback environment. Therefore, they should allow employees to provide anonymous feedback. It will help to receive more authentic and honest feedback.
Besides this, managers should encourage employees to provide feedback on different company issues. It is not easy for managers to earn their team members' trust in a remote environment.
So, you can implement a proper feedback policy in your organization. This way, employees can refer to it when they have any doubts.
5. Encourage informal conversations 🍻
Do you want to check the pulse of your employees? Do you want to know whether your employees are engaged or productive?
If so, informal conversations are the best way for that. Unfortunately, the remote work environment has already taken away water cooler talks and lunch break chit-chats. In this new remote work culture, managers don’t get a chance to pop into their team’s office for a random conversation.
So, you need to work on that part and establish an informal conversation between your team members. For example, you can organize happy hours after work where employees can perform mimicry, stand-up comedy, sing, or simply talk. It’s like organizing a virtual club for your remote team.
6. Ensure your employees aren’t overloaded 🥵
When people work from home, their work-life and personal life balance can easily get disturbed. In addition, your employees can feel overloaded when they are constantly on call in the remote work system.
As a team leader, you have to set boundaries for your team. For example, you should never answer your emails or calls after working hours and motivate your employees to do the same.
7. Focus on mental wellness 🧘
Remote work is good for team productivity. But, mental issues have increased a lot lately with it. According to a report, remote employees are suffering from mental distress today. As a result, 80% of employees want to quit their job.
Thus, include it in your feedback agenda to talk about mental wellness. You should ask your employees questions like
- Are they happy with their work?
- Do they want to reduce their workload?
- Is there anything you can do to reduce their mental stress?
8. Provide feedback structure ✍️
Create a proper feedback structure and share it with your remote employees and managers. This way, everyone in your team will know what to expect from feedback.
As we have already mentioned, you should create a feedback policy and hierarchy so that employees can refer to it whenever they have any doubts. In your feedback structure, you should mention points like:
- Who will provide feedback?
- How often do you provide it?
- What will happen after feedback?
- Which tools do you use to gather feedback?
9. Use tools to track progress 🛠
Feedback is only effective when it is shared in real-time. Providing feedback after days or months will have no positive effect on your company culture.
Therefore, you should get powerful time tracking and productivity monitoring tools to measure your remote team’s performance in real-time. Plus, when you use tools to monitor progress, you can provide feedback with evidence.
For example, if an employee's performance has gone down lately, you can show them an insightful performance report to know why their performance has gone down. This way, the employee will not be able to deny anything and even work on your feedback.
Here are some of the popular progress tracking tools:
- Popwork is a great tool to have one-on-one interactions, regularly share feedback, and provide action plans for your team.
- TrackOlap is a remote team management platform to track, monitor, and analyze remote workers' performance with CRM abilities.
- Podio is a project tracking software that includes an activity dashboard, detailed time tracking, budget tracking, etc.
Besides these, many chrome extensions are available to track your team‘s performance and recruit the right employee for your organization.
10. Track employee engagement 👀
As you already know, engaged employees are your most productive employees. Since the main purpose of feedback is to motivate and engage your employees, you should therefore use tools to constantly monitor remote employees' engagement.
With the help of tools, you can understand different factors behind your employee's engagement, like:
- Job satisfaction
- Productivity, etc.
Recent stats reveal that, as compared to 2019, 29% more companies today use human resource management tools to effectively run their operations. Some of the common tools that companies are using nowadays include employee engagement software, recruitment CRM, applicant tracking software, 1:1 meeting management solutions, etc.
11. Make it a habit to provide feedback 📣
Finally, don’t stop after providing feedback to your employees. You should make it your habit to provide feedback after a certain time interval. In your feedback policy, you should clearly mention that you will constantly be monitoring your remote employees' performance.
Preferably, you should provide monthly feedback to your individual team members. However, if your team is big, you should at least try to provide feedback within three or six months.
There you go, people! You have learned some great feedback providing tips that can easily enhance your remote teams' productivity and engagement.
However, on a parting note, we would like to add that you should make feedback a part of your employee management process. You should create a proper structure to receive and provide feedback in your organization. In addition, create a comprehensive feedback policy so that your entire team can know your feedback goals and expectations.