Though working from home is a far cry from remote locations, work at home employees can feel very isolated and detached from the rest of their organization very easily. For as many benefits that work at home employees (and their employers) gain, the need to make an emotional connection with the rest of their organization is a serious obstacle – remote employees feel ignored and, therefore can struggle within the company. It is the responsibility of your supervisors to be able to create an emotional connection with these work at home employees so they feel as if they’re a part of something.
4 Qualities of an Effective Work at Home Supervisor
Creating emotional connections with your work at home employees isn’t just beneficial, it’s essential. You need to ensure your remote workers don’t feel like they’re stuck on that figurative island. In order to create these connections you need to do two things: first, know techniques to create these essential connections, and two, ensure that your supervisors are capable of doing this.
Below are some great methods to help drive emotional interconnectivity with your work at home agents, as well as some of the things your supervisors will need to do or have in order to accomplish this.
- Availability: Having your supervisors be available is critical to ensuring that your remote workers feel connected to your organization. This is because your supervisors can take an active role in reaching out to these remote workers and staying in communication with them, providing them with the contact they need so they don’t feel like they’re adrift in the remote workforce.
- Look for: Supervisor availability is key to ensuring that your remote workers get the attention they need. This might mean late nights, early mornings, and weekends due to time zone differences and where your remote workforce might be based out of, so a clear understanding and willingness to deliver on these sometimes obscure hours will be crucial for supervisors.
- Opinions and Participation: Nothing will make your remote workers feel more connected to the organization than by having them feel that their input about what’s happening is valued by their team leaders. Your supervisors should be active in seeking out opinions from work at home agents about what’s going on with the organization, what they think of it, and what they believe will help drive improvement. This can also help work at home agents become more active in meetings and phone calls, making them feel like they’re more invested in the company.
- Look for: The ability to create dialogue is crucial for supervisors in order to achieve this effort, but that’s not the only essential trait. Seek out supervisors who are personable and can make a remote agent feel comfortable talking about – and sometimes even disagreeing about – current affairs in their team and what they can do to improve.
- Personable: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” so the famous Shining line goes, and for creating an emotional connection this has never rung truer. Having remote agents talk with their team about more than just work, even just lighter things, can make them feel like they’re more invested as a person rather than an employee – and therefore creating a deeper connection.
- Look for: Interpersonal relationship skills are key for your supervisors to create this type of team environment. The same qualities that make agents qualified to talk to customers that call into a contact center can help tremendously here, so keep an eye out for that in your supervisors.
- Many Teammates, One Team: Much like any in-depth discussion about a sports team, your work at home team leaders should invoke a timeless mantras to your remote agents: all for one, and one for all. Make sure your work at home agents feel like they’re a part of the team by involving them consistently with team discussions and fostering a team environment. At the same time, your supervisors should also be taking the time to make sure that your work at home agents know how valuable they are to the team, and that they’re an important aspect to the team’s success. In other words, every work at home agent should feel like the MVP, and they should also feel like they’re just as important as every other person on the team.
- Look for: Empathy is a crucial personality trait for your supervisors to have in these situations, as they’ll need to be able to emotionally connect with the remote workforce on both an individual level and a team level.
Building an emotionally connected remote workforce is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that your work at home teams are successful. Your supervisors will need to wear many hats in order to accomplish this, so it’s important you hire well for both the work at home team, as well as the supervisors who lead them.
Supervisor's are one thing, but hiring work at home agents are another, and it's critical you hire the right ones. You can learn more about Work@Home hiring by joining Jeff Furst (FurstPerson), Michele Rowan (Customer Contact Strategies), and King White (Site Selection Group) on October 7 at 2 pm EST for the “5 Critical Steps to Hiring the Right Work@Home Representative” webinar. Register below.
Topics: Talent Selection Ideas