Tips for giving feedback to remote employees

As a business owner with remote teams, you should regularly give feedback to your remote teams. Feedback is a cornerstone of getting work done efficiently and effectively and helps improve overall work quality. As the head of your business, it is up to you to have a feedback system in place.

Giving feedback to remote employees will help you eliminate a few stumbling blocks, keep your teams well-updated, and ensure constant communication in your organization. Of course, having your teams work from home is the first step in getting your work done, but ensuring constant feedback is as important as recruiting employees.

If you are a business owner struggling with properly giving your remote teams feedback, read on to find out how you can do this crucial process.

Boost Productivity with Feedback To Remote Employees: Best Practices for Success

Here are some of the best practices you should implement today in your feedback strategy to improve the quality of work and increase productivity.

  1. Stay Connected: The Power of Consistent Communication

Communication is always more accessible, faster, and more efficient when working from a common place like a shared office. Employees get to mingle with each other during their breaks, at their workstations, in the elevator, and so on.

Working remotely makes it hard to keep such communication channels, so you will need a proper communication strategy for your employees. Communication gets work appropriately done while allowing employees to maintain constant contact with each other and you.

Therefore, make sure you have communication platforms and channels in place to allow for constant communication. Some of the best ways you can do this are by correctly setting up communication platforms such as slack and having weekly meetings and round-ups.

  1. Constructive Criticism and Praise: The Ultimate Feedback Duo

When giving feedback to remote employees, ensure you do not come across as harsh. Make your employees feel comfortable whenever being given feedback. Strike a balance between giving out positive feedback and negative feedback. 

As much as an employee may not have done what they should have, don't focus on that part only. Say something positive about them to make them feel nice about themselves and also as a way of motivating them. People don't always want to hear about their negative aspects.

  1. Nail Your Feedback: The Power of Being Specific

When giving feedback, you deliver the intended message in the easiest way possible. Make it simple for your employees to understand your thoughts and opinions exactly to avoid confusion and time wastage while on feedback calls.

It is easy to do this in the office since you can physically see each other; your employees can rely on your physical cues to understand the message better. However, working remotely removes this vital aspect from the communication process. You will therefore need to be straightforward with your message to enable them to understand what is required of them.

  1. The Power of Participation: Asking Employees for Their Input

It is much easier to call for a meeting at the office and have a discussion with your employees. However, working from home makes this a bit harder since employees may feel separated and not united in their thoughts and opinions. Also, it is easy for people who are already far apart to feel excluded from decisions that affect them.

Nonetheless, always ask for their input when making critical decisions that may affect them and the nature of their work. Asking for your employees' input is civic and makes employees feel part of the decision-making process. Make a habit out of this, and you will notice a much more happy and productive remote workforce.

  1. Connect in Style: The Art of Choosing the Right Communication Medium

When having meetings or feedback sessions at the office, there is mostly only one communication medium that is mainly used and efficient - physically talking to each other. However, when working remotely, communication heavily relies on technology and online platforms. 

Some of the most used communication channels are; Slack, Google Suite Apps, Zoom, WhatsApp, and Zoho, to mention a few.

You should set up a proper communication system before you have your teams work remotely, since poor communication because of channels that do not work for everyone will result in decreased productivity. Therefore, it is integral that you choose a suitable communication medium that accommodates your remote workforce and business needs.

  1. Precision Pays Off: Why Taking Time to Clarify Goals and Priorities Matters

Explaining an idea to your employees is much easier if you are seated across from them in the same room. The same isn't possible while communicating on virtual calls. You will have to spend much more time on these virtual feedback calls to ensure the message is delivered and that you have been of help to your remote team(s).

Ensure all your remote employees share their problems in their daily work operations and how they need your assistance. Take as much time as possible to ensure your feedback is meaningful and that everyone is satisfied after the call ends. 

  1. Stay in the Loop: Monitor People's Activities

You always need to be aware of what your employees are up to, how they are getting stuff done, with whom they are collaborating on projects, and finally, when they get projects completed. While working from the office, you can occasionally visit them at their workstations to ascertain these important issues. 

However, while working from home, you need to pay more attention and always have open channels and constant communication to keep in touch with your employees. Please ensure you understand the entire (project completion) process from start to finish to understand their pain points and offer assistance along the way.

  1. Invite Them to Open Up: Request Their Unique Stories

It is quite easy for employees to be super protective of their pain points while working for you. They may also not know the importance of sharing their encounters with job-related stuff while working for you. Encourage your employees to talk about their personal stories.

Such stories offer essential insights into your business processes, policies, and people. This information will be helpful to you when coming up with new ways of getting work done much more straightforwardly and effectively.

Hearing your employees' personal stories is a brilliant opportunity for you to gain more knowledge about your business from time to time.

  1. Small but Mighty Feedback Chunks for Better Results

When giving feedback to remote employees, it is essential to understand that it isn't about how much you give. Instead, the emphasis should be on the quality of feedback and not overwhelming your employees with a tone of information.

Always give small chunks of meaningful feedback, then give your employees time to comprehend, internalize, apply, and assess the usefulness and effectiveness of the feedback. 

Therefore, we recommend that you have your feedback points well laid out, written down, and prioritized in order of importance. Start with the most useful and go down to the least important as time passes.

  1. Build and Sustain a Culture of Trust

The physical aspect of working from the office makes it easy for people to get used to each other, form meaningful relationships, and eventually gain each others' trust. Unfortunately, the same is not true about working from home since you only see each other on video calls and talk via text or audio.

It is, therefore, upon you as the business owner to make sure your employees gain your trust and you also gain theirs. 

Trust is integral at work, especially when working remotely, where you can not ascertain whether you are talking to a real person or a scammer. Always correctly present yourself and your ideas to ensure your remote workforce feels closer to you as time passes.

Cultivating a culture of trust will make your employees feel comfortable sharing their problems, opinions, ideas, and suggestions with you regularly without coercion.

  1. Strengthen Your Remote Bonds: Get Regular Feedback from Each Employee

When working from the office, it is much easier to have personal one-to-one interactions with almost all your employees. However, when working from home, you may have a lot on your plate and grow distant from some of your employees.

Always make sure you know all your employees and their problems while working for you and, most importantly, make them feel part of the team.

If you neglect some of your employees, they may feel unrecognized, unappreciated, and grumpy about everything.

  1. Forge a Secure Space: Prioritizing Openness

Creating a comfortable, open, and free space for your employees to share their ideas and grievances is advisable. The more open and accessible your employees feel, the more likely they will share with you regularly.

Therefore, you will need to remove all the hurdles employees need to get through to speak out and share with you. Always use polite language in your communication channels and avoid yelling at people or being abusive.

The more open you are as an employer, your employees will be able to always communicate with you freely. An employer who makes their employees feel free and open is an employer who reaps big in terms of employee satisfaction and overall happiness at work.

  1. Scheduling Success: Making Time for Feedback

Once you have remote teams, it will be beneficial to create a feedback calendar that will ensure regular feedback sessions. As much as you may have a lot to do, always ensure you create time for virtual feedback calls to refine the work process and ensure everyone is not always having problems.

Depending on the nature of your work and the number of remote employees, you can decide to have either weekly or monthly feedback sessions. Either way, always plan for these sessions and inform your employees. It will give both of you enough time to prepare and document everything you need to discuss in advance.

  1. The Power of Perspective: Why Context is Key

Always make sure that you answer the most critical question when giving feedback. "Why" you give that specific feedback makes your employees understand the bigger picture. The main idea while giving feedback is to not only have a short-term fix but to always have a much bigger end goal in mind.

Therefore, let your employees know the "Why" to make them understand why implementing the feedback is necessary.

  1. Straight Talk: Why Honesty Always Wins

Honesty is when you tell it to your employees in plain and simple terms without sugarcoating anything. Be honest with your employees upfront to avoid confusion and diluted messages. Ensure they understand your concerns about how a few things affect the business. 

Being honest always encourages your employees to always be honest when communicating with you. Don't be afraid to show your emotions (with moderation) when on virtual calls. 

  1. Empower, Equip, and Execute: Leaving Your Employees with a Plan

What do you expect your employees to do after the virtual feedback call ends? As much as you may offer meaningful feedback, if you don't leave your employees with a well-laid-out action plan for implementing the feedback, you haven't helped the situation. 

Elaborate using the most straightforward language possible on what you need them to implement and exactly how they should implement it. That is the best way to get meaningful results after some time. 

Feedback from Afar: The Secret to a Thriving Remote Workforce

Properly managing your remote teams is a daunting task at first. However, after some time and implementing a few strategies, such as adequately giving feedback to your remote employees, you can improve overall team productivity and output quality. Do not be afraid to try new ways of giving feedback. Make sure whichever tips you implement are suitable to your remote teams and business needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ways of Giving Feedback To Remote Employees

How Do I Give Feedback Without Offending?

When you offer choice and eliminate bias while providing feedback, you create a secure environment for growth. For example, hearing criticism might make people feel egotistical, but people can grow and evolve by taking this approach.

What Are The Dos of Giving Feedback?

Provide specific remarks on what pleased you about someone's work rather than general comments like "excellent job" or similar phrases. Explain what they did well and why it worked with examples.

How Do I Give Non-Judgmental Feedback?

Allow people to reflect and gradually improve their work by asking open-ended questions. This technique avoids criticism and ensures development, enabling people to grow and prosper.