Don’t Let Distance Keep Us Apart

Whether your company structure includes remote workers or everyone is in one building, how well do you know your employees? Their behavioral attributes? Your company’s behavioral attributes?

Physics – and just plain observation – shows us that the greater distance between two ends of an object, the weaker the object becomes. Same goes for relationships…when there is distance, conflict is bound to find its way into the relationship and weaken it.

For example, I once had an employee who worked in the office beside me and we had an excellent working relationship. Eventually, the employee was promoted to a new role within my team which landed them in an office on the other side of the building. Before the move happened, I talked with the employee about how this geographical change could affect our relationship negatively if we were not purposeful in our communication.

Fast forward six months and this employee was ready to quit because of the influence of a negative employee whose office was next to theirs. After a few difficult conversations and some remediation, the employee and I realized how the chasm we talked about early on had changed our relationship.

Looking back, had I been a better leader at that time and known this employee’s behavioral needs, I could have been proactive in communicating with them and could have possibly prevented the whole situation. I am glad that it happened though. It had a great outcome and the employee and I both learned a valuable lesson about communicating purposefully – and knowing each other’s needs.

A few tips to help you stay in touch with your employees:
  • Get to know your employee’s behavioral needs. (CLG can help!)
  • Schedule regular team meetings – virtual or in-person – and if possible, give each team member a chance to contribute something to the meeting. If this is not possible, try getting feedback with larger teams by using a polling tool. Mentimeter works great!
  • Offer each employee one-on-one meetings to check-in. Note: the “open door” policy does not work for all employees – some employees need an invitation to talk.
  • When you need to make a change that will impact the people in your organization, communicate the “why” as early as possible. Change is hard and people have emotions, so transparency is critical.

Just like healthy personal relationships, healthy working relationships require tight bonds.

As leader, you owe it to your employees to ensure that no matter the distance, they are heard and valued. This is vital for the health of your company. CLG can help you here. We have the tools available that will allow you to develop communications and delivery methods tailored to the needs of your employees. Contact us today!

Melissa Spangler

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