Feeling heard, listened to, and understood is not just a personal need but a professional one that can significantly impact productivity, job satisfaction, and employee retention. This is where the role of a Gatekeeper becomes crucial in shaping the future of the workforce. Learn more about this role in our article: The Vital Role of Gatekeepers in the Remote Workplace.
In this article, we will focus on the possible impact that the Gatekeeper Role has on company culture and practical strategies to help the remote employees feel included.
Impact on Company Culture
Effective gatekeeping not only impacts the morale of remote workers but also contributes to a more inclusive and diverse company culture. An inclusive culture promotes innovation, creativity, and a sense of belonging among all employees, regardless of their physical location. This, in turn, can lead to higher employee retention rates and improved productivity.
An organization that prioritizes building a conduit for authentic feedback and understands the importance of gatekeeping is better equipped to weather the challenges of an evolving workforce landscape. As remote work continues to evolve, the ability to foster connections, ensure equal opportunities, and provide support to remote employees will be a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining top talent.
Understanding is the cornerstone of effective communication and community building. Gatekeepers must be aware of cultural nuances, time zones, and local holidays to make remote workers feel understood and respected. Some people prefer video calls, some emails, and some instant messaging. The Gatekeeper should be adept at adjusting their communication style to suit individual preferences.
Failure to include remote workers could have devastating effects on company culture. Without inclusion, you risk creating a fractured workforce where remote employees feel like second-class citizens. Remote workers who feel ignored or misunderstood can become disengaged, affecting their performance and potentially increasing turnover. In a competitive job market, talented individuals will gravitate toward organizations that offer an inclusive culture.
As organizations evolve and remote work becomes a mainstay, the role of Gatekeeper will be pivotal. As work models continue to change, the ability to adapt will be vital. Gatekeepers can facilitate this adaptability by keeping lines of communication open and inclusive. The future workforce will increasingly prioritize mental well-being, and feeling heard and understood is an integral part of that.
Practical Strategies for Gatekeepers
Gatekeepers can employ practical strategies to ensure that remote workers’ voices are not lost in the digital ether. Explore these creative ideas and use what works for you and your team.
Allow remote workers to take the lead in hosting team meetings or brainstorming sessions. This not only gives them a sense of ownership but also provides a fresh perspective.
Virtual Office Tours
Conduct virtual tours of the physical office space using video calls or virtual reality technology. Remote workers can explore the workspace, meet colleagues, and get a feel for the office environment, even from a distance. Don’t underestimate the power of walking around with a laptop and introducing remote workers to on-site colleagues.
Extend invitations for remote workers to visit the physical office periodically, even if for a short duration. This offers them the chance to meet colleagues in person and strengthen relationships.
Digital Water Cooler
Create a virtual “water cooler” channel or space where team members can discuss non-work-related topics, share hobbies, or engage in light banter. This simulates the casual conversations that often happen in physical office settings.
Send care packages or small gifts to remote workers that align with team celebrations or events. This adds a tactile, sensory element to their virtual experience.
Virtual Coffee Chats
Organizing virtual coffee or lunch sessions where remote workers can casually interact with their colleagues can help foster a sense of belonging and informal communication. Consider Virtual Coffee Roulette – set up a program where remote and on-site team members are randomly paired for virtual coffee chats. This encourages informal conversations and helps build personal connections.
Skill Development Opportunities
Gatekeepers can identify skill development needs among remote workers and provide resources or opportunities for them to enhance their skills. This demonstrates a commitment to their professional growth.
Recognition and Rewards
Ensure that remote workers are recognized and celebrated for their contributions. Highlight their achievements, milestones, or work anniversaries during team meetings or through digital celebrations. Consider creating a digital recognition wall where team members can post messages of appreciation and recognition for their colleagues, whether remote or on-site.
Inclusive Event Planning
When organizing company-wide events or team-building activities, Gatekeepers should ensure they are accessible to remote workers by scheduling them at times that accommodate different time zones or providing virtual participation options.
Establishing mentorship programs that connect remote employees with experienced colleagues can help them navigate their roles more effectively and feel more integrated into the company.
Regular Surveys and Feedback Loops
Gatekeepers can implement regular surveys and feedback mechanisms to gather input from remote workers and then take action on the feedback received, demonstrating a commitment to improvement. Consider anonymous surveys for authentic feedback.
Encouraging Cross-Team Collaboration
Actively promoting collaboration between remote workers and on-site teams can break down silos and strengthen the sense of unity within the organization. Training on Remote Work Best Practices: Providing guidance and training on remote work best practices can help remote workers thrive in their roles and feel supported by the organization. Reach out and let us help with our online certificate program: Certified Remote Professional.
Digital “Buddy” System
Pair remote workers with on-site colleagues as digital buddies. They can connect regularly for casual chats, share insights about their respective work environments, and offer support.
Interactive Team Building Challenges
Organize team-building challenges that can help the company enhance processes or relevant games that require collaboration between remote and on-site employees. These activities can be conducted virtually and help foster a sense of unity.
Virtual Cultural Exchanges
Organize cultural exchange events where team members share aspects of their culture, such as food recipes, music playlists, or stories, to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of diversity.
Collaborative Project Spaces
Set up dedicated virtual spaces for cross-functional project teams that include both remote and on-site members. This encourages collaborative work and knowledge sharing.
Encourage team members to share personal or professional stories during virtual meetings. This helps humanize remote workers and strengthens personal connections. Consider making this a virtual Show-and-Tell where team members share an item or story about an object, pet, or other object that helps tell the story.
Dedicated Feedback Sessions
Creating opportunities during meetings specifically for remote workers to voice their concerns, ideas, or feedback can make them feel valued and heard.
Regular individual conversations between the Gatekeeper and remote employees can provide a more private setting for discussion and validate the employees’ experiences.
The role of the Gatekeeper is pivotal in creating a workplace where remote workers feel heard, understood, and included. The Gatekeeper’s role has evolved to be much more than just a facilitator of discussions or a manager of logistics. They are the pillars upon which an inclusive, understanding, and effective remote work culture can be built. Their indispensable role in making remote workers feel heard, listened to, and understood cements their importance in shaping the workforce of the future.
Failure to acknowledge or invest in this role could be detrimental to the cohesiveness and success of modern, forward-looking organizations. By implementing these strategies and recognizing the significance of this role, organizations can not only adapt to the changing work landscape but also thrive by harnessing the full potential of their diverse and remote workforce.
Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to become a Gatekeeper who
empowers remote workers and shapes the workforce of the future. As remote work allows access to a global talent pool, your expertise as a Gatekeeper can transcend geographical boundaries. You’ll have the chance to influence organizations around the world positively. Don’t miss out on the chance to be at the forefront of remote work transformation. Take action today by enrolling in our Remote Professional Certification and Remote Remote Coach Certification.
Remote work is here to stay, and organizations worldwide are seeking experts who can effectively bridge the gap between on-site and remote teams. By becoming certified, you’ll position yourself as a leader in this field and stay ahead of the curve in your career.
Join us in building a brighter, more connected remote work future!