5 Best Practices to Build an Inclusive Community in a Remote Environment

Manali Mehrishi

30th Nov'22
5 Best Practices to Build an Inclusive Community in a Remote Environment | OpenGrowth

 

Being part of a community is a basic psychological need as it gives a sense of security, respect, and belonging. An inclusive environment at the workplace makes an employee feel accepted and understood. 

Now, how to build a community in a remote working environment is a challenging question for any organization since personal connections are not established naturally while working from home.

In today’s uncertain times, the management must make a conscious effort to implement the best and most effective inclusion practices regularly because social connection boosts morale and creates a positive working environment, enabling employees to deliver their best work.

 

“Diversity has a seat at the table, inclusion has a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard.” Liz Fosslien


 

How do you build a community in a remote working environment?

 

5 Best practices to foster inclusion.

 

1. Virtual meetings

 

Transitioning from one on one office meetings to online meetings has been demanding. But with technology and a mindset to establish a genuine connection, organizations can foster inclusion in a virtual environment.

 

  • Start with a warm welcome meeting as soon as someone joins the team. Encourage a brief introduction of themselves and allow all the team members to extend a warm welcome.

  • Time the meetings appropriately, frequent meetings may disrupt the workflow, and fewer meetings won’t establish a connection.

  • Acknowledge each member’s presence.

  • Whenever appropriate, find time to engage the members in a light conversation like the weather news, the latest happenings, or any small shareable personal detail.

  • Have specific meetings for feedback, opinions, and ideas. 

  • Make sure everyone follows virtual meeting etiquette.

  • Have a no-tolerance policy for discrimination.

  • Have a clear agenda for the meeting and convey it well in time to let everyone prepare beforehand.


 

2. Mentoring webinars and virtual events

5 Best practices to build an inclusive community in a remote environment

 

Unlike meetings, webinars do not resort to task updates and assignments. They are an educational source of connecting with the employees. 

 

  • Design webinars for specific goals and pre-plan their content. 

  • These events can provide information about company policies, a new product launch, inclusion and discrimination laws, etc.

  • The management must encourage employees to share their aspirations and help them align their goals with organizational goals.

  • Mentorship programs can be personal, team-based, or department-wise based on the agenda.

  • Webinars and mentorship events help to retain talent by providing them with additional sources to connect, learn, and seek growth opportunities within the organization.

 

3. Access to resources

 

  • A systematic approach like a company portal or knowledge hub needs to be created that allows employees to access relevant data without the risk of a security breach.

  • Compensate employees for work-from-home setups such as laptops, office furniture, and internet bills.

  • Caregivers like mothers, those looking after old parents, or patients with disabilities must be allowed a flexible working schedule.


 

4. Training on how to foster inclusion while working from home

 

Inclusion training should be mandatory in every organization as all employees should learn to make members from diverse cultural backgrounds, experiences, races, and viewpoints feel equally significant and included.

 

  • Identify the best learning practice and mode of teaching for each employee.

  • The managers must undertake mandatory training to understand the relevance of fostering inclusion within a team.

  • Make the training engaging and interactive by involving all members. 

  • Don’t force involvement since some members feel comfortable listening rather than speaking in front of a big team.

  • It also allows the organization to show that they value and promote inclusion.

 

5. Show care and support

5 Best practices to build an inclusive community in a remote environment

 

 

  • Practice active listening- Active listening is a broad term that includes not just hearing but asking deep questions and going beyond words, like facial expressions and body language. 

  • Create wellness workshops and training to create awareness about mental health and coping mechanisms.

  • Give recognition, reward, and acknowledgment whenever it’s due to boost morale and create a sense of belonging.

  • Frequent check-ins, fun team-building activities, and private messaging are other effective ways to build an inclusive online community.


 

Key Takeaways

 

The pandemic has enveloped the mind of every working individual with doubt and stress. These times call for support and engagement more than ever.

 

The management must know how to build a community in a remote working environment by understanding its significance and impact on employees and the whole organization.

  • Inclusion implies a sense of belonging, access to resources, rewards, recognition, and security.

  • When employees feel like integral members, they get motivated easily. There’s healthy competition within a team that nurtures a sense of purpose. Eventually, this leads to steady productivity, and increased revenue. Also, that's how Remote work will help to retain and attract top talent.

  • Design suitable training, webinars, and wellness programs that foster inclusivity.

  • An organization must follow an employee-centric approach. Give them the option to work flexibly, provide appropriate support in times of sickness and value their personal goals.

 

We at OpenGrowth, are committed to keeping you updated with the best content on the latest trendy topics from any major field. Also, both your feedback and suggestions are valuable to us. So, do share them in the comment section below.

 

Manali is a content creator, author and life coach. A coffee lover, who also loves to read, write and travel. An observant person who seeks value, clarity and simplicity in all aspects of life.

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