Holding regular weekly 1-on-1s is important for staying closely connected with your remote employees. Here are questions you can use during those uninterrupted times to help you get the most out of every meeting.
How are you feeling, and what’s your energy level?
This one may seem obvious, but when everyone works in the same physical space, managers can easily stop by their employee’s desk and check in with them. Even nonverbals can give insight into how your people are feeling, but it’s not as easy to pick up on these feeling states and energy levels over a slack message or email.
PRO TIP At FlowyTeam, we use the practice of Intentional Energetic Presence, or IEP. This can be easily adapted in daily practices, like at the beginning of meetings, and the goal is to be open and honest about how present you are at that moment. You can share your IEP level using emotion emojis to indicate the energy level of employees and team.
Are you crystal clear on your role and what you should be working on? If not, what aspects aren’t clear?
Without role clarity, employees will work towards a path they can only assume is correct. Creating a psychologically safe environment begins with a well- defined role because working off of assumptions can quickly turn into misalignment, and when remote employees feel disconnected their development and growth with the company become heavily stifled.
Regularly checking in with your employee by asking how clear they are in their role and current responsibilities can help them define what success looks like for their role so they can continually strive for it.
How am I doing as a manager? Would you mind sharing your feedback?
Similar to providing role clarity, explicitly asking for feedback promotes a deep sense of psychological safety. It not only shows your employees that you care about their opinion, but that you’re helping to create a safe space for them to be open and honest. Having dedicated moments with your remote employees, like regular 1-on-1s gives you the chance to dive deeper and ask for this valuable feedback.
What motivated you to do amazing work this week?
In life and in business, motivation bleeds into everything you do and it helps us choose where to focus in our busy lives. Where you derive motivation is connected to how you expend energy both short- and long-term. Learning more about what drives your people can allow you to better support them in maintaining those levels of engagement.
How is life going outside of work?
Checking in with your direct report on how they’re doing outside of their normal work routine is important for learning who they are outside of working hours.
And because you don’t get the chance to see them face-to-face each day, this gives you the chance to see if anything is impacting their work that you can help support them on. Maybe they’re having a rougher than average week because a family member is in the hospital, or their child is sick at home with the flu. Knowing this information creates the space for more empathy and allows you to be the best coach you can be.