Remote Employees Are Angry: 3 Keys To Re-Engage And Boost Performance

*As originally seen on

Are your remote team members thriving or suffering in silence?

A recent article in Harvard Business Review, by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, discussed their study of remote employees and their findings were powerful. Here are some of the staggering statistics:

  • Colleagues don’t fight for my priorities: 67% of remote employees felt this way vs. 59% of onsite employees.
  • Colleagues say bad things about me behind my back: 41% of remote employees felt this way vs. 31% of onsite employees.
  • Colleagues make changes to the project without warning me: 64% of remote employees felt this way vs. 58% of onsite employees.
  • Colleagues lobby against me with others: 35% of remote employees felt this way vs. 26% of onsite employees.


Michael Ferguson stated recently in Harvard Business Review, “There’s no magic tool for making sure your relationships with remote employees are as strong as they can be. Making a good effort requires being equally conscious of them and understanding the challenges they face. It means trying to replicate the experience of having them physically present with you. The more actions you take to show that you consider them full members of your team, the more likely they are to feel and act that way.”

I don’t have a magic tool or wand, but I do have proven strategies. Let’s dive into the three keys to shift their experience by making inclusion a priority.

1) Explicit Communication:

 Only 7% of communication is the actual content, seeing each other is essential. We don’t want to think that people are saying bad things about us, we want to ensure that we are giving someone the feeling of inclusion and belonging with our words and written communication. This occurs when we communicate often, we are fostering a sense of ‘we all belong here and we are in this together’. Utilizing video conferencing is a great way to have remote team members feel like they are as important as the team members that are physically in the office.

2) Appreciation & Recognition: Are you celebrating successes on a regular basis through visible appreciation (high five emails to the team, weekly round-up emails listing individual employee’s wins, leaderboards showing employees who are achieving their needle movers, gamification that shows who has won what based on their specific goals). How are you helping your remote team to feel appreciated and valued?

3) Engagement: How are you helping to keep everyone’s hearts and minds focused on how much they love your company?

 In my previous blog, 6 Brain-Based Leadership Game-Changers For 2018 [Infographics], I showed specific tools for making new meaning, effective feedback, neuro-storytellingreleasing resistanceunconscious bias and our SBM (Safety, Belonging, Mattering) Decoder. All of these tools can be applied to remote employees with massive success.

My clients find that the increased connection with remote employees often results in: unsung heroes and high potential team members being “discovered”new innovative ideas being airedproblems being uncovered and improvements to morale. When we have strategies in place to foster inclusion, we get remote team members who say, “I love my job, I trust my leader, I trust my co-workers, and I’m ready to rock today!” This is true emotional agility and engagement.

Which of the above practices will you add to your culture to show your remote employees that they are a valued part of your organization? Let’s reinforce the sentiment that out of sight does not mean out of mind.


Featuring case studies and proven techniques, Power Your Tribe provides a set of powerful neuroscience-based tools to help managers identify emotions, release resistance, end isolation, focus on outcomes, and course-correct for continued success.

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