Published: November 14, 2022 | Comments
One of the obvious challenges in a remote work environment is that no one can see the extra things you may do that normally would get noticed when you were working in an office. But there is a way to gain visibility, and set up a powerbase to get noticed and even get promoted. The key is to demonstrate specific actions that will evoke the same feelings that people would feel in the office. Here are some ways that you can do that and build your visibility in a work-at-home environment:
Recreate the Water Cooler Talk
Though we don’t have a visible office to walk around in, our team chat rooms and other group chats can become our virtual office to stroll through. Being visible in the team and group chats is one way to have people see you. You can make helpful suggestions, share a tip of the day, or share an image with a positive or thought-provoking message. Funny images or cartoons can also help give coworkers a break while making them smile. Asking one of your coworkers about their son’s latest Little League game can work, as well. You can also share about your daughter’s yellow belt in Taekwondo, your son’s promotion to the next level in his piano lessons, or your daughter deciding to take tennis lessons. Driving engagement is key to getting visible.
Show Gratitude for Work Well Done
In our busy, everyday personal lives, most don’t give and receive praise, so promoting that in the virtual workplace will engage others, showcase your leadership skills, and drive your visibility. Everyone has a sign on their head that says, “Make me feel important.” A simple email thanking the HR generalist that helped you with a benefit question, the IT person that helped you with your computer challenge, or the business analyst that made your numbers tell a big story will help make their day even better and give you visibility. Most of the time when something good happens to people, they will tell someone else about it. Imagine if everyone did the same thing and reached out to a couple of people that helped them and just thanked them. A chain reaction of praise could buzz throughout your virtual environment. This would reap huge dividends in raising your visibility.
Lend a Hand
Offer to help someone on one of their projects, and later share with others what that person accomplished for the company. You can do this through phone or Zoom conversations, chats, texts, and emails. It doesn’t have to be the number one reason for the interaction; you can add something at the end of those verbal, video, or electronic interactions.
Here’s an example: “I was talking with Bill this afternoon. He’s working on the new IT project. Wow, things are moving along. You might reach out and get an update. Exciting times for sure.”
This will not only give Bill additional visibility within the organization, but it will shine the light on what they accomplished and showcase your leadership skills, even if you aren’t a formal leader—all of which builds your visibility.
Make introductions to others virtually. Have a virtual coffee with a colleague, and invite someone else from a different department. This is a great way to not only showcase your collaboration skills, but also to foster cooperation between departments, which can sometimes be a struggle when people aren’t in the same physical location. Collaboration skills are critical for a good leader. This is a good way to hone your skills, help others, and make yourself visible.
Provide Meeting Kudos
Give recognition as people are coming into a virtual meeting and before the meeting starts. By quickly saying someone’s name and giving a quick acknowledgement or compliment, you can be visible without bragging about yourself.
Here’s an example: “Hi, Mary! Thanks for reading over my project plan and giving me input.”
That showcases that Mary helped you and also showcases your project. You will always be surprised by their reaction because most people don’t give public acknowledgement. This builds your visibility and the other person’s as well.
Sing the Praises of Others to Department Heads
For most, passing a department head or senior-level executive in the brick-and-mortar hallway might create a great experience for “facetime.” You can also do this in the work-at-home world. Instead of promoting yourself, showcase someone in a manager or senior-level executive’s department and something they have done that you really noticed; just use email, text, chat, or even a voicemail.
For example, you could send Suzanne, the head of operations, an email saying that you had been talking with Frank and Lorene on her team and heard that their new CRM integration was a huge success and that congratulations were in order. By complimenting people on Suzanne’s team, you are really complimenting her—just another way to gain visibility.
Take someone under your wing and help them. Be an informal mentor. Your mentee will be grateful and will tell others. This increases your visibility, while at the same time the other person is growing and gaining new skills for themselves.
Even with the above seven points, there are two additional keys to gaining visibility in a work-at-home environment. The first is to be genuine as you acknowledge and praise others. People know when you are not being sincere. The second is to be consistent. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t build visibility overnight. Being visible in the work-at-home environment is possible; it just takes additional effort and time. Be patient and keep moving forward, and you will earn the visibility that you have worked so hard to get—and that visibility could lead to a promotion!