Companies across the world are adapting to new styles of working, and a remote set up is no longer uncharted territory for many companies but struggles do remain when motivating and managing remote teams.
However with the changing times, many organizations may find themselves at the crossroads where they need to find a solution to everyday business problems while also creating effective work environments for their remote employees.
How can you motivate remote employees?
To motivate your remote employees, you can provide the necessary tools to help them do their job, create a culture of trust, adopt a growth mindset, and have open communications. These are the key strategies that guarantee motivation in your remote employees.
Employee motivation plays a big role in the success of any organization, especially when the company is transitioning into a remote set up. This article lists out some of the key factors that help you to motivate your remote employees and maintain employee engagement.
9 Ways Motivate Your Remote Employees
- Provide Your Team With the Right Tools
- Foster a Growth Mindset
- Introduce an Employee Recognition Program
- Invest Your Time in Building Trust
- Communication Is Key
- Use Survey Tools to Gauge Motivation
- Talk About Adaptive Performance
- Always Provide Feedback
- Always Have the Bigger Picture in Mind
Provide Your Team With the Right Tools
An ill-equipped team cannot do and submit their work on time. Lack of technical tools also ends up interrupting the workflow of the employee. Communication issues become more acute when the individual is a remote employee and does not have communication access to the IT team.
Remote employees need email, a good internet connection, time tracking tools, remote communication tools, video conferencing tools, project management tools, a direct messaging platform, and a way to share and download files to do their job effectively.
This further allows for collaboration and communication, which are crucial ingredients impacting the team’s motivation and subsequent success.
If you are looking for the right tools, check out our article on the best tools for remote teams.
Foster a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is when you realize that you have room to stretch for more, no matter where you are in your career.
Inculcating the philosophies of a growth mindset allows them to reach out for new training programs and opens up your remote workforce to new opportunities – both personally and professionally.
This is highly motivating, especially for a remote workforce, as it focuses on their performance goals as well as their personal development strengthening company culture.
Introduce an Employee Recognition Program
The success factor with any workforce, whether on-premise or remote, is its people. In a remote set up, introducing a recognition program to your entire team will make your remote employees feel like they are a part of the team and that their contribution matters.
They no longer just remain a name in the email address book, but their accomplishments are acknowledged and are out there for all to see.
- When employees are valued they stay with their company.
- Recognized employees are generally happier and more productive
- Employees that are recognized contribute more to their company
Invest Your Time in Building Trust
Micromanaging is perhaps the surest way to kill motivation. On the other hand, trusting your remote employees and building rapport with them by learning about their work styles, and even a little about their personal lives will see the morale of your remote employees increase at a high level.
Micro-managing employers may feel a constant urge to know if remote employees are doing their job properly. They may send out slack messages, and monitor their remote employees’ online time; all this does nothing to promote and sustain a healthy work relationship.
To stay motivated, employers need to show trust in their remote workforce by allowing them to take ownership of the work assigned to them and sharpen their time management skills.
Trust leads to motivation, and rapport helps your remote employees to approach you with any work-related problems without hesitation.
Communication Is Key
When you do not get to see someone in the office every day, it becomes essential to find ways to have an ongoing thread of communication live with such employees. It is even better if it is video conferencing.
It has been seen that more than half of human communication is nonverbal. It is critical to have visual clues to have a better understanding of what one is thinking. Video calls tell you way more than an audio-only call or a chat will ever reveal.
You will easily find many free or relatively less expensive digital solutions for video calling such as Skype, Zoom and other remote meeting software. These tools are easily available in the market today. The virtual meetings also make the employee continue to feel connected and motivated.
Try to also build a culture of adding people on calls. Treat remote workers as if they were in the same office space, and loop in the remote person into the meeting when relevant and required.
Also, introduce a bit of humor in your communication, that’s workplace appropriate. A little humor can go a long way in establishing goodwill on your team and keeping the lines of communication open.
Use Survey Tools to Gauge Motivation
With the help of the many survey tools available in the market, you can create your own questionnaire to gauge the motivation levels in your remote workforce. Ask probing questions that nudge them to answer what is working out for them in the current set and what they wish they could have changed.
This effort gives out a strong signal to your employees that you care about them, and makes them feel that their inputs are appreciated.
Encourage your remote employees to open up about what affects their morale and motivation by having one-on-one discussions with them based on the results of the survey tool.
This will help you gain an understanding of what might be needed most urgently in your organization in order to motivate the employees to reach key performance indicators and overall team motivation.
Talk About Adaptive Performance
As an employer, you may seek out remote employees who are versatile, not resistant to change, show high adaptability, and can handle stress without compromising on the quality of work.
Not all remote employees know how to embrace this even if they are willing, but past experiences have shown how workforces can successfully adapt to changing work cultures.
Educating your employees on adaptive performance is crucial for the team’s success over time. You can do this by introducing dedicated days of the month for holding performance cycle meetings, having individual meetings with at least one of your team members, and reserving one day to talk about the road ahead.
Always Provide Feedback
Nothing makes a remote employee feel more involved than receiving constructive feedback on their work.
Regular feedback is critical to keeping your team motivated and engaged as it helps with aligning expectations and objectives with performance and shows that you care about their work. Please make sure and provide positive feedback as well when warranted.
Always Have the Bigger Picture in Mind
Communicate the bigger picture, which is your company’s vision to your virtual team. Explain to them how the company intends to make its mark in the world, and how much value everyone’s work brings to the table.
This is not something you share once and never talk about again; rather it requires constant effective communication to develop a sense of purpose for your team. Jeffrey Gorton’s The Seven Secrets to Managing Remote Employees talks in detail about the many ways in which you can make a positive difference in the lives of your remote team members and their work environment.
Remote working is the future of the modern workplace, and the sooner organizations prepare for it, the better. Employee motivation has always played a key role during such transitions and will continue to be vital for team productivity as you migrate and enhance your remote work set up.
It is important to remember that motivating a team doesn’t happen overnight in a new type of office environment. It is a long-term investment requiring consistency from you and your management team on a daily basis.