You may have crossed the first hurdle, which is transitioning your team to a remote workforce and ensuring they have all the tools they need.
But, once that’s done, you may be wondering how to motivate your remotely working staff. Many leaders may have this question, especially with the current pandemic, where working from home is the new “norm.”
While remote work has its perks, it can be frustrating and discouraging sometimes. During a crisis, employees may tend to do tactical work instead of working on newer and bigger problems the company may be facing.
So, next on your agenda should be motivating your team.
Motivation helps to keep their productivity high and also helps them to adapt to the change. Encouragement is an important factor that helps the team grow above the rest, regardless of the challenges.
And the best part?
Following the mentioned simple tips will help you encourage your workforce, who might face the challenges of working from home.
So, let’s understand!
Challenges of Managing a Remote Workforce
While working from home is a modern perk, such an arrangement has its own shortcomings. As a leader, you have to understand that staff who telecommutes have their unique challenges.
Some commonly faced challenges are:
- Isolation and loneliness
- Feeling left out
- Lack of communication
- Distractions at home
- Unable to unplug
- Lack of motivation
Understanding their challenges and helping them to work through them will improve productivity, engagement, and cohesion.
Open communication, creating trust, and connection essential for collaborative work need specific tools and strategies.
Here are a few tips that can help you motivate your team:
1. Go on A Video Call
Remote work has caused added responsibilities to team leaders. They have to gauge productivity and communicate effectively, and that too, just over one conversation in a day. This can be challenging when the team is not together.
A video call can help in such cases. It is the second-best way of communication—after a meeting in person— as you can understand a lot through body language.
It is easier to understand if an employee is uninspired or unhappy than through an audio call. At the same time, your energy could be much more contagious through a video.
Video call makes the talking experience more personal, as if you are really talking to that person.
2. Have Clear Measurements of Performance
When the staff is working remotely, they tend to be more productive.
In contrast to working from the office, where they work in shifts, people working from home have assignment-based work.
Remote working employees are usually motivated to finish their tasks early to spend time with their family or friends. Utilizing these spurts of productivity aids in providing better results.
So, to motivate them, be clear on your expectation from the delegated tasks. All employees should have a clear picture of their tasks for the week.
Help them with a step-by-step process on how they are expected to deliver. You can also include performance reviews to motivate them further.
3. Think about Employee’s Well-being
Many a time, it may happen that your employees would not be feeling well or are stressed out due to certain reasons.
Making them feel that they are an integral part of the team and creating a personal relationship with them could promote their well-being.
For instance, remote working staff may tend to have different sleep schedules based on when they are most productive. Here you can promote healthy by setting video sessions at a time that are less likely to interrupt their sleep.
Lack of sleep is associated with depression, and by preventing lack of sleep, you are promoting their health.
So, get to know your employees and their lifestyle and consider these learnings to assign tasks and schedule meetings.
They will notice how you have given importance to their preferences in assignments, which could generate a spark of reciprocal investment, improving their performance.
You can also generate a sense of personal investment by sending a text to catch up socially or mail them their favorite book on their birthday.
Creating a friendly environment is seen to promote employee happiness at work.
4. Promote a Growth Mindset
Even your most talented team or employee needs to stay challenged.
Focusing on performance goals and personal improvement is one more way of motivating your remote workforce.
This tip is based on a growth mindset. Here the idea is no matter at what point of your career you are; you always have room to improve and stretch.
So, as a leader, you should always focus on the employee’s potential and not on performance.
Including a growth mindset also involves embracing failure as part of the learning experience. If employees work in their comfort zone, they won’t be able to widen their skillset.
The point here is to support your team members who are ready to take risk to grow professionally and improve their confidence.
5. Visual Scoreboard
You may communicate daily with your team, and all your employees might be accountable, but they still need ways to capture goals.
Here, you can create a visual with the progress of all employees. This will motivate, create a competitive streak, and elucidate priorities and key performance indicators.
You can choose to show results using a spreadsheet or a PDF, but be consistent so that it is easy for your staff to understand the scoreboard.
What you can do here is to dedicate time during monthly or weekly meetings to update this visual scoreboard so that you are sure about the data that reflects your business initiatives.
6. Monitor Remote Workforce Accomplishments and Not Activity
Let’s face the fact micromanaging is the least effective way to encourage and keep your staff on task. Instead, aim to determine whether your employees can meet personal and collective performance goals.
Isn’t it something you would want from your staff?
Encouraging, instead of emphasizing, activities is essential. It helps to keep the team’s spotlight, which is crucial for a thriving and successful business.
7. Be More Personal
Working remotely gives your workforce to be flexible in their schedule and saves daily commute time.
But here’s the catch…
They won’t be able to chat about a plot twist of a series or grab a cup of coffee together. This will take extra effort to help them feel connected.
As a leader, it will be your responsibility to create such interactions online.
Consider making announcements or celebrating milestones about achievements. You can also use emojis or GIFs in informal chats to personalize communication.
There are many things about managing your remote workforce that is the same as managing those on location. However, it’s a mistake to assume that a remote employee is the same as working from the office.
Employees working from home may face unique challenges, and understanding them helps in managing your team effectively.
Implementing the tips mentioned above helps not only your team but also you as a leader. The better you understand your staff’s needs, the better you will be prepared to manage them.
There you have it, seven simple tips to motivate your team for higher engagement.
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