Here’s the scenario: your city has asked every business to move to remote work, and now you have a full team in different locations. As more workers around the world continue to work from home, it is important to make sure that your employees remain motivated and engaged.
How can you manage a team’s motivation while working remotely?
There are many ways in which you can boost productivity when you are not in the office, and, although it takes a little more effort, if done right the results could be very positive for your company and for their morale. Here are 10 recommendations to manage your employees remotely:
1. Set objectives and expectations often
Your employees will feel organized and led by someone who they know is adapting and being resilient to the situation when they have guidelines and certain boundaries to follow, just as if they were in the office. Review from time to time how they feel about these expectations. Use time management and remote project management tools to make sure they are on top of their tasks, without having to be on top of them all the time. Make sure you communicate all of this to them and listen to their questions, answering with clarity and accessibility. Set out goals for performance, deliveries, and behavior.
2. Be attentive to signs of distress in your employees
While having conversations with your employees, be on the lookout for any challenge your employees may be going through. Take every opportunity to let your employees know that you care about them and that you support them. Before talking about sensitive topics that could arise from Covid-19 or other things, make sure you know how to bring up things like stress, tension, new working models, and job security. Your employees could be struggling with something, and as a team leader, you should be aware of their challenges and try your best to help ease the tension.
3. Invest in the proper equipment for your employees
Make sure that your employees are fully equipped with the technology they need to be successful when working from home. This could be more than phones and laptops, but also a working webcam, a comfortable chair, a good workspace, and more. Also, note that, even if you equip your employees with all the technology necessary, not everyone knows how to operate with virtual communication. Acknowledge that remote and onsite meetings are different and that it will take your employees some time to get used to. Explain to your employees when it is effective to use a virtual meeting and when they could use another tool.
4. Encourage your employees to communicate
Establish a strong relationship and communication with your employees and show that you are making an effort to boost engagement. A two-way conversation between managers and employees about the organization’s goals, decisions, and implications during times of uncertainty is extremely important for the change to remote working to be successful. When they have all the information, employees are incentivized to express and process their emotions and makes them have a sense of belonging and importance.
5. Learn to trust your employees
When you, as a team manager, provide a supportive structure and express trust in your employees, they become more motivated to do their work correctly. When the team suddenly changes to remote working, you might feel concerned or frustrated to lose direct contact and visibility of your employees and their performance. However, don’t respond with micromanaging.
6. Resist micromanagement
A team leader should be aware of their team’s activities, but that does not mean they should be on top of them all the time. Micromanaging can lead to disengagement and stress, which in result decreases their productivity and motivation. Regular one-to-one meetings can help you at keeping a track of their process but also allowing them to receive and give feedback.
7. Recall and reinforce your organizational values
Remind your employees of your company’s values and your commitment to delivering the projects with the best quality possible. Your employees are key stakeholders, and more importantly so during crises. Show your employees that you plan on counting on them for the long term. Your company has been building a working culture for some years and now is the time to reinforce these values and make them understand they are valuable assets for your company.
8. Encourage innovation
During times of uncertainty and change, employees might become somewhat hesitant or even afraid to try something new and be disruptive, as they are looking to stay in the safe zone. However, let them know that it is during times like this that innovation and risks are even more important for their engagement and the company’s success. Give them opportunities to share their ideas, successes, and be there for potential failures. Make an effort to highlight and value your employees’ efforts and continue scaling their activities, ensuring that they are being creative and stepping out of their safe zone – as long as the risk is worthwhile taking.
9. Be organized and flexible
Even though a concrete plan to follow is necessary when working with remote employees, flexibility, and openness to adjusting strategies is also important. Be understanding when your employees need to adjust their hours, as long as they complete their tasks, their required time to work and deliver high-quality results, it should not impose a problem. Your employees will appreciate your flexibility, and in turn, feel more motivated and comfortable.
10. Set up a recognition system
Take every opportunity to celebrate your employees’ successes and milestones they have achieved. This could be in the form of a message from time to time telling them how good their work is going and to keep it up! Or, you could go the extra mile, and send them a small gift to their house for a big success. Or anyway, you think is best for keeping your employees happy and motivated.
Be understanding of the situation, and that everyone is taking it differently. So, in order to keep your company’s operations in order and your employees engaged and happy, make sure you are available and ready to boost their productivity. Remote working does not have to be bad at all and you might even be surprised and choose to remain working from home.
Are you looking to hire new remote workers? Let’s talk! Fut-Ure specializes in the recruitment of IT and Tech professionals, connecting top talent with the greatest companies. Learn more here!
We think you will also be interested in more Business Advice: