Working remotely has now become more common than it used to be before the pandemic. With so many people being forced to work from home, it has become apparent to many companies that having a hybrid or even a completely remote setup could actually be more beneficial to them.
That being said, there are many issues to working remotely as well as managing a remote team. For instance, employee motivation could become one of your biggest challenges. Luckily, here are some techniques you can utilise to improve employee motivation and increase the effectiveness of your remote team.
flexible working hours
First and foremost, you should allow flexible working hours for your team members. In a way, having a remote or a hybrid setup is all about flexibility which is exactly why so many companies working with remote employees let them choose their own hours to work.
Remote employees with flexible hours can become more efficient and happier at their jobs simply because of the autonomy they can now enjoy. But more importantly, being able to create their own schedule means that they can structure their day in a way that will help them use their most productive hours to do work.
trainING with mentors
Another technique you can use is training new remote employees with the help of mentors. Of course, no matter who your employees are, they will need to go through an onboarding process before they start working. However, it’s a good idea to work with your new remote team in a somewhat different way.
Your HR department can have one or more people specifically performing the role of mentors. These mentors can both onboard new employees and train them to comfortably join the remote team. This way, your new employees will know how to maximise their productivity while working from home and you will be able to maintain employee motivation.
MIX of long AND short term objectives
Instead of only focusing on day-to-day tasks or only having a bigger goal in mind, it’s a good idea to mix long-term objectives with short-term ones. Smaller goals can help you motivate employees to do more tasks throughout the day while bigger goals will give them an overall direction.
Explain how an activity fits into the bigger picture. This will inform them about their current short-term goal and how this goal relates to your overall strategy and long-term goals.
LOOKING OUT FOR TEAM members
One of the biggest issues with working remotely is that it can be difficult to achieve proper body and mind harmony if you are not used to working this way. Employees who are used to working in the office might miss face-to-face interactions with their colleagues.
This lack of human contact could lead to some of your remote employees becoming depressed, distressed, and demotivated. To prevent the situation from escalating, you should keep an eye out for any signs of such depression. Let your employees know that you care about their mental well-being and want them to feel well both mentally and physically.
Speaking of mental well-being, you need to make sure that your remote employees are challenged enough in an intellectual way. When their tasks become too monotonous, employee motivation can gradually start decreasing.
This is why you should enable your employees with independent projects. They can do these individually or in teams, but it’s important that you don’t manage them too much while they take on these projects. If they are passionate about the projects, they will feel more motivated to perform well while completing them.
virtual team building activities
Virtual team-building activities can be another great way to help your team become more efficient and effective at their jobs. For you, this can also be a great opportunity to develop your leadership skills while making sure that you improve teamwork within your team.
From virtual office games to online dance parties, there are so many fun things to do to bring your remote employees closer to each other. As their team spirit grows, they will start collaborating more while working which will help improve their productivity.
in-depth feedback mechanisms
Performance reports can go a long way when used correctly. Not only are they useful for office-based teams, but they are incredibly helpful for teams working from home. That is exactly why you should provide extensive feedback to every employee on your team.
It is crucial that you provide personalised feedback to employees individually rather than simply offering general feedback to the entire team. Being specific with your feedback will show them that you care about their performance and want them to do their best in their roles.
discipline and autonomy
Always strive to find a balance between discipline and autonomy. With remote teams, this is always a tricky one, especially when it comes to employee motivation. Obviously, you want your team members to do well, but being too controlling could actually have the opposite effect.
For example, when an employee gets assigned an easy task such as working in Excel, it may not be a good idea to instantly start lecturing them about how to do the task. They probably already know how to or they could figure it out on their own. Likewise, step back from giving them too many tips or having too many meetings. If you have a clear set of rules for working, there shouldn’t be any issues.
Working with a remote team is fast becoming the new norm. However, this doesn’t mean that every company is ready to start working with their employees remotely. This is why it’s important to take the right steps to maintain employee motivation even though you are working in a different setup than just an office-based one.
Author: Anna Medina – Freelance Writer