5 Ways To Motivate A Remote Team During Covid-19Reading Time: 4 minutes
When you work for a company that allows you to work from home, chances are you’ll love it. After all, who doesn’t like killing two birds at once while watching yet another episode of The Office? Or doing a meeting from bed in their comfiest pair of sweatpants?
But unfortunately, sometimes, the negatives do outweigh the perks of remote work. A recent study found out that working from home may be good for getting more work done. However, you’ll come up with more creative ideas working at a physical office. That being said, there are effective strategies managers can use to improve team productivity and performance — despite the conditions created by COVID-19. Knowing how to motivate a remote team can help remote workers become more motivated and productive than their office-working colleagues.
So if you’re a manager looking for ways to motivate a remote team, look no further! We have everything you need to know about how to do it.
Improve your communication
When you’re working with virtual teams, one of the biggest challenges is communication. Things can get lost in translation – or even never said at all.
If your overall internal communication strategy does not focus on ensuring clarity in communication, it could result in a regular communication gap. It can also lead to lower engagement within your remote employees. You cannot simply rely on workplace tools to share ideas, communicate, and motivate your employees.
After all, communication is the oil that keeps your remote team happy and productive. Make sure to schedule as many face-to-face meetings as you possibly can. And, keep checking up on your team to ensure everything is going smoothly. The more you communicate with your team (and the more they communicate with one another), the more efficient it is for everyone to work together. Group chats, virtual check-ins, and casual conversation over Slack or your preferred work tool are all important in this regard.
Build a sense of belonging
When your team is remote, it takes more than just a team-building exercise to bring them together.
In addition to improving your communication, you can easily motivate a remote team by making them feel like they have a seat at the table. Whether you’re collaborating on a proposal or taking notes during a presentation, ensuring that all voices get heard is an essential part of success. So instead of simply communicating, why not solicit feedback and offer guidance?
Reassure your team of your commitment, trust, and respect by making sure to ask for their feedback before you make a major decision or start a new project. By doing so, you will reinforce your trust in and commitment to them — and you may even hear ideas you would have never thought of otherwise. This way, you can get everyone’s creative juices flowing, as well as foster a work environment that makes everyone feel respected. What’s not to like about that?
Place an emphasis on collaboration
As a remote team, it’s never been more important for your team to work together and collaborate. And while it’s easy to use a universal tool like email to maintain communication when you’re all in the same building, this isn’t always the case when you’re working remotely from different locations and timezones.
By using tools for collaboration and teamwork, you can mitigate the isolation that comes from working from home. There are plenty of team collaboration tools available today that can be integrated with your organization and your existing workflows if you don’t already have any. All you have to do is log yourself into these tools. Then get your remote team up to speed on them.
A good way to start is to use essential tools like Trello to organize blog post ideas, and other tools like Dropbox to distribute important files in your organization. Tools like Vacation Tracker can help keep vacation days in check and also act as an additional motivator to help employees to stay on schedule. You can work smarter, not harder with these tools, and emphasize collaboration simultaneously. Talk about a win-win situation!
Recognize and reward good work
Short-term goals should be celebrated and long-term objectives should be set, even during hard times like COVID. In order to motivate a remote team, make sure you take extra steps to celebrate their achievements and reward them for going the extra mile.
Your team needs to know that every hard day of work has a purpose, and each tough week has one more winning streak within it. Show your appreciation to your team members by offering genuine compliments and recognition for their efforts. Besides knowing that they’re making a positive impact on the world, they also need to see you publicly celebrate your team’s accomplishments. Why? Because positive recognition is the most powerful motivator and they’ll love you for it.
To motivate employees, you need to give them examples of how their work has contributed to business success. Whenever someone does something right, let everyone know why it was important and how it helped your company.
Work hard, but play harder
When your team is remote, it’s hard to see them every day and joke around at the water cooler. Or even simply bond over margaritas every Friday during happy hour. You may have heard it said that distance makes the heart grow fonder. But that’s especially true when you’ve got a remote team.
The only way to avoid burnout at the workplace is to make sure that everyone takes a substantial break from work every now and then and do something fun instead. Take initiative and find creative ways to get your team together outside of working hours. From hosting a virtual cooking class to playing escape rooms together, there are a lot of ways your team can bond. Even if it’s online!
Not only will this do wonders for your work/life balance, but it also gives your teammates a chance to socialize outside of work and get to know each other better. Furthermore, it also goes a long way in helping you motivate a remote team. After all, isn’t it true that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?