A remote setup is a new style of working as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and many companies across the world have embraced it. That means employers and their workforce are creating a virtual workplace culture that lacks face-to-face interaction.
Keeping a remote team engaged and excited can be draining because they miss what they previously had while working in the office. Some of them are already experiencing burnout because of regular Zoom meetings to compensate for the lost physical interactions.
Remote workspace is not totally new, for there are companies that have distributed employees working remotely for many years. Some have workers situated in different geographical locations but are still productive, engaged, and motivated.
This post will review 5 effective ways of engaging and motivating a remote team.
1. Set Clear Goals
Many traditional companies are scared of venturing into the virtual workplace out of fear of losing control. Managers can see their employees working in the office, but in a remote setup, they think they are on holiday somewhere or worse still at a bar but pretending to work.
Setting clear goals and tracking them is one of the solutions to keep employees productive and ease employers’ anxiety. Set goals that they have to achieve in a week or month instead of tracking them every hour to see if they are working.
You can also make them feel included by setting team-based goals to build a sense of cooperation and collaboration. As opposed to individual goals, team goals make each member accountable to each other and help them work towards a common objective.
Additionally, organizations can introduce performance management systems to help them standardize performance; as a result, managers will be able to identify teams that are not meeting their targets and the members who are not playing their roles as expected.
Further, standardized performance and evaluation criteria will help remote employees to see why they missed a promotion, salary increment, or bonus.
2. Offer Opportunities for Growth
Although employees have embraced remote work and are doing their best to remain productive, the majority feel that their careers might come to a halt. This is because employees working from an office are perceived to be more dedicated to their jobs than those working remotely.
An organization can solve this by providing a clear career path when they are hiring. Communicating to them what they should expect in the coming months and years will keep them engaged and motivated as well as reduce employee turnover. It will keep them excited whenever there is a new opportunity in the company because they know one will be selected for promotion. Otherwise, they will take the next best offer a competitor extends to them, keeping your hiring and training cost high throughout the year.
3. Show Appreciation
People crave recognition and appreciation for their efforts, and the same applies to employees. Most employees have been working in an office setup for many years, and it’s because of the pandemic that they are working from home.
Therefore it is not something they signed up for. Some of them are parents with kids engaged with an online school that require their supervision and still manage their own professional responsibilities.
In view of that, managers can give their employees a genuine compliment or a simple thank you for the great work they are doing while working remotely. It helps the team see that their hard work did not go unnoticed and makes them feel cared about. As a result, the team will be more inclined to go the extra mile for their employer.
4. Invest in a Culture of Connectedness
Humans want to feel connected and included. As a result, they share their important life events, funny moments, successes, sorrow, and more with their friends. People want to build and maintain relationships with their colleagues from different backgrounds, cultures, races, nationalities, etc.
Companies can invest in a culture of connectedness by creating space where employees can share what is happening in their lives freely.
One way is starting a meeting with a light-hearted conversation before getting into serious business. Managers can ease the tension before meeting by asking the team how they plan to spend the weekend or how they spent their recent holiday.
Another way is to keep employees informed of what is happening with team members, allowing them to celebrate their milestones with other colleagues and by being supportive and understanding whenever something happens in one another’s personal lives.
5. Encourage Side Projects
Post-It notes of 3M and Gmail of Google were started through employees’ side projects because these companies gave their workers the freedom to work on their own activities. Allowing your staff members to work on their personal projects that are aligned with the organization will bring more innovation to your business.
Giants such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Hewlett-Packard, and Jooble allow their employees to use a percentage of their time to work on their side projects. For instance, Jooble gives its staff 10% of their time to work on new projects and are free to convert it into hours or days.
Since the remote workplace is the new normal, companies will have to invest in new methods of keeping their employees engaged and motivated.
There are many benefits of your employees working from home; however, you must keep your workers satisfied and excited to work for you to enjoy those advantages.
You must set clear goals, communicate them, and allow your employees to achieve them within the set timelines. Tell them what to expect when they work for your company or the opportunities available for their career advancement.
Appreciate your team now and then, create space for them to connect and discuss anything that is not work-related and get to know each other because they are all working remotely.
Lastly, allow them to work on the side projects that help them to be innovative. These new projects might become great investment opportunities for your company.
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