The COVID-19 pandemic showed us a lot of things, like how crucial it is to take care of ourselves, spend time with family, value nature, and practice working from home. While the first three were relatively easy, the last task was a bit difficult. But, thanks to the greatest epidemic of the decade, we understand that remote work is possible.
Though working from home seemed fun for the first few weeks, it started losing its charm after some time. According to a survey, 24% of employees feel lonely and 21% are struggling to stay motivated while working from home.
Demotivated employees decrease the entire team’s performance, resulting in unfinished projects and missed deadlines. Due to this, it’s essential for employers to keep their employees motivated.
That’s why we have curated these 12 tips that will help you in motivating your remote employees.
1. Improve Internal Communication
One of the major challenges that remote working companies had to face is poor communication among employees. While striking up a conversation with a teammate was quite easy at the office, the same is a bit different while working remotely.
Let’s say your company has recently shifted to remote work, and as all your work requires working on Google Workspace, you never thought of having a proper channel for communication. In such cases, an employee will find it difficult to communicate with their team leaders or colleagues as there is no solid mode of communication.
Besides, calling colleagues and managers for every little doubt is not feasible. Due to this, most employees will not clear their doubts, and it will lead to mistakes in their work which can further demotivate them.
To avoid such circumstances, remote working organizations have started adopting various communication technologies like intranets, instant messaging apps, video conferencing platforms, etc. to stay in touch with their employees. Some are even using emails. It is important to streamline internal communication using these channels. Everyone in the organization should be aware of when to use which channel.
We’ll discuss more on communication tools later in this article.
2. Stop Micromanaging & Trust Your Employees
Yes, remote work is complex, and there’s always the chance of employees getting distracted. But that doesn’t mean you, as a manager, should start micromanaging your employees. When you try to control your employees during their working hours, you are interfering with their pace of work.
Even if you are successful in micromanaging, it will do more harm than good. Employees won’t feel motivated as someone will always be hovering over them for every task, leaving no space for freedom to work.
Instead of micromanaging your team, trust them and let them work at their own pace. At the end of the day, you can ask them about their progress. By trusting your employees, you are giving them a psychologically safe environment to work in. In addition, it would help create an honest work culture where the employee will feel proud where they work and build mutual respect with the organization.
3. Offer Flexible Working Hours
While working from the office only meant dealing with official tasks. On the other hand, remote work puts an additional burden on employees’ shoulders. They have to manage both household chores and office tasks simultaneously. On top of that, if companies have fixed working hours, the pressure increases.
That’s why it is better to offer flex time to employees. It gives them the freedom to work on their own time and manage household chores without stressing out. So whether an employee wants to burn the midnight oil or become an early bird, as long as they work honestly, it’s all good for them and the company.
4. Organize Virtual Events & Team Building Activities
Remember the times when we used to have office parties during Christmas or other festivals? Well, conducting in-office parties while working from home is difficult but not impossible.
You can use event management platforms like Eventtia, which can easily organize virtual events like parties, seminars, functions, etc., according to your company’s requirements. The software provides matchmade networking where remote employees can connect with anyone from the company irrespective of their department or work profile. Apart from that, you also get to add sponsors for the events, and CEOs, invite special guests and arrange live Q&A for the employees.
Eventtia also helps you to organize team-building activities like quizzes, online marathons, and similar events that encourage employees to work in a team. Conducting such events once in a while gives the desired morale boost to your remote employees.
5. Implement Employee Recognition Programs
What happens when you start appreciating your employees for their achievements and efforts? It gives them a morale boost and encourages them to give their best. Even if you have entirely shifted to remote working, it is essential to maintain employee recognition programs so that your employees stay motivated.
You can conduct virtual award functions, send a note of appreciation in the mail, print about their achievements in the next company newsletter, etc. There are many ways through which you can make your employees feel appreciated for their work. These small gestures, when done occasionally, motivates your remote employees to remain focused on their work.
6. Empower Your Employees With The Right Tools
You can empower your remote employees with the right set of collaboration tools. Below are some of these tools that you should integrate with your tech stack to benefit the employees.
- Project & Task Management Tools: Many remote operating organizations have now started adopting all-in-one project management tools like SmartTask or Asana to keep track of work in one place.
- Employee Engagement Platforms: One of the critical factors that determine the success of a company is its employee engagement rate. If your employees are not actively engaged with the company and just doing their work for a paycheck, it will do more harm than good. Platforms like Lattice and 15Five are designed to encourage better employee engagement for remote employees. They provide pulse surveys, questionnaires, a smooth onboarding process, and everything that adds to improving the employee engagement rate.
- Communication & Video Conferencing Tools: You need to have proper communication channels where employees can get real-time updates about their inquiries and connect with colleagues. Tools like Slack and Zoom are designed to enable smooth communication amongst remote employees. You can converse with your employees over chat, make both audio and video calls, and share files as well.
- Document Management & File Sharing Tools: When it comes to collaborating with remote teams, companies should devise a proper platform where employees can share files without any fear of intruders. Google Workspace and Dropbox are well-known for document management, where you can upload and share files.
7. Start Daily Check-Ins
It is quite common for remote employees to get distracted while working, which further results in missing out on a task or two for the day. But, once you start checking in daily with your team members, such situations become less frequent. No, we are not telling you to micromanage your team.
Once the day ends, ask your team members to provide updates on the tasks they did over team mail or Slack channel, which everyone can view. By doing so, employees remain on track, and it also fosters a collaborating mindset amongst team members. If daily check-ins are too frequent for your team, you can opt for a check-in conversation during reoccurring your one-on-ones with your employees.
8. Use Survey Tools & Get Feedback From Employees
There’s not a single organization that doesn’t conduct surveys, but only a few of them work on it. Instead of just conducting surveys for the sake of it, try to act on the feedback that you get.
Employees need to feel heard, as it gives them a sense of belongingness, and what better than to start working on their suggestions made through surveys? If their suggestions are reasonable, make sure to implement them. When you start working on their suggestions, it gives your employees a boost of motivation to work “FOR” the company as the said company pays heed to their worries.
9. Provide Constructive Feedback On Their Work
Employees are bound to make mistakes while doing a new task, but that doesn’t mean you should criticize them. Instead, try giving them constructive feedback by stating the areas where they performed brilliantly and areas where they can still improve.
Constructive feedback helps an employee to understand their shortcomings without feeling insulted or humiliated. Besides, it helps in motivating your employees to work harder and avoid mistakes. It gives them confidence that they can improve their work and provide the desired results.
10. Offer Health Benefits
When the pandemic hit the world, employees understood the value of life and that nothing is more important than having a healthy mind and body. However, most companies failed to understand employees’ changing mindsets and could not empathize with them. This resulted in the Great Resignation, where many employees left organizations that did not value them.
Even if your employees are not working from the office, you can still care for them from afar. Sending monthly health kits containing sanitizers, and medicines, providing medical insurance for employees and their families, allowing leaves when they are mentally exhausted, etc., are some of the things that you can do from afar.
Showing gestures that indicate you care for your employees gives them a sense of belonging. It further connects them with the company and motivates them to work harder for the company’s success.
11. Align Employee Goals With Company’s Vision
It’s quite common for employees to feel whether their efforts are having any impact on the organization if their goals match with that of the company and what’s the final outcome of their tasks. Employees start feeling demotivated if they do not get any solid answers to the above questions. That’s why managers need to ensure that an employee’s goals align perfectly with the company’s vision.
How can you make that happen? By showing the final results of your employees’ hard work in upcoming meetings, create surveys of leads, sales, and profit that the organization has accomplished in a year and credit the employees for that. In short, you need to show that the tasks assigned to an employee are not meaningless and that they do impact the organization.
Furthermore, brand recognition and understanding should rise. Design a logo that carries your values and reflects your company vision, so that the employees find an emotional connection seeing it.
Once your employees get to understand the above concept, they will feel recognized and motivated to work much harder.
Remote work has its own share of pros and cons, the major con being employees getting bored and demotivated. Managers must take necessary measures to encourage their employees and make sure that they do not feel demotivated or stressed out.
Though the above tips are some of the most common suggestions that you will get, in the end, it’s your call. As a manager and team leader, you need to decide what measures will fit perfectly with your team members and not deflect them from their work.