Workspaces underwent a rapid transformation due to the COVID-19 Pandemic with many offices completely shut and businesses navigating the new reality. While some businesses were quick to overcome this challenge with the help of technology and remote work, others were finding it tough to adapt. As for the employees, many people lost their jobs while some took a pay cut while working remotely.
With more and more people becoming a part of the remote workforce, managers and leaders need to regularly motivate and effectively manage teams. Nonetheless, this can be challenging as managers need to ensure that employees are high on energy and motivation. Positive work culture and strong relationships with your team members helps in remote workforce management.
Below are some strategies on how to motivate and manage a remote workforce?
1. Ensure Effective Communication
One of the most common challenges of working remotely is communication. Seeing someone in the office every day does reveal to us a lot about them which, while working remotely, we do not have access to. This is why managers must make the extra effort of communicating with their team members. Keeping the lines of communication open as well as being transparent will make you seem approachable and friendly. Apart from frequent email and chat exchanges, take the onus to do video calls as they help check up on colleagues as well as learn about issues that email and chat exchanges do not uncover. Also, try to include more and more members in group calls to build new relationships.
2. Equip Them With the Right Tools
It is very important to convert average employees into high performing ones. Along with the right direction and motivation, equipping them with the right tools is also necessary. Each and every area of work that the employee engages in must have the right tool facilitating smooth and easy operation. Most of the digital solutions available today are easy to access and affordable. Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet are a must-have, and so are project management tools like asana that help one keep track of things.
3. Organize Team Building Activities
Once a month, managers and leaders must organize a fun virtual activity that brings the entire team together. This will give a sense of belongingness to employees as well as boost their morale. Moreover, team-building activities help create new bonds within the team through shared experiences both in victories and losses, which is invaluable to the company in the short and long term as it stirs up healthy competition within the ranks.
4. Set Benchmarks and Offer Incentives
One sure way of keeping employees high on motivation and energy is to set clear expectations in terms of their current role and tell them why it is crucial to company culture. This will help foster a growth mindset that makes them realize there is always scope for improvement and see their past achievements as stepping stones towards more success. At the same time, a roadmap of a successful employee’s journey with milestones will help new employees learn what the company expects of them and what they need to do to achieve success.
Simply setting benchmarks is not enough as companies must have an incentive and recognition program in place to make them feel good about their contribution. Remote software developers / workers are more prone to feelings of isolation and detachment as they are not regularly interacting with colleagues in the office. This is why it is important to show them that their contribution matters with timely incentives and team shoutouts. Moreover, studies show that employees who feel valued tend to stay with the company for longer and are more driven to excel at work.
Remote work is here to stay, which is why it is important that more and more organizations embrace the strategies which will help them constantly motivate and inspire their workforce. Management challenges for leaders like low productivity and lack of initiative occur less frequently when employees get the necessary amount of care. Organizations need to take note of the fact that motivating employees doesn’t happen quickly; it is a long term process that needs daily consistency and effort to make it a part of the company culture.