Thanks to technology we can now work wherever and whenever we want. And in return, businesses are not only able to tap into a larger pool of talent since location no longer matters but they can also save a great deal of money in doing so. But when it comes to motivating remote teams, it’s no easy task.
Remote work is not an easy task. When there’s thousands and thousands of miles between you and your core team, motivational spikes can be few and far between, literally. That’s why motivating remote teams should be such a big aspect of your day-to-day goals.
When you have employees who work remotely, it’s impossible to tell how well employees are using their time and how they’re staying motivated. For many, they feel that the motivation comes much more easily than when they’re spending the day in the office or confined to one space.
Sure, employees are happier with this type of work, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about their continued happiness or motivation. This is something that must be ongoing and at the top of your list.
Shall we begin?
Communicate Often + Provide Positive Feedback + Show Gratitude
If there’s one ingredient that is key to your team’s success, it’s communication. Not only does constant communication keep your team members in the loop but it also allows them to feel more involved and connected to the company, near or far.
There is where you savvy communication tools will come in handy. From Slack to Skype, Asana, Monday, and the list goes on
In addition to having open communication platforms, it’s important to schedule regular check-ins or meetings with your teams. This is will not only provide them with a stronger sense of direction but it will make them feel more accountable when there’s ongoing deadlines that need to be met. Especially leading up to your check-ins.
At times, most remote workers will only hear from their employer if there’s something wrong or to move forward with the next project. But when in an office, there may be more opportunities to offer feedback, praise or approval. The same should go for your remote employees too.
Establish Systems & Clarify Goals
Sure, the work is getting done, deadlines are being met, but what about your expectations? What has a high chance of getting lost in the pipeline when working with remote teammates is a clear direction of what is expected. This can range from team objectives, project goals and even company goals.
By setting clear objectives from the very beginning and making sure everyone is on the same page and, most importantly, agrees with those objectives, then everything will seem much clearer.
Focus on the What Instead of the When
The beauty about remote work is that we get to set our own schedules for most of the time. With that being said, you should encourage your teammates to work when they’re most productive. Try not to constrict them to set times because in the end, it’s the work that may suffer.
If you have early risers who prefer to get most of their work done early in the day, then why not allow them to do so? Same goes for the night owls. In turn, the work will ultimately benefit.
Keep Their Careers in Mind
Like with any employee or contract, we all have goals to grow in a company or in a personal business. As a leader or manager, it’s important that you give them the opportunity to do so. So, where to start?
Start by talking to them. Find out what their goals are in that specific role. How they want to challenge themselves. Where they see their career heading in the next couple of years.
HubSpot recommends having a 4-part conversation to ensure that your teammates are continuously growing:
- What your employees would like to get better at this month: This helps you to understand how they’d like to grow.
- Find out what they’re doing better this month compared to last month: This helps your employees understand how they’ve been growing, more specifically in areas they may not have been aware of before.
- What their best moments were in the last month: This helps you to better understand what motivates your team members.
- Ask them what their worst moments were in the last month: This helps you to better understand what tasks may be taking their energy and motivation away from the job.
Once you’re able to understand their career path and interests, there may be opportunities for them to exercise their interests.
With the freedom of working wherever and whenever they want, there also comes a lot of distractions. Deadlines start to slide, focused is lost, and so on. That’s where strong time management comes into play.
By providing the right tools, guidelines and trainings from the start, your remote contractors or team members will have much more success. Again, there’s a handful of helpful project management tools such as Trello, Asana and Monday (our personal favorite) that can help you stay on track and keep projects moving forward.
Keep Things Fun
Since a good amount of your communication is nonverbal and it’s all mostly through text, it can be difficult to communicate how you’re feeling about something. Cue animated gifs and emojis.
Sure, it may sound silly at first but it’s a great way to give praise and to add more inflection to your messages. A simple smiley face or a thumbs up to give praise can go a long way!
With just a few tweaks you can be well on your way to an even more productive team whether a few miles or a couple thousand miles away. How do you keep your teams motivated? Share in the comments below!
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