Keeping Your Staff Motivated When Working Remotely

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ELEVATION TO THE NEXT LEVEL

I was talking to some of my colleagues in recent days about, how do we keep ourselves motivated and how do we ensure that the pipeline of work you can do remotely continues and how do you ensure your staff is working? A friend told me that, she was writing a report to her boss yesterday and has had to do so every week, but does not think that by next week, she’ll have much to report. Another told me that every day, they have to have a team meeting, but she sometimes thinks they are just going through the motion for their boss to tick a box in order to be able to say, “yes, we are doing something.”

I have heard others say, they are working much longer than they would normally work. One said, he works from 7am to 11pm in the night. I am sure his team is working just has hard, because if the boss is working this long, it means he’s churning out work for his team to do.

The question is, how do you manage employees, create trust, open dialogue and ensure the communication necessary for collaborative work relationships. With the advent of Covid-19 the workplace has changed and will never be the same again. Many organisations have to ensure they drive performance and productivity at a distance otherwise, they will end up paying staff for doing nothing 80% of the time.
According to GQ Blog, underlisted are some practices for ensuring you and your staff remain motivated to keep on working:

Set clear expectations
A flexible schedule is an advantage for remote employees, but if you need your workforce responsive and engaged during certain hours, communicate that expectation clearly. Encourage employees to allocate and calendar time when they’ll be online and available.
Periodically check in to ensure schedules align with any persistent. If your team has critical commitments such as team or department meetings, hold employees accountable for attending and follow up on absences.

Stay connected and communicate
Collaboration is a crucial ingredient of a successful team, but you can’t communicate effectively with employees who aren’t connected. Make sure your team has the right tools for the job, including internet access and potentially a company cell phone for employees whose responsiveness is valuable to your organisation.

Establish regular check-in calls to help your remote workforce feel included, but also encourage the use of platforms for instant messaging and chat that allow informal conversations between colleagues to flourish.

Foster a growth mindset
Even if you have an incredibly talented team with a dazzling skill set, they still need to stay challenged. One way managers can motivate a remote workforce is by focusing on both personal improvement and performance goals.

This approach relies on a growth mindset, and it encompasses the idea that no matter where you are in your career, from the front lines of service to executive leadership, you always have room to stretch for more. As a manager, when you focus your team on their potential and not just their performance, it opens both yourself and your remote workforce up to new opportunities.

Manage accomplishments, not activity
Working from home can be a distraction for some, but micromanaging seat time is one of the least effective ways to keep your remote workforce on task. Instead, zero in on whether your employees are meeting collective and personal performance goals.
Encouraging achievement through accomplishment rather than emphasising activity is vital, and it keeps the spotlight where it belongs—on the contributions your team makes to a successful, thriving business.

Create a visual scoreboard
Even if your team regularly communicates and has a culture of accountability, they still need a way to capture shared goals. Creating a visual that represents progress not only motivates employees with a competitive streak but also clarifies key performance indicators and priorities for the entire team.

Whether you invest time in a spreadsheet that tracks progress over time or produce a PDF of fancy graphs that represents quarterly goals, choose a consistent method easy to digest for your entire team. Set aside a dedicated time during weekly or monthly meetings to update the scoreboard and periodically realign to be sure the data you’re measuring reflects your business’s initiatives.

Leverage technology

It’s never been easier to build a virtual community and stay connected. Many high-quality solutions to support online collaboration and teamwork are free or relatively inexpensive. Choose tools that are easy to use, with an emphasis on the basics.
Remote employees need email, video conferencing tools, a direct messaging platform, and a way to share and download files. Make sure that specialised roles like project managers, designers, and others also have access to the software they need to be successful.

Get personal
Consider celebrating milestones or making announcements about achievements and recognition part of your daily managerial approach.

Trust your team
At some point, once you’ve defined responsibilities, expectations, and deadlines, you must trust your team to follow through.
In conclusion, managing and motivating a remote workforce requires the same basic approach as a traditional office environment. However, the tools and strategies you use to create connection, keep the lines of communication open, and managing performance will need an upgrade to keep up with the challenges of the remote workplace.