If your organization is struggling to motivate your remote workforce, these tips are for you.
Leading an engaged team and effectively motivating employees towards better results is always top of mind for business leaders. Over the past year, many organizations have adopted remote work arrangement out of necessity.
Now that a hybrid work model may be staying long-term for many organizations, it’s time to revamp our efforts around motivating and measuring productivity of a remote workforce. Because employees’ work environments, processes and priorities have shifted, there are different and more effective levers we can use to increase satisfaction, engagement, and overall motivation.
Invest in the Right Tools
People can’t do things well or on time if they don’t have the right tools and resources. Employees need to be able to quickly move through work processes, easily collaborate with colleagues, and receive real-time feedback, training, and updates no matter where they work.
We know stable internet connections, email, video conferencing, project management tools, and IM platforms are among some of the key tools and resources to have in place for remote teams. However, there are others which often get overlooked.
- The right HCM (Human Capital Management) or HRIS system can save time, money, and trees. These systems come in many shapes, sizes, and functionalities. They can simplify employee files with electronic documentation, streamline performance management, automate onboarding/offboarding processes, and offer employee self-service functions to name a few.
- When employee handbooks and other policies are written in a way that is approachable and helpful, it goes a long way to save time and headaches. Employees can easily find answers to employment or procedural questions, and shared expectations are made clear up front, so employees and managers can focus their energy on the work that drives business success.
Partnering with an HR expertise provider, like Taskly, can help you determine if these solutions are right for your organization.
Recognizing employees and making them feel truly valued for the work they do is one of the most impactful ways an organization can motivate a remote workforce. Effective recognition comes in many forms, but they don’t have to come with a big price tag. For ideas you can use now to boost recognition in your organization, check out the Top 5 Budget-Friendly Ideas for Employee Recognition
Onboarding is so important to start new hires on the right foot and prepare them for a productive career at your organization. Insight from SHRM suggests that an effective onboarding program for remote employees is even more crucial to their long-term success.
It’s not hard to see why. Effective onboarding helps new hires develop workplace relationships, learn to navigate company systems, and feel as though they have a voice and belong at the company – all of which are more difficult to achieve in the virtual workspace.
Having a structured process is critical for successful virtual onboarding. New hires should have a good roadmap of what they’re expected to accomplish and in what timeframe. Along with mindful support from managers and colleagues, they’ll feel engaged and motivated from the get-go.
It’s no secret that workplace relationships tend to be built around water cooler chat, lunch meetings, and informal hallway conversations, and that these relationships contribute significantly to an employee’s sense of belonging and motivation to perform well on their team.
These relationships are just as much impact on motivation in the remote workplace, but it takes a little more effort to connect virtually. Make it easier for employees by having video conferencing tools available, and then normalize visual connections within your culture. Impromptu video chats can be just as normal as a colleague popping into your office for a quick question. Require occasional ‘video-on’ group meetings to better understand your co-workers’ non-verbal communication, or just to make funny faces and have a laugh with each other.
Workplaces change rapidly due to new technology, changing customer expectations, and emerging legislature, to name a few. As a result, organizations should strive for Adaptive Performance, which describes employees’ ability to adapt to changing work conditions and be comfortable and motivated during change.
A CQ Net Dossier on the subject explains, “When an employee is adaptive this can lead to improved job performance and career success,” and, “At the organizational level…this can lead to gains in change management, organizational learning and customer satisfaction.”
So how can organizations boost adaptability, leading to sustained motivation through change?
- Consider offering formal adaptability training, but also treat errors and missteps as informal learning opportunities that encourage adaptable mindsets.
- Promote a culture of continuous learning and foster teams that rely on each other, both of which increase collective adaptability.
- Align your company vision and strategy with growth and adaptability, then ensure your company leadership walks the walk by demonstrating their adaptable behaviors.
- Encourage social connections at work, as they help people feel comfortable adapting to change.
What you measure shows employees what you care about. Show your team you care about their motivation and engagement by measuring it with periodic employee surveys. Pulse surveys provide a quick and easy way to gather feedback from employees, particularly those working remotely.
When employees know their feedback is being received and see the resulting changes, they feel more valued in the organization, which in turn boosts productivity and motivation. If you’re curious about creating pulse surveys and how to implement the feedback in your organization, Taskly can help.
Effective and regular feedback is a crucial ingredient for engaged employees who are motivated to work hard and grow with your organization. It shows them you care about their work and value their performance regardless of whether the feedback is positive or constructive. It aligns their work with the overall company mission and vision, giving them critical big-picture motivation. It clarifies and refocuses their goals and expectations, providing them with a clear direction to work quickly towards better results.
In the ever-changing work world, having a team of engaged and highly motivated employees is one of the best ways to ensure business success. With remote teams, there are specific ways to increase motivation that starts with making sure they have the right tools.
Then, make sure employee recognition and feedback is effective, genuine, and as close to real-time as possible. Consider how your onboarding programs and communication norms are promoting workplace relationships and setting employees up for success.
Adaptive Performance is a newer term, but the concept is simple. Adaptable employees and organizations respond better and keep motivation levels high through changing workplace conditions. Lastly, understand how your efforts are working and where there might be room for improvement with periodic surveys to employees.
Want to discuss any of these methods in more detail or get help with implementing them in your organization? Working with a strategic HR Partner, such as Taskly, can be a great place to start.