The coronavirus pandemic has forced companies across the globe to adapt to new styles of working. Talk about uncharted territory. Remote working environments were forecasted to be a key component of our future business landscape.
Yet, unprecedented times called for that future to nosedive into reality much quicker than the gradual descent predicted. The outcome? Corporate leaders were thrown into the gauntlet – deprived of the opportunity to establish the right foundation and internal structure to support their now entirely remote workforce.
Today, many organizations find themselves at a crossroads, as they endeavor to implement new practices to resolve everyday business problems, while also creating a remote working environment that is purposeful and engaging for their employees.
Now that we’ve happily said, “See you never” to 2020, and welcomed 2021 with a renewed hope, there’s still one question peppering the minds of corporate leaders everywhere:
How can we create a motivating atmosphere for our remote teams?
Keep Your Team Happy & Engaged, Remotely
Think of the month of January as a blank canvass; an opportunity for you, as a leader, to perform a little face-lift when it comes to your company’s remote policies and practices. The goal? Build a shared culture rooted in social cohesion, trust, and open communication. To instill a sense of motivation, your remote employees must have access to the tools and resources necessary to perform their job at an optimal level. Similarly, placing an emphasis on transparency and stability is essential in establishing loyalty, promoting a growth mindset, and showing employees they are valued and cared for. So, how do you get started?
Establish a Strong Employee Recognition Program
While this has always been an essential piece of a thriving business, the remote set up requires businesses to prioritize their employee recognition program – ensuring it’s an integral part of company culture. After all, your greatest asset = your people. Since employees are likely to feel a sense of isolation in their new remote environments, establishing a culture of recognition and rewarding employees for their hard work will help increase productivity, engagement, and retention levels. What’s more, according to Gallup, giving regular praise and recognition is key in reducing employee burnout. “Most organizations think about wellbeing in terms of health insurance. Consider that having a culture of recognition may be as essential to the overall health of your workforce as a gym discount.”
Create an Environment Steeped in Communication
With the lack of face-to-face interaction each day, it’s imperative to identify ways to keep an open line of communication with employees. Video conferencing via platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype are an effective way of fostering a sense of togetherness and collaboration. Connecting visually can be incredibly impactful – especially since only 10% of people can retain a written message, but a whopping 65% can recall a message delivered visually.
Remote video conferencing can also be leveraged to reinforce values and nurture company culture. But, let’s not forget about those teeny tiny attention spans of today’s employees. As inherently visual learners, simply speaking to your team during a 60 to 90-minute meeting isn’t enough to ensure information is absorbed and your message is heard.
However, incorporating video clips into your presentations – even as little “breathers” in-between discussion topics – is an effective way to influence behavior, lift spirits, and keep motivations high. From injecting a little humor into the conversation to inspiring your team to keep pursuing their goals, Hollywood movie clips can educate, engage, and motivate employees.
Gauge Morale & Motivation Through Surveys
Incorporating satisfaction surveys into your remote strategy on a consistent basis will allow you to collect authentic and unbiased feedback from your staff. Whether you elect to use SurveyMonkey or a similar tool, employees feel safe expressing themselves when they are able to share their thoughts anonymously. By deploying these surveys, you’ll effectively communicate to your staff that you value their input and are continually seeking solutions to concerns or challenges that are raised. Additionally, you’ll always be “in-the-know” regarding what can be improved to boost team motivation and help employees reach key performance indicators. According to Forbes, “happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees. When it comes to salespeople, happiness has an even greater impact, raising sales by 34%”
Provide Frequent Feedback
Without providing remote employees with constructive feedback, they’ll feel unappreciated, and their quality of work will begin to digress. Regular feedback is critical for engaging and motivating your staff. Employees want a concrete understanding of how their individual work is contributing internally to overall business objectives, as well as externally with areas like customer satisfaction.
Providing continual feedback – whether good or constructive – will illustrate the value your company places in its employees and your commitment to their career progression. It’ll also give your leadership team insight into ways they can better nurture and develop individual skill sets. In a similar vein, it’ll allow you to educate remote workers on adaptive performance and how it ties into the overall success of the company. When you strive to routinely communicate the “bigger picture” and company vision to your virtual team, it infuses their work with meaning and purpose. To keep morale high and kick-off each day on a positive note, consider sending an email to your staff with a motivational movie clip to set the right tone.
New Year, New Ways of Working Remote
Employee motivation plays a vital role in productivity and satisfaction levels. However, it’s not something you just do every once in a while; it’s a long-term investment that calls for consistency on a daily basis from your corporate leadership team. And the easiest way to drive impact? To communicate with video.