When you work in a remote team, you don’t get the same benefits as an in-office group. That face-to-face communication, that ability to bond and chat with a team member, is not there in a remote setting. Yet, remote work is here to stay because it offers its own benefits, including greater flexibility, autonomy, and productivity. However, keeping a remote team motivated and engaged can pose an interesting challenge. That’s why we’ve curated a list of six ways you can motivate your remote teams.
1. Host Virtual Meetings Regularly
If you look anywhere for advice on keeping a remote team engaged, you’ll find the recommendation to regularly host virtual meetings for the group. Because you don’t get that face-to-face communication, a remote team needs to adapt and find another way to stay connected. Video conferencing software like Skype, Slack, and Zoom make connecting with the team simple. When you host virtual meetings for the team, you get that casual, human connection you don’t get in writing. You can read more advice with our article: Tips for making remote meetings productive.
2. Keep Communication Lines Open
Since your team is remote, members can’t just walk up to one another to ask a question or give their thoughts. This is where, like with virtual meetings, you need to keep communication lines open. Let team members have the ability to communicate with each other and management via text on platforms like Slack. Live communication like this is critical to building a motivated remote team. Communication should also not just be about work but should include a space for team members to hang out and banter virtually.
3. Give Feedback, Get Feedback
Feedback is a great motivator for employees and team members. In a remote setting, team members should give regular feedback via written chats or virtual meetings. This feedback should be specific and not just another “great job.” Highlight what the team member did well, then respectfully point out what might be improved. Additionally, feedback should go both ways. Make sure there is space and time for team members to give their feedback. You want the team to feel that you care about them as people and not just as machines that do a job.
4. Provide Regular Updates to the Team
Unlike in an in-person office setting, remote workers may feel they aren’t as connected to the company as they would like. They may wonder where the company is headed or even feel like they’re not part of the team. The answer to this is to provide regular updates to your remote team. Every month or so, let your team know what’s going on with the organization’s management–bring them into the inner workings so they can feel like they’re truly connected. Use Craft's free weekly update template to keep everyone in the loop.
5. Recognize the Employee of the Month
One way to motivate individual remote team members is to adopt one of the practices of in-office teams, recognizing an extraordinary employee for the month, and awarding a small prize. Each month, publicly award the member of staff that went above and beyond, solved a unique problem, or took extra work when things were busy. You can easily announce the employee of the month award via a public chat channel on Slack, a company-wide email, or a social media post. This kind of recognition is a powerful motivator to work harder.
6. Let Team Members Choose Tasks
Among the benefits of remote teamwork is the advantage of autonomy. To motivate and engage your remote team, it helps to allow them some choice in which tasks they perform. By doing this, they will choose the work they are passionate about, and there’s nothing like passion for motivating an individual. Additionally, team members that can choose their tasks are more likely to approach the work with confidence, which often leads to better job performance.
By following these six tips for motivating your remote team, you can make the most of the remote setting and keep your team feeling connected and engaged.