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Motivating employees in a 9-to-5 office setting comes with a lot of challenges. Those challenges are multiplied when you remove the face-to-face interaction and attempt to motivate remote workers. While it can be difficult, there are proven ways to keep remote employees connected and engaged. Here are 5 easy ways you can start trying today:
Any good relationship is built on quality communication, but it’s especially important in remote working relationships. Make sure there are multiple ways for you to digitally communicate with remote teams, and for team members to communicate with each other. Think outside of just email, and leverage instant messengers like Slack and other social channels to keep your remote workers connected. If you need to chat with your team, send a quick message without the formalities of email on Slack instead. This way, you save time on creating lengthy emails and get straight to the point. Communication and accolades can even be extended with tacos – you heard right, tacos. Slack’s integrated app HeyTaco! allows you to reward your team with hypothetical tacos that are tracked on a leaderboard. What’s more – Hoopla’s Slack integration lets you send deal alerts to TVs and monitors company-wide, letting everyone know who’s just received a taco.
Having a digital display, or TV, gives you and your team real-time updates on performance with leaderboard rankings and sales numbers. TVs and displays in-house and remote can display the same channels of information to keep employees everywhere up-to-date simultaneously. Real-time updates streamed to everyone’s location – whether it be at the office, at home, or even on mobile – makes it communication more convenient and frequent. Publicly displayed updates on TVs make employees feel motivated and connected as they get instant recognition for their wins. In turn, these tools can also help boost sales activity and close rates by boosting team morale.
Though long-distance and remote teams can work, having shared in-person memories is key in developing deeper trust on your team. Schedule quarterly or semi-annual meetings with your team. But be sure to create memories outside of office hours. Participate in activities just for fun to build deeper, more meaningful relationships that help bridge connections between your remote and on-site employees.
Oftentimes remote employees are more cost efficient than in-office employees because remote workers require less overhead. Use the money you would have spent on their office space, parking, and so on to reward them in other ways. Get creative; incentives come in many forms, not just paychecks. Send them a surprise Blueboard trip, a bottle of wine, tickets to their local theater, or other personal gifts to remind them that you appreciate them. It’s a small gesture that can go a long way in building connectedness on your team.
Because you won’t see remote team members every day in the office, it’s even more important that you meet regularly to discuss how things are going. Management will often be too busy to schedule monthly performance check-ins to keep in touch between more important annual reviews. It takes a lot of time to gather individual progress reports together every single month. An easy way to track metrics for your team is to integrate your data with leaderboard software. This way, data gets updated automatically and presents information in a way that’s easy to absorb for your performance check-ins. These monthly meetings are also a great opportunity to reassess how your employees are feeling and how you can better motivate them remotely. Keeping remote employees motivated can be a challenge, but by planning intentional interactions and communications, and leveraging powerful digital communications tools, motivation can be as easy as a phone call or a couple clicks of the mouse.