8 Ways to Keep Remote Employees Motivated During Crisis
As telecommuting is becoming more and more popular within the workplace, it is important that businesses continue to address the needs of all of their employees – including those who work from home. Employee engagement is of extreme importance in every company, we know that much. But how do we continue to drive engagement throughout our remote workforce during this time of crisis?
Though it may seem nearly impossible, the answer to that question is actually quite simple. Use these 8 strategies to motivate and engage remote employees during tough times:
1. Encourage Frequent Communication
When employees feel disconnected or out of the loop, they often lose motivation. Remote employees are often forgotten or left out of certain discussions, leading them to feel abandoned and unmotivated. So it’s extremely important, especially in times of crisis, to drive strong internal communication with your remote teammates.
Make it a priority to schedule weekly or even daily video-call meetings with your team members, invest in a strong communication platform, and establish an “open-door” policy with your employees. Thorough, frequent communication between offsite employees leads to higher productivity and employee engagement.
2. Establish Clear Goals and Expectations
Oftentimes, when remote employees are not producing enough high-quality work, this stems from a lack of clear goals and expectations. When managing remote teams, it’s easy to let expectations, guidelines, and goals slip through the cracks as it becomes more challenging to maintain constant communication with your employees.
When this happens, telecommuters are forced to guess what their manager needs from them, leading to incorrect or non-relevant work and, ultimately, disengaged employees. Therefore, managers must make it a priority to establish clear goals and expectations with all remote employees and communicate these guidelines in a highly-detailed message or video call.
3. Offer Your Employees Opportunities for Growth
According to Achievers’ 2020 Engagement & Retention Report, “43% of employees are looking for or would consider leaving their company because of career advancement”. Offering growth opportunities to your remote employees, even during times of crisis, will help drive employee motivation and job satisfaction.
These growth opportunities don’t necessarily have to be promotions, raises, or title changes. They can be something as simple as offering “lunch and learns”, encouraging and even rewarding participation in virtual conferences. You can also spend 15 minutes during quarterly/monthly reviews mapping out employees’ career paths either within or outside of the company. Offering growth opportunities helps remote workers feel important, engaged, and generally happy. As a result, they are more likely to continue producing high-quality work.
4. Recognize Employees’ Efforts
Employees who feel underappreciated or undervalued are highly likely to disengage from their work, which often leads to poor quality of work. Ensuring that your remote employees feel appreciated and publicly recognized for the effort they put in is crucial when it comes to employee engagement. Something as simple as posting a “Thank You Note” or “Giving Kudos” to your employees on your social and collaborative intranet platform can go a long way. When employees receive recognition for their hard work, they are more likely to remain satisfied and engaged in their current role.
Remote Working: Keep your employees informed, engaged and productive
5. Provide Tips and Training to Help Remote Employees Manage Their Time
It’s easy to get distracted when working from the comfort of your home, especially if your entire family is in the house with you. Employees who are not used to telecommuting, often struggle with time management when working at home. To boost engagement and ensure that these employees are managing their time properly, be sure to provide your remote team with tips and training options on time management. A great way to do this would be to ask one of your regularly remote employees to make a post containing tips and tricks for time management on your communication platform. You can also include training videos or one-on-one training, coaching employees on how to manage time effectively while working remotely.
6. Establish and Emphasize Culture
When shifting to a remote workforce amid crisis, company culture tends to shift or, in some cases, disappear entirely. Maintaining strong company culture is vital if you want to keep remote teams engaged during tough times. Continue to build trust with your teammates by offering consistent, transparent communication.
It is also important to continue team-building activities like happy hours, team lunch, coffee breaks, and team games in order to cultivate culture. Doing this with remote employees calls for creativity and open-mindedness, but all of these get-togethers can be done via video call. This drives collaboration and enthusiasm across the company while we are all working remotely.
7. Offer Mentorship and Training Opportunities
Having a mentor in the workplace can significantly affect employee engagement. It is important for employees to have a coworker who they can go to when times are tough and when things are going great. Mentors help their mentees set goals, work through difficult situations, share professional knowledge, and usually act as a confidence-booster for their mentees during stressful times. Remote employees have less face to face interactions with coworkers which can lead to feelings of isolation. Having a mentor, someone you trust and are comfortable with, helps to combat those feelings of isolation when telecommuting.
8. Utilize a Strong Internal Communication Platform
While email is effective for most business functions, it is an inadequate tool for internal communication in a remote work environment. Having a tool that allows employees to share stories, pictures, videos, documents, etc. in one place makes all the difference when it comes to engagement within remote teams. Employee engagement surveys can also be a great way to constantly improve your organization’s communication. These surveys allow employees to communicate their needs to management while remaining anonymous.
Utilizing a communication platform that allows managers and employees to communicate and share information in real time helps remote teams feel as though they are all together everyday. Communication is key, especially in times of crisis, and having a social and collaborative environment where teammates can share experiences and knowledge takes communication to a whole new level and further drives remote employee motivation.
Many companies already utilize these strategies to generate employee engagement, but it is vital that we keep them at the forefront of our business plan while we navigate these bumpy waters and work remotely. Keep in mind that employee motivation can not be forced and doesn’t happen overnight. However, if you continually utilize these engagement strategies and remain true to your company’s vision and mission, you will likely drive remote employee motivation during times of crisis.
Human Resources Specialist
March 26, 2020
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