Author: John Ramsay, CEO and Founder of Shift8*
15 Feb 2019
A happy workforce makes a happy workplace, and a happy workplace contributes a successful business. When a workforce is based in one office, this can be achieved in a holistic way, one that ensures that everyone gets involved. However, when employees are dotted around a country or even the globe, it can be tricky to ensure that morale remains high and everyone feels part of the team.
It’s the responsibility of organisations to maintain motivation across their workforce and make a global organisation feel local. Employees no longer have to be located in the same room to be productive, but the traditional narrative of working together still stands. Here are five tips to maintain motivation across a remote workforce.
Use technology to encourage communication
Thanks to technological developments, remote working has become seamless. Companies should make use of technology to ensure that employees are able to communicate easily and in real time. Setting up team WhatsApp groups, Slack channels and conference and video calls help to make sure everyone can communicate easily.
Technology has enabled remote working to be seamless and successful, but nothing can boost a team’s morale like human interaction
At Shift8*, we have a head office chat group where we share highlights from our week, as well as more focused chats for sales, operations and service to speed up day to day tasks.
Technology can also help with time management. Tools like Trello, a task management software, and shared calendars such as Google Calendar or TeamUp can help you keep track of what your team are doing without the threat of micromanaging.
Get together as a team
Technology has enabled remote working to be seamless and successful, but nothing can boost a team’s morale like human interaction. If you can, get everyone together every few weeks to meet and celebrate the last period. As well as celebrating successes in the business, this is also a great time for people to share what they’ve been feeling and any troubles that they may have had.
Team get-togethers can also be an opportunity for employees to bond in a fun, interactive way. These events also create a time for co-workers to build relationships with people who are usually based miles away.
Create goals for individuals
Remote workers can sometimes feel disconnected from their team, which can lead them to question their development and place at a company. Meeting with these team members to discuss what they want to achieve and how they can do so is essential to making them feel valued. Discuss what they’ve achieved so far, what they want to do in the next period and work with them to reach their goals. Having these meetings regularly will help them stay motivated in their role.
Keep staff informed
Even though everyone may not be based in the same office, teams are still working towards one business goal. To maintain motivation and team morale, staff should be informed of the company’s vision. This will ensure they feel part of a wider team and that the tasks they’re doing are working towards a larger mission. Host quarterly presentations outlining the organisation’s wider aims, together with its short and long-term goals, and include how these can be being achieved.
It’s also important that everyone in the company knows what their co-workers are up to. If someone has done something really well, be sure to shout about it to other team members. Celebrating team successes motivates employees and encourages them to work harder.
Trust your employees
The most important part of motivating a team is building trust among your workforce. Many people have negative perceptions of remote working, thinking that time management is harder and employees aren’t as efficient. This belief can easily trickle down to the team, so make sure that you build trust with your employees and avoid micromanaging them. If they know that you trust them, they will feel much more motivated.
The rise of remote working has empowered businesses across the world to achieve their mission and goals while granting employees greater flexibility. We are no longer constrained into one stuffy office but can be scattered across countries, or even continents, without any disruption to our working life. By having regular meetings, listening to employees’ concerns, celebrating their successes and keeping them informed of the shared mission, businesses can successfully motivate their workforce to succeed.