Working from home has become the norm for many employees, contractors and interns. While this brings an abundance of benefits, challenges also come with any workplace environment. Maintaining an engaged remote team is a challenge that can be conquered with the right strategy and tools. Here are some tips to keep your team motivated and productive:
1. Use the right tools
Find the right tools to make working from home feel normal and connected. This will help maintain an “in-the-office” feel, with the benefits of working remotely. Systems like Slack, Asana, Teams, and many others, will help your team stay connected and on track with projects, eliminating much of the isolation of remote work.
2. Have open communication
Becoming disconnected is easy when you aren’t face-to-face. Making an extra effort to communicate with the team about non-work and work-related topics will help combat the disconnect. Even if you are checking in with your team for 5 minutes, the direct communication will help the team feel supported. Asking for feedback on a new system or what weekend plans someone has are great ways to stay connected and continue to build your team relationships!
3. Host virtual meetings
Virtual meetings allow face-to-face interaction that keeps employees engaged within the workspace, and they don’t always have to be work focused. Hosting a happy hour meeting after work, team building exercises, or a quick catch-up session can boost employee engagement. Ask your team what activities they prefer to make sure you are hosting the most effective sessions for engagement!
4. Encourage connections and friendships
Sure, it’s challenging to connect with your team when you are working remotely, but encouraging your team to utilize chat platforms and connect about non-work related topics can strengthen the relationships your team has. Healthy work friendships can help employees feel more connected to their workplace, and it generally gives them a better sense of belonging. Additionally, your team will be excited to come to work! Find the right balance of productivity while also encouraging your team to connect and build friendships. As a result, your team is happier at work. Remember this quote by James Sinegal: “When employees are happy, they are your very best ambassadors.”
5. Trust your employees
Trusting your team is a huge factor when working from home. Avoid micromanaging and trust that your team is getting their work done, unless proven otherwise. Building trust within your team will increase productivity and employee satisfaction.
6. Ask for feedback
Feedback is important! You give your employees feedback to help them reach their full potential and continue to improve, so why not ask for your team’s feedback? Members of your team will bring diverse and direct ideas on how to improve services, reach new clients, and much more. Asking for feedback is a great way to show you care about your team’s ideas and want to take their feedback into consideration.
7. Give recognition
Sharing when an employee does well and giving positive feedback go a long way. Recognize and reward employees for their achievements, milestones, and efforts. Using positive reinforcements will ensure your employees know they are appreciated. Remember, money is not the only answer to a positive work environment.
8. Prioritize employee wellness and personal development
Employee health should be a priority. When your team feels good they perform better, and prioritizing their health will help them feel like they matter to the company. You can encourage mindful breaks, offer comprehensive health benefits, start physical activity groups, and ensure your team is setting clear limits to better their work-life balance.
9. Create Opportunities for Career Growth
Employees that strive to learn more are a huge asset to your company. Companies that provide career growth opportunities retain their workers for longer and make themselves competitive against other companies. Check in with your team’s ambitions and goals, and help them reach those goals.