5 Ways to Inspire Your Team Virtually
Your team can be set up to work from home with all the technology bells and whistles, but one thing that may be lacking is motivation from the top. Even as many businesses are being told they can reopen, many are choosing to stay home for the health and well-being of their employees. But how can employees feel motivated to produce the same quality and quantity of work as if in the office? Here’s how.
The power of communication cannot be understated. Even as teams have been doing this for months on end, that’s no reason to let the lines of communication grow fewer and further between. If anything, now is the time to check in to see how everyone is doing, not only as a collective, but also individually. Yes, it’s important to make sure that everyone is continuing to function efficiently, but be sure to make time to check in about well-being. Living alone and being stuck at home with summer-camp-less kids each presents its own set of challenges in and out of the workplace.
While you may have provided guidance in the beginning what was expected of employees as they shifted to remote working, it’s important to reiterate these guidelines in order to remain productive and work toward a common goal as a team. While it’s important to understand that not everyone digests information the same way, providing detailed descriptions of tasks in written communication will create that proverbial paper trail and hold employees accountable. At the same time, give employees space to complete tasks in their own way without micromanaging just because it’s all being conducted virtually.
At this point, it’s not about tracking hours worked or even making sure employees are all online at the same time. Rather, it’s ensuring the work is getting done with the same quality and quantity as in the office. True productivity is about what you can get done in the hours and measuring their progress in essential areas, including being able to keep up with email and communication with the rest of the team. Consider online tools, such as Asana, that outline tasks and statuses to hold everyone accountable.
Rewards and incentives can be isolating for those who can’t keep pace given outside circumstances, but simply acknowledging successes is the easiest thing a leader can do. Without seeing your team face-to-face in the office, it’s hard to gauge what everyone is going through, so a thank you email or shout-out at your next team meeting can go a long way, regardless of whether an employee is struggling or thriving in the current circumstances. In turn, this will encourage others to do the same.
What works for you might not work for the rest of the team given everyone’s vast circumstances, so the best way to ensure everyone is happy and productive is to create an anonymous poll or survey regularly to solicit uncensored feedback. This could be as simple as preferred methods of communication and times to meet each week or something larger like whether they have the tools to get their jobs done virtually. Be sure to share common feedback, and make steps to improve what needs work.