With the COVID-19 crisis still far from over, most organizations continue to struggle with how to motivate their remote workforce. They fully understand the need to have a motivated and engaged workforce to drive business growth and profitability amidst challenging market conditions.
There are several challenges associated with managing and motivating remote employees.
One of the biggest challenges of motivating remote employees is the lack of proper, timely, and clear two-way communication between employees and their supervisors as well as between co-workers.
This results in unclear goals and priorities, lack of sharing of important information, poor coordination, lack of inputs and feedback, and eventually poor trust levels, disengagement, and isolation of remote workers.
Given that work from home or remote working is here to stay for a long time, organizations need to understand how to motivate their remote workforce effectively.
Discussed below are 7 strategies for organizations to motivate their remote workforce and keep them productive and engaged:
Organizations should establish the expectations they have for their remote-working employees.
These expectations should include tasks, priorities, deadlines, availability for meetings, and even their communication and feedback methodologies.
Hence, managers and supervisors in the organization need to be trained and coached to create a clear and transparent work environment without any ambiguity.
Knowing what is expected of them helps employees plan their work and deliver accordingly.
It gives them a sense of achievement/ fulfillment to have completed the work expected of them.
The lack of proper work tools such as communication, collaboration, and project management tools required by the employees can severely impact the ability of the employees to deliver on the work assigned to them.
This, in turn, can impact their productivity and motivation.
Hence, facilities required by remotely working employees should extend to even workstations, ergonomic seating, and even a fast internet connection.
Organizations also need to provide remote technical support for hardware and software issues that the employees may face.
The organization needs to create a virtual work environment that stimulates learning and growth for remotely working employees.
Hence, a combination of live online training sessions, self-learning modules, and on-the-job learning can prove to be effective.
Additionally, employees should be assigned projects and tasks that require them to expand their skill sets.
This encourages them to focus on improving their performance and efficiency.
Organizations should demonstrate care and concern for their employees during these challenging times to build their trust and commitment.
Thus, in this current pandemic situation, employee and family wellness plans are great ways for organizations to show that they care.
Other initiatives can include flexible work schedules to enable remote employees to care for ailing or elderly family members.
Additionally, remotely working employees often feel isolated if they are not communicated with properly.
Hence, managers and supervisors need to assure employees that their ideas, opinions, and concerns are important for the organization.
Therefore, they need to share important updates, listen to them, and take requisite action.
This helps in building trust with the employees as they feel an integral part of the organization they work for.
Appreciating remote working employees for their good work and dedication is another effective way to keep them motivated.
Being recognized assures the employees that their work is being valued and that they are making a positive contribution to business growth and success.
Managers and supervisors should leverage digital employee recognition platforms to recognize their team members.
Organizations should also enable peer-to-peer recognition through these platforms.
Seeking and giving feedback can go a long way in keeping employees motivated, especially when they are working remotely.
Such feedback enables both the managers and the employees to understand the needs of one another and thus work together in a more coordinated manner.
Regular feedback also helps in building trust levels with the supervisors and the organization.
Therefore, employee pulses and surveys can help organizations get regular feedback from remotely working employees.
These are the 7 strategies for organizations to motivate remote workforce and get higher employee productivity and performance, which in turn can help in business growth during these challenging times.
Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of experience in the corporate world and entrepreneurship. In the past, Sagar has worked with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank, in leadership roles. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn
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