Over the past couple of months, I have interviewed several executives in different industries about what has been occurring in their organizations over the past year as they adapted to working remotely or adjusted to the changes required by the “new normal”. What I found was a common theme, the slow erosion of remote employee morale and/or deterioration of engagement. This is compounded by leaders being focused on surviving challenges today instead of creating opportunities for tomorrow.
This lack of morale is now starting to manifest itself as a loss in production. Leaders must start focusing on the needs of tomorrow by lifting up their remote teams and developing a culture that supports enthusiasm and engagement.
Here are five strategies to build enthusiasm and engagement in remote teams:
- Recognize Individual Uniqueness and Reward Discretionary Effort. No matter what the job is, people want to feel valued. Take the time to recognize the strength each remote employee brings to the team. This recognition should be focused on characteristics, traits, or attributes that make the person valuable to the team and supported by a specific example. (i.e., I really appreciate your dedication to making sure projects are done on time. The reason I say that is because you put extra time in to make sure the customer’s deadline was met on the Johnson project.)
- Provide Growth and Development Opportunities. In most motivational surveys conduct over the past few years, personal development has been one of the top three motivators. People want to know they are being invested in and grown by both their manager and the organization. Take the time to develop and align remote employee goals with those of the organization while providing support and encouragement.
- Remove Obstacles and Provide Resources. People get demotivated when they feel they don’t have the ability, tools, or resources to do their job. When managing remote teams your job is to empower decision making, eliminate barriers, and enable remote employees to succeed at reaching their goals.
- Foster an Environment that Encourages Problem Solving and Decision Making. Coach remote employees on how to problem solve and make sound decisions using methods for gathering and analyzing information. Support and empower employees to take intelligent risks.
- Show You Care About Their Success, Health, and Well-Being. Remote employees can feel disconnected from their team and organization. This can manifest itself into feelings of being treated like they are just a tool to get the job done. You should take the time to build rapport with and become genuinely interested in remote employees as people by placing value on their health and welfare.
Do more than just survive in the “new normal” start to thrive. Turn today’s challenges into opportunities by using the five strategies above to motivate and inspire your team.
Interested in learning more, join us for a complimentary 90-minute webinar, Creating a Culture of Enthusiasm in a Remote Team, on March 23, 2021, at 9:00 AM.