Virtual team and real business goals: keeping your remote employees motivated
Remote team realities
When you think of a whole team of employees in actual fact – outsourced, it may seem close to impossible to coordinate, especially for a manager with a strong control in mind.
Let’s take a closer look together at the other side of the medal:
- maintaining a remote team may be less stressful;
- you can connect no matter where you are at the moment
- as a manager of such a team, you’ve got fewer responsibilities.
At the same time imagine all the possible downfalls of a distributed team:
- connectivity issues
- home working distractions
- lack of self-motivation
- potentially (and regularly) broken deadlines.
The only way for you to learn if distant working is right or wrong is to read this article and decide.
Pushing your team to the limits without being a complete jerk
First off, think about how you can motivate your employees to be the best version of themselves in the workplace. Here are a few suggestions:
Invest in employee skills
Any skill requires development and advanced training. An employee that does not grow professionally will inevitably stop delivering his best work one day. Any salesperson, any designer needs upgrades to the already existing expertise.
Open learning opportunities to your remote team, make them feel appreciated despite the great distance between you, bring out leadership in them. Who knows what amazing quality may develop in people you cooperate on a daily basis.
Conferences and trips inspire your colleagues to not only work better but improve the existing work tactics. Give your employees access to an online learning platform, let them inspire from the world’s greatest industry professionals, get them tickets to the next best industry conference. They will appreciate and give back.
Ongoing accessible communication channel
Being a good manager for a group of people does not only mean better-looking paycheck but a set of responsibilities, like being there for any of the employees to answer a question, answer every conference call, organize online five minute standups a couple of days a week, be open to communication and discuss work-related issues, get in touch with the right people on time. Use a technologically advanced communication platform channel. Keep it open at all times for team members to optimize the “office hours” efficacy.
Utilize collaboration tools
From one point to another: we strongly suggest you leverage the power of technology for remote workers. Trello, Slack, Proficonf, Absence, Sococo, Monday, Redmine, Google Docs, you name it. Prefer multiple features, analyze ease of use, minimize downloads or installation for accessibility, be demanding about integrations and compatibility when you choose those instruments. Keep each and every one of your team in mind. Communication is key. If you have not claimed a task properly, you will not get the right completion on time.
Promote the best ones
We suggest you keep your eye open for the initiative, leadership skills and willingness to take on more responsibility. offer multiple colleagues to be promoted to better positions. It is a great way to motivate people to work harder in order to achieve their long term goals and dreams.
Develop and again – gamify – your own system on how your coworkers can climb up the career ladder by trying harder. You are going to be surprised by how that can boost people’s competitive nature.
Keep track of the in-service hours
Despite being all democratic about the schedule (which is presumed by remote working principle), follow your colleagues’ activities. It will not hurt anyone. People are creatures of habit and prefer to be reminded, whether it is a person, an app pop-up or a conference call that refreshes their memory. All in all, we are all people and tend to forget stuff. Support your team workers in being super-productive at all times.
Stay in continuous control over the workflow
It may not be as hard as it sounds. Try not to overthink it: just set up deadlines and keep track of the milestones. Think of a way to organize update alerts in your team. Do not forget to praise coworkers for their competence and timely completion of each one. Try to gamify the process by adding virtual points to your team members. Let them “win” a couple of hours off their working schedule on Friday. Believe it or not – it is another motivational step towards your business goals.
3. Bottom line
Communication is key whenever you go. It is not the buttons you press or time you choose to call people up. Working relationships are still relationships between human beings.
Every one of us strives to have free choice when to work and when to not work. Everyone is different. This is why remote teams work.
The commitment you demonstrate by taking care of each and every one of your team’s interests is the deciding factor in how your colleagues will treat their office hours and duties.
The level of personal effectiveness strongly depends on how you treat your manager. If you are reluctant to upset him, if you’re willing to try harder to make him happier, or work because your dream promotion s around the corner, then and only then will you be your own best every day.
Top managers, the word of wisdom: before you go to handle a team of people who work together for the same goal, go ahead and master all kinds of communication skills.
Delivering an idea properly is a virtue.
Pick the online communication tool that you like and that is easy to use. Do make sure you are being understood. Or it’s all for not.