Article by: Nigel Tyler
There is a multitude of articles on dealing with remote team motivation, from the fully detailed “how to charts” to the “light and airy wellbeing” approach that is being thrown about during the continuing lockdown period.
At Crescente Ltd, we ask, as a CMI trained manager, what can you do to ensure your team is not only working efficiently but also operating effectively on a personal level?
The key fact that raises itself over & over when you read the mountain of “How to Deal with Remote Working” posts on LinkedIn or other social media outlets is to stay in touch, to check up on all your team regularly, on a daily basis at a minimum, preferably more often.
We totally agree with this approach and would recommend that you could start each day with a virtual “Stand-up” meeting via Zoom or whatever medium your business chooses to use and then during the day have more focused calls with individual team members.
You could instigate a “buddy check” scheme where you ask staff members to check up on fellow co-workers just like you would do during a coffee break before remote working took over. The idea is to connect with co-workers who may need assistance but just don’t know where to go, who to ask, or see it as a weakness in themselves when going to their manager. Most likely this type of “buddy check” is already happening to some extent but it is unwise to assume everyone is ok all of the time.
There are two things people want more than sex and money: Recognition & Praise (Mary Kay Ash).
Various studies have taken place over the years with results indicating praise and recognition affect motivation. When delivered well and well-deserved, i.e., not for just attendance but for genuine participation or an accomplishment, praise gives people the drive and motivation to continue doing the calibre of work you want to see. Trust, especially when staff have been thrust into a remote working environment can also be a significate motivator and praise and recognition are some of the most important factors when building trust.
Something that may have been overlooked whilst working away from the office is the standard of equipment the employee is using, so a key activity you can carry out as a manager of remote working staff is to ensure your team is set up to be able to work from home efficiently. This can mean assistance with comfort, for example, if an employee uses special equipment at work, i.e., a posture chair or a large screen, make sure there is an option for the employee to use these items in their home office. There is nothing more frustrating than working from a laptop when your normal setup uses two 24inch monitors.
Overall, keep it simple, make an effort to transpose what is considered a normal working practice in an office environment, and try to replicate it in the home office environment.