Five Tips To Keep Your Remote Team Motivated
Through a combination of luck and skill, you’ve assembled a great team that not only produces good work on a regular basis but works incredibly well together. You’ve been a little reluctant to let people work from home, though, in part because of how well you’ve done working in the same office so far. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has taken that choice away from you. Don’t worry, though. There’s no reason to think you can’t still get the best work from them, and we want to help you make sure you do.
Use Your Project Management System
Your project management system will become more valuable than ever when your employees are all working remotely. Make sure your team follows the already-established update schedule to ensure an uninterrupted workflow but be prepared to establish new strategies if necessary. If you work for a smaller company or team that doesn’t have a project management system, now is the perfect time to get one. Hubspot and Basecamp are two great examples and can be set up fairly quickly. And solution providers are trying to help, too. Google and Microsoft have both announced that they will be making features typically exclusive to paid subscribers of their collaboration platforms available to everyone. Webinar platforms such as Cisco Webex, LogMeIn and ClickMeeting are also offering extended free trials, licenses, and more to companies hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
Be Flexible, Be Patient
Projects can change on a whim under the best of circumstances. Priorities can often shift quickly, and with so much uncertainty hanging over everyone, that will only become more of a reality. Explain to your staff ahead of time that you’ll keep up with changes as best you can, but things could shift or they may get unexpected tasks. Show them you’re going to be agile and find the best way to respond to the company’s adjusting priorities, and they will, too. And if a project goes on hold but you don’t have anything to replace it with, encourage your staff to keep working on parts that you know will be implemented when things ramp up again, or to focus on low priority work they don’t often have time to complete. It’s a great way to showcase your team’s importance no matter what the circumstances.
Have Regular Meetings
Teams, Skype, and Slack are just three of the programs you can use to have regular group chats with your people. Have a set, regular meeting on their calendar every week (or every day, if necessary) so you can all catch up, see how everyone’s work is coming along, and make sure nothing falls through the cracks. This is a great way to set daily and weekly goals and establish guidelines for your new normal.
Keep Morale up
We know you care about your employees as people, but make sure they know that, too. Make your regular staff calls about more than just work. Ask how everyone’s day is. See how they’re handling the solitude. Make sure everyone is healthy. And you know all those spirit week and fun, sometimes silly morale-boosting events you have in the office? You can have them virtually, too. Also, depending on logistics and practicality, a long-distance lunch party might be fun, too. And don’t forget to let your employees suggest activities. Having an online board game night over Discord might not be something that immediately springs to your mind, but your staff might think it’s a great time.
Nothing kills an employee’s motivation and morale quite like knowing their boss doesn’t trust them. Honestly, a lot of employees work harder at home to prove they’re not going to slack off. And if their work is suffering while they telecommute, the evidence will come to light on its own soon enough and you can work with them to make things better going forward.
You’re a good leader with a good team, and we know that. There’s not a doubt in our mind that you and your team are going to be productive and happy no matter where you’re working.
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