Tips to Build & Motivate your Team Virtually

By Ambab Infotech

Motivation doesn’t happen overnight. If you are thinking you can organize a one-time pep rally and expect your employees to be excited about their work forever, think again. The least we can do is to not neglect the importance of motivating your team. If we truly want to have the full benefits of a highly motivated workforce, this will be a long-term investment requiring consistency from you and your team. Here are some tips to help you with this process. 

Be available:
When you’re in the office as a manager, employees can drop by anytime or check in with you as they pass in the hall but that dynamic changes when your company is a virtual team and impromptu discussions aren’t as easy. Consider keeping your schedule planned in such a way that you can be accessible for people to check-in, whether by phone, email, or message, be as responsive as you can to folks in your team. This goes a long way to establishing a sense of trust that you are there for them.

Initiate reaching out to others: Encourage your “Work From Home” team members to connect with their colleagues for the sake of keeping in touch. This could be in the form of calling them to ask about how they are managing in the current situation, or for birthday wishes or just asking them to brainstorm for an idea.

Virtual tea/coffee break:
 Everyone loves a good cup of tea or coffee depending on their personal preferences. These are video calls where employees connect virtually to take breaks, socialize, have their water cooler conversations. These conversations help in refreshing the mind by preventing potential work burnout and isolation.

Engage with fun:
Conduct periodic surveys to check with your team about what they are thinking, feeling, and doing. What motivates them? What virtual ways to connect to their team do they like the most? What do they feel about this work from home culture and it is beneficial for work? What changes do they have to cope with since they are at home? How do they think it will change how they feel about their relationship with the organization? How would they want to be rewarded in these remote scenarios?

Encourage Learning:
It’s a great time for employees to learn what they have always wanted and a great time for managers to facilitate that. Many companies have invested in e-learning platforms so that employees are able to learn new skills and upskill their existing skills.

Promote Health and Wellness
: Ensuring that your team stays motivated at work depends a lot on their physical and mental wellbeing. With the current outbreak of the coronavirus, keeping up good health has become a matter of utmost importance. 

Encourage Clear and Casual Communication:
In this work from home environment, your employees don’t have a communal breakroom to chat in which inturn pushes casual banter to the wayside. Communal break rooms are how employees connect with one another and bond as a team during breaks. Set aside time each day to casually talk to a coworker. Talk to each other and catch up on one another’s life by engaging in non-work-related conversations for a refreshing change of pace. Such conversations in the day may be just what someone needs to get things off their head and keep their motivation going

Manage accomplishments, not activity:
Micromanaging time spent on one’s device for work is one of the least effective ways to keep your remote workforce on task. Instead of micromanaging time, check whether your employees are meeting collective and personal performance goals.

Trust your team:
At some point, once you’ve defined responsibilities, expectations, and deadlines, you must trust your team to follow through. Certainly, as a manager of a remote team, you need to provide the right tools and support at a distance. But the formula for success with a talented workforce is simply to motivate them and get out of the way.