Four Ways To Keep Your Remote Team Happy And Motivated

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You might not be too surprised to hear that a majority of my team works remotely. With the development of new technology and platforms, it has become a lot more convenient to work with a remote team. This way, I get to invest in people whose skills are absolutely critical to the success of my business, even if those people are not located in the same city.

At the same time, there are a few challenges that you may experience when managing a remote team. There may be a lack of coordination and ineffective communication. And since there’s no direct face-to-face communication, it may be much more difficult to build a strong bond with your team members.

I’ve put together my top tips to help you keep your remote team happy and motivated:

1. Maintain an open communication channel.

Ineffective communication is one of the main reasons why employees get frustrated with their work. Previously, we would communicate over email. While it serves its purpose, email communication has a lot of drawbacks. For example, there may be times when you miss an email, or you’re not there to answer it right away, so the team member may be unable to proceed with the work since they couldn’t get any clarification on the issue they’re experiencing.

We’ve switched to Slack, which has made a huge difference in our ability to communicate and collaborate. Team members can directly communicate with each other for feedback and questions without having to go through multiple people and processes.

However, make sure your employees don’t feel obligated to view or respond to work messages during their off hours. According to a study by Teem, 49% of survey respondents are unhappy with the obligation to remain available for communications through today’s tools. Have clear communication about the expected work hours of each team member to avoid employee burnout.

2. Facilitate upskilling.

One of the best ways to motivate your team members to be better at what they do is by giving them the opportunity to learn and upskill. Since they’re developing new skills, it enables them to attain personal and professional growth. It also helps them realize that you value them and want to help them achieve growth that will serve them in the long run.

This will also benefit your company since employees will have better skills to deliver exceptional work. For example, your writers may be able to write excellent blog posts but need some help to create compelling marketing copy for your clients.

I provide my team members free access to relevant online classes that can help improve their skills. I mostly use Udemy for this, as they have a wide range of courses that are relevant to the kind of work we do such search engine marketing, social media marketing and more. Otherwise, you can also check out Lynda, which has plenty of useful upskilling courses.

3. Give due reward to deserving employees.

Positive reinforcement can be a great way to motivate your employees and keep them motivated to continue doing exceptional work. If good work goes unnoticed, your employees may feel invisible and underappreciated. According to the previously-cited Teem study, 48% of respondents were unhappy because they felt underappreciated in their role. But if you acknowledge their outstanding work and show your appreciation for it, they may feel more motivated to continue delivering the same quality of work.

There are plenty of ways in which you can reward deserving employees. For instance, you could incentivize them with bonuses or raises after they consistently deliver outstanding work. Or if someone in the team has been doing much better work than others, you could look for ways to promote them.

For impressive teamwork, make sure you acknowledge it and thank the team for their contribution. If any project is doing exceptionally well, announce it in your special announcement channel. This will show employees that their hard work is paying off and they’re not just blindly working on something that will go unrecognized.

4. Make the most of team collaboration tools.

Even when there is a smooth flow of communication between team members, it’s not always possible to work collaboratively without any confusion. This tends to be a huge challenge for remote teams and there can be a delay in some projects as a result.

For example, let’s say certain sections of a website design need reworking based on your client’s request. It may not be easy to point out exactly which sections need reworking and how. If you’re in a physical office and can talk to your web designer face to face, this issue wouldn’t arise. In a remote team, this difficulty to collaborate can result in frustration. And if you’re going to ensure that your employees remain happy and motivated, you will need to tackle this issue. In other words, you will need to enable every team member to collaborate efficiently with each other.

Trello has been a savior for our remote team. Everyone stays updated about our projects through the platform. Each team member can keep track of updates on current projects, such as whether a certain blog post for a client is still being written or if it has been published. Use a tool that lets your people keep track of the progress of other members without the need to constantly follow up.

Final Words

In addition to the above, I also suggest that you have a proper schedule in place for each team member. And make sure whoever is in charge of assigning tasks to team members can coordinate with team leads so that no one is overburdened with excess work.

HRP Solutions is a private limited company partnering with Microsoft­ to offer business solutions to organizations within the West, East, Central and South Africa.