With the rise of virtual and remote workers, organizations are paying more and more attention to how they can utilize this great opportunity to offer their employees more flexibility. However, just as important is keeping those same employees motivated and engaged as if they were in the office daily having one on one face time with their colleagues and managers.
As a remote worker myself, I can attest to the fact that the tips below work to keep me motivated and engaged during my workday. I should mention though that not everyone is cut out for remote or virtual work.
When I tell people I work from home, I’ve had countless people tell me “Oh, I couldn’t do that.” I think it’s true that some people are just not cut out for remote work. You do have to be self-motivated and disciplined enough to cut out the distractions. Additionally, it’s important to make sure you allow yourself the time to step away from work to take short breaks -- perhaps get outside for a walk – as it will help you to reinvigorate your energy for the rest of your workday. If you just plop down in front of your computer screen for 8+ hours straight you’re going to drain yourself both mentally and physically.
Here are some of the top ways that you can motivate and engage your remote and virtual workers:
Establish Your Company Culture
Be sure to communicate your expectations and company culture up front with your remote workers. You want to make sure that they’re a good fit for your organization and that they will be committed and competent to perform their duties. If you find that an employee isn’t cut out for remote work, give them opportunities to connect in person with their colleagues and leaders. For example, when I first started at GES I would go into the office so I could get to know who I was working with. It was important to establish those in person connections and get to know a little bit more about the company and culture before I began working remotely.
Keep in Touch Often
It is so important to communicate often with your remote workers. Establish a meeting frequency that is best for your team and be sure to touch base on activities, deadlines and updates that they might require in order to perform their job best. Keep in touch daily via email and be sure to communicate very clearly and efficiently what your expectations are for work completion. Establish deadlines together and come up with an action plan on how they will execute their duties.
Opportunities to Grow
Make sure to offer your remote employees the opportunity to learn and grow within your organization. If they stay sedentary for too long and aren’t developing new skills, they are likely to find somewhere else where they will. This can include formal learning opportunities such as eLearning, one on one training and coaching or work related courses/certifications that will teach them new skills. You can also send them to industry conferences where they will have the opportunity to keep their finger on the pulse of the industry and bring back relevant opportunities to implement in your workplace.
Give Them Challenging Projects
Keep your employees motivated by giving them new and challenging projects. It will give them the opportunity to learn new things, and exercise their problem-solving skills in a new way. This will also help them to develop a new set of skills that they may be able to transfer into other parts of their role in your organization.
Recognize their Achievements
It is so important for you to recognize and reward your remote workers for their great work! Recognition can take on many forms such as non-monetary recognition such as a verbal thank you or acknowledgement, or a peer to peer recognition note, etc. You can also recognize them with monetary rewards such as points to redeem in your total reward program, monetary bonuses or paid time off. It is important to recognize your remote workers in a personalized way that is unique to how they want to be recognized. For example, some employees would prefer to have extra vacation time over a bonus, or vice versa. Get to know your employees so you can personalize their recognition experience.
To learn more about what your employees want to keep them motivated and engaged check out the Top Company Perks to Consider for Your Talent.