We identified three negative motivators that often lead to reduced work performance. 4. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. Since it is remote training, you need to find some additional ways to create some extra engagement. Make it your mission to achieve the former and achieve greater levels of growth and productivity as a remote team than as an in-person team. First, what you measure is the single strongest signal to your people of what you care about. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Then, have a discussion with them about what might be driving their motivation up or down, and what would be helpful to maximize their motivation and experimentation in the weeks to come. Communicate frequently and offer positive feedback. How to Motivate your Team Now that Most are Working Remotely Be a Model for The Change. We know that this approach works because we used it during the financial crisis. What experiments will we run, and who is on point for each. The barrage of news, questions on how to safely get groceries, and fears for relatives are deeply distressing. Today, we’re collaborating with teams across the globe that are seizing this way of working. We found that analysts trying to shore up the markets had the highest motivation levels of their careers during 18-hour work days. This might include presentations from project groups during which team members share metrics and insights. Inertia for work is bound to increase as people wonder if there’s a point in even trying. With strong communication skills, you can easily improve communication in the workplace. Recognition of workers is essential to encouragement and motivation. Given today’s challenges with Covid-19, there’s a simple set of recommendations we give to teams who are working remotely. Best Practices for Managing a Remote Workforce Set clear expectations. Include the Introverts. Ask them: Where can we deliver amazing service to our customers? The key to staying connected while working remotely is to spend time with your staff. Business Insider reported that 50% of the workforce will work remotely by 2021 and with the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, this is becoming the norm. In a 2017 survey, nearly 40% of the American workforce described themselves as freelancers. It’s an app that lets you send video messages to others that they can check when they have the availability. Use video calls for meetings instead of phone calls. Copyright © 2020 Harvard Business School Publishing. Many leaders have crossed the first hurdles of moving their teams remote: ensuring colleagues have set up their tech tools, defined their processes, and permanently logged into their video conference accounts. 1. These four ways to motivate remote employees can foster a greater sense of team-belonging and higher productivity. To motivate your team, you need to offer them more than just a salary and some vacation time. Few things will motivate your team members more than having a flexible boss who trusts them to manage their days effectively. If you want your teams to be engaged in their work, you have to make their work engaging. A Few “Must Know” Virtual Team Building Tips to Try With Your Remote Team 1. Academics are running virtual classrooms and workshops with their students. If you want to show them that you care about their motivation, you can measure it using our online tool or using your own preferred survey tool. Follow the 2.5x Rule. Lastly, potential could decline if people can’t gain access to colleagues that teach and develop them. Then we use the following formula to calculate the individual’s total motivation, which is then used in calculating that of the organization: (10 x the score for play) + (5 x purpose) + (1 2/3 x potential) – (1 2/3 x emotional pressure) – (5 x economic pressure) – (10 x inertia) We determined the weighting of each motive by conducting regressions between each motive and performance across industries, and then simplified to build a simple metric that ranges from -100 to 100. What has made them so successful is that they are not relying solely on giant new programs or approaches that need CEO approval. For teams, even more so, because all it takes is one employee to bring the whole group down. Holiday allowance is often a talking point between friends so this will position your organisation in a good light externally. Half of your week should also be focused on adaptive performance, where there is no plan to follow, but instead, experimentation and problem solving. Since employees have their own individual work preferences, how they work and collaborate can be a source of contention within teams. How can we help each other with this week’s commitments? For example, people may miss the joy of problem-solving with a colleague, or the ease of making a decision when everyone is in one room. COVID-19 is a once in a century event that has changed and will continue to change the way the world works. We also identified three positive motivators that often lead to increased work performance. What commitments do we have this week? © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. This sense of connection doesn’t just apply to the team members themselves, but to the manager or supervisor as well. They keep their productivity high, or higher. Recognize and Appreciate. 9 Ways to Motivate Your Remote Team. To help motivate your employees, focus on helping them tackle challenges that are a slight stretch. This question is important now because, during crises such as Covid-19, people often tend to focus more on tactical work — answering the right number of tickets, or following the approved project plan — rather than adapting to solve the bigger, newer problems the business may be facing. It builds a stronger bond for the team and adds further incentive for them to continue to perform as a unit. When working remotely, employees need to know that their manager and senior leaders are still there for them should they have issues and need someone to help them through. Show your teams that you trust them to accomplish the tasks and projects they’ve been assigned to do. Although this may be virtually, it's about dedicating time just to them. The pandemic is completely redefining the way teams communicate and work. Rewards can be great incentives for employees, but most often rewards are purely individual. Mindset, Message and Behaviours. Often, online learning platforms have a built-in certification function that automatically awards certificates of completion – a great way to motivate and engage learners. Not only is this a challenging transition for the employees themselves, but it’s a challenge for leaders as well. In the tap of a button, your team can still engage in “a virtual watercooler” style conversation to boost productivity and get to know one another better. But some teams rise above the rest in times of turmoil, regardless of the challenges. As we reflect on two months (or more) of mandated virtual work, HR and people teams around the world are looking back on their most successful morale-boosting activities—and searching for new ideas to keep their teams happy, healthy, and engaged. For more ways to keep your team motivated while you're working remotely, learn how Asana … A flexible schedule is an advantage for remote employees, but if you need your workforce... Stay connected and communicate. But we quickly realized that we had taken away a major source of her play and purpose. This has prompted a sudden transition to remote working for companies. Teams need to feel connected to be able to perform their best. Making it easy for your team to take breaks away from work is also a great idea. The basic principles of managing teams still apply, but these four ways to motivate employees will help remote teams thrive. Let them know as much information as you can so they continue to feel like an integral part of your team. Monday: Hold a performance cycle meeting for the team that covers the following. Tuesday-Thursday: Have at least one individual meeting with each of your team members. Set clear guidelines for how they should use these platforms to communicate and work collaboratively. When most financial services teams were doubling down on rules and processes, we helped thousands of people working in mortgage and home equity shops identify the problems they could solve, innovate, and adapt. Half of their weeks should also be focused on adaptive performance, where there is no plan to follow, but instead, an emphasis on experimentation and problem solving. What will drive growth even in a time of fear? Even worse, when people had no choice in where they worked, the differences were enormous. Use video rather than phone calls, and encourage team members to participate in group chats rather than sending private messages. Regular communication is the key to successful management. Military veterans we interviewed talked about their highest-stakes days in the same way. This is a challenge that can keep you energized and experimenting long after this crisis is behind us. As we saw in the 2008, it is possible for teams to experiment and adapt. This was also true for the firms we worked with during the financial crisis. For example, you can reward your employees’ training efforts. They earn life-long customer love. Her work was a much needed break from the anxiety-inducing news she received each day. It’s important for leaders to follow suit and remember that work can deliver a much needed boost to their teams, even when there’s little choice involved in their work-from-home situation. Second, Revealing Quiz and Three Truths and a Lie can also be done via Connecteam. These problems won’t be the same for every team or organization. A subscription purchase is the best way to support the creation of these resources. Teams across the tech unicorn, Flexport, are generating ideas on how to ship critical goods around the world, keep their clients’ supply chains running, and share tips to keep their suppliers in business. Individually, that’s problematic. One of the best ways to keep your team engaged and motivated is through consistent contact and transparency. Teams need to feel connected to be able to perform their best. — Getty Images/AlenaPaulus There’s no doubt coronavirus (COVID-19) has drastically changed the business landscape in 2020 , with more businesses than ever encouraging or requiring employees to work from … 4 Ways To Motivate Remote Teams Enhance connections.. Emotional pressure and economic pressure are soaring as people worry about losing their jobs, paying their rent, and protecting their health. As the leader, set the example by asking people how they are feeling: Where did they struggle with their motivation, and where did they thrive? Ashira Prossack is a coach, speaker, and former competitive athlete helping business leaders unlock their full potential through a sports-based approach to professional. 2. This gives all of the team members a common goal they can work towards and allow everyone’s performance to be recognized. You may opt-out by. Use video calls for meetings instead of phone calls. Reward team performance.. When we measured the total motivation of people who worked from home versus the office, we found that working from home was less motivating. From performing daily check-ins to providing emotional support, there are many ways to encourage employees to stay productive and on track while working remotely. Friday: Focus on reflection. Remote work is not just the employment method of the future, it’s already here. Few organizations have been taught how to identify when and where it is OK to experiment with new ways of working — despite the fact that experimentation results in a 45-point increase in employee motivation. If guidelines are set by managers, that’s one less potential source of conflict avoided. Offer incentives and rewards for the team to earn as a whole. We survey employees of an organization, asking six questions–one for each motive. For the same reasons today, you see that rather than sit at home, many citizens are organizing volunteer bike courier clubs. A pharmaceutical company’s clinical trials team is experimenting with ways they can help hospitals prioritize trials and maintain safety during this crisis. It’s also important to check in on each other’s motivation and progress. Play, the motive that most boosts performance, could decrease if it continues to becomes harder for people to get things done from home. Each question determines how much of each motive a person feels in their work, on a scale between 1 (strongly disagree) and 7 (strongly agree). The most powerful way to do this is to give people the opportunity to experiment and solve problems that really matter. The weights demonstrate that the closer the motive is to the work itself, the more it drives performance. We believe these are in danger of disappearing in easy-to-miss ways during the current situation. In such cases, people tend to stop problem-solving and thinking creatively, and instead, do the bare minimum.  This means a massive in what team leaders need to do to keep their teams … In the teams we work with, we’ve seen productivity remain high, and in some cases, improve. What tips do people have for how to motivate yourself and find play and purpose in the current environment? 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You need to be sure that your employees can work … But this is just the first step towards creating an effective work environment for remote employees. Nothing frustrates employees more than micromanagement. By rewarding team performance, their collective effort is acknowledged. They are simply finding ways to make sure every single person on their teams feels like they have a challenge that they can help solve. If you have a remote team to work with, you probably know the importance of keeping your remote team motivated about you (as their leader) and your business. Showcase and gather input on the experiments of the week. The next critical question we must ask is: How do you motivate people who work from home? Remote teams need platforms that allow them to easily collaborate, share files, and have conversations. What are the areas where we should experiment to improve performance this week? The key is for leaders to make sure their weekly routines are not focused only on the tactical work. Your Team Is Now Working Remotely—5 Ways To Strengthen Communication And Team Cohesion In The COVID-19 World Nicole Bendaly Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes … Your employees will need your help to do this. Second, make sure your weekly routines are not focused only on the tactical work – the concrete plans you need to execute, like the tickets you need to answer, or boxes you need to check. Purpose could also decline with team’s decreasing visibility into their impact on clients or colleagues, especially if no one is there to remind them. If our content helps you to contend with coronavirus and other challenges, please consider. It is a challenging task to keep your employees motivated while they work remotely during such an epidemic. Ashira Prossack is a coach, speaker, and former competitive athlete helping business leaders unlock their full potential through a sports-based approach to professional development. First, it’s important to note that right now, working from home is likely to reduce motivation. Let them take care of their personal business, as they will likely go out of their way to re-engage later in the evening or early the next morning. All rights reserved. The key is resisting the temptation to make work tactical only through strict processes, rules, and procedures. Provide opportunities for remote social interaction: One of the most essential steps a manager can take is to structure ways for employees to interact socially (that … You can also coordinate small group meetings in which employees can collaborate on the week’s experiments and tackle problems together. I write about leadership trends in the evolving workplace. In other words, they adapt. These have likely spiked in light of the coronavirus pandemic. How To Motivate Your Team Even Though They Are Working Remotely Use video calls for meetings instead of phone calls.. Harvard Business Publishing is an affiliate of Harvard Business School. 3 Effective Ways New Leaders Can Motivate A Remote Team. They may not even be easy to identify at first. You might ask questions like: How is the current situation affecting you at the moment? Individual rewards can and should still be given out, but know that team rewards can be even better motivators. To get all of HBR’s content delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Daily Alert newsletter. Fitness instructors are leading classes from their rooftops or streaming them for free online. This article will cover the top methods of building team morale remotely. One of the best ways to do this is to give your team extra vacation days. In your own cases, this challenge can range from something as small as how to better greet customers or accommodate new schedules to something as big as moving your previously in-person business online. Set your teams up for success by providing them with the right technology. Tools like Zoom, Highfive, Slack, and Microsoft Teams allow you to collaborate and stay connected with your remote team. Total motivation dropped 17 points, the equivalent of moving from one of the best to one of the most miserable cultures in their industries. The researchers found that experimentation results in a 45-point increase in employee motivation. If employees are frustrated, they’re likely also less engaged. If business leaders don’t move to change this, shifts in people’s motivation will ultimately lead to a decline in adaptability, quality, and creativity just at the time when the post-cornavirus recovery will require productivity growth. Implementing a culture of strong communication is one of the main ways to motivate employees. Why are these problems critical, valuable, and interesting? Encourage autonomy and actively monitor your teams so you can jump in with helpful feedback and critiques as needed to keep them on track. While some degree of boundaries and guidelines help people move quickly, too many create a vicious spiral of demotivation. If the leader actively builds relationships, the team members will do the same. Reinforce the value of team … What impact did we have last week and what did we learn? An insurance company is testing ways to prioritize their skyrocketing internal chat volumes and process claims in timely ways. Implement multiple contact channels including chat, email, video calls, etc. While remote work used to be offered by some companies as a way to offer a more flexible lifestyle to their employees, it has now become the norm for most businesses. 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