Remote work doesn’t always allow for effective team management and maintaining employee motivation. So, how can you manage your team remotely? Here are some tips for motivating remote teams and keeping their morale high.
Remote work unfortunately comes with its challenges. Feelings of isolation, complex supervision, the need for autonomy… Demotivation can set in when difficult situations arise.
This is where the role of the manager comes in.
Managing a remote team during challenging situations is not always simple. Yet, every member of the company needs to feel supported by their managers, even from a distance. It’s the leader’s responsibility to find motivation triggers and mobilize the team to maintain a positive group dynamic. It’s also up to the leader to rally and motivate, strengthen group cohesion, and reinforce team spirit.
Here are some tips for motivating remote teams and working with smiling colleagues, even at a distance.
Creating a toolbox for remote team motivation
To start, decision-makers need to acquire tools to motivate their remote teams. Here are some ideas to add to your toolbox.
Organize remote meetings (video conferencing)
Remote work has become the norm for many. Different software options are available for organizing video conferences: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Meet, and more. To motivate your teams and succeed in your video conference meetings, make sure to set a specific objective. Keep meetings around thirty minutes long; attention tends to wane after that.
Stay in touch via email
Don’t bombard your teams with emails, but occasionally send informal and motivating emails to your colleagues. Use positive and dynamic language. To make the conversation warmer, add a few emojis to your message. A less formal, conversational tone enhances closeness with colleagues and helps motivate your teams.
Implement reward tools
Employees view rewards as recognition of their work. Remote work shouldn’t hinder the implementation of reward systems for deserving employees. Bonus points, gift boxes, bonuses… Use all means possible to motivate your teams while paying attention to their needs.
Use a collaborative platform
A collaborative work platform is a virtual workspace. It modernizes internal communication, better connects employees, and facilitates collaborative work. Platforms like Slack, WhatsApp, or Talkspirit allow your team to exchange messages throughout the day. Life isn’t just about work; consider launching informal discussions to encourage friendly exchanges.
Set collective and individual goals
To motivate remote teams, the team leader should regularly remind everyone of the company’s mission and its societal purpose. Clarify everyone’s work regularly and put an action plan in place. Each employee needs to have a meaningful role. Providing meaning to employees’ work allows them to improve daily, develop skills, and understand why they get up in the morning to serve the company. Set team goals… but also individual goals. And trust your teams. Don’t be afraid to delegate. Achieving set goals also helps employees take on responsibilities.
Position yourself as a hands-on manager
Even at a distance, management should remain close to its employees. Remote work requires specific managerial practices. In remote work, a manager should rely on two essential pillars:
Provide objective feedback to your teams on their work. Good remote management also involves empathy, humility, kindness, and assertiveness. To acquire these skills, managers should work on developing emotional intelligence. Be warm, encourage direct and personalized connections. Make weekly check-ins. Check on your teams. This management style animates and motivates remote teams and ensures well-being within the company.
Managing and guiding your team to motivate them
In the end, the manager is the ultimate decision-maker. However, collaborative management has emerged. Effective management assumes that employees have capabilities, a desire for work, and want to be involved in the company’s projects, which means they can be trusted. To lead and motivate remote teams, the manager can focus on four key aspects:
- Recognition: by acknowledging the employee’s contribution and added value
- Proximity: by exchanging and sharing quickly, warmly, and simply with those involved
- Authenticity: by being sincere and transparent to strengthen employee trust
- Purpose: by recalling the company’s vision and emphasizing purpose (why) over activity (how)
Handling remote conflicts
Distance can lead to tensions. Remote work enforces certain work methods. Existing conflicts might be swept under the rug. Their resolution is postponed. Team clashes can lead to highly confrontational situations. To improve collective performance, ease tensions, and address necessary realignment, the manager must practice active listening. Encourage employees to step back and communicate using techniques like nonviolent communication. A mediator can also help. Physical distance has led mediators to adapt, practicing mediation via video conferencing. Fortunately, distance is not an insurmountable obstacle; it even offers advantages, such as sequenced speaking imposed by the tool.
Praising employees to boost motivation
Managing a team also involves being able to congratulate team members when they’ve done good work. The team’s performance is maximized this way. Make sure to motivate your teams by highlighting your employees’ strengths and providing positive feedback. Also, encourage collective intelligence to leverage everyone’s skills for the organization’s benefit.
Organizing remote team building
Here’s one last idea: focus on team engagement. Role-playing and virtual multiplayer games can bring teams together. Remote team building helps create connections between employees and emulates physical teams. Games are ideal for maintaining morale, motivating remote teams, and fostering productivity. The manager’s role? Explain the game’s rules, establish trust with employees, assign roles and tasks. If you want to organize remote team building or seminars, feel free to consult our guides on webinars available on all platforms.
Motivating a team requires specific management techniques. To be a good remote manager, it’s important to develop leadership skills, encourage open communication, and be present for team guidance. Every employee needs close management. So, forget overly hierarchical relationships and prioritize collaborative team management. For effective project management, acquire the right tools and regularly congratulate your employees. Compliments are essential for motivating remote teams and bringing smiles to everyone’s faces.