• Aryeh Brickner

7 Simple ways to keep remote employees motivated!

Last week I share some tips for managing teams remotely. Another challenge in managing remote teams is keeping employees motivated and maintaining a positive attitude. This is especially important during the coronavirus pandemic, where the end-date is unknown.

So here are 7 tips on keeping employees motivated:

· Talk with them! It sounds obvious, but a lot of teams communicate via text or email. Some employees don’t want you “zooming” with them and seeing the remnants of the daily mess strewn around their house. Carve out a few minutes in the evening and just call them to talk. Even if they are on great terms with their significant other, chances are they are thirsting for some additional human contact.

· Special deliveries! Organize packages to be delivered to their homes. Toys or activities for their kids, their favorite chocolate, or noise cancelling headphones. Want something more creative? Send them ice cream, cones, and sprinkles and let them make their own sundaes!

· Share isolation stories. (Not every hour!) Have all your employees send you one vignette about something funny, challenges of working at home, escapades of their children, and publish a weekly "journal" for them to read and hopefully laugh!

· Team lunches! If you are a team that ate together at work, even if everyone’s schedule is now different, do your best to organize a weekly team lunch, with no work discussion allowed! Want to up the ante, invite your CEO or other senior managers to join.

· Feedback is your friend. Don’t be afraid to ask for a lot of it. "Am I micromanaging too much?” “Are our objectives and timelines clear?” “Are you getting all the help you need form external departments” The goal is to get as much information as possible in real time but also to enable employees to feel like there is a constant address for their issues. The alternative is that they end up plodding along mindlessly with their work, feeling disconnected and demotivated.

· Set realistic expectations. Don’t try and be a "hero" unless it’s absolutely necessary. Nothing is more demotivating than constantly missing deadlines or feeling like your own manager is totally off course with their expectations. Demand productivity, demand accountability but be realistic and reasonable with the workload.

· Share results, for better or for worse. Many young managers make the mistake of trying to shield employees from bad news. All this does is make things ten times worse when they find out the truth. If things are going well, celebrate and keep going. If they aren’t going so well, talk about it, come up with a realistic plan to fix it, and get to work.

Great leaders are able to adapt to their surroundings. Management and motivational techniques you may be accustomed too need to be reassessed during this period. The faster you pivot as a manager the more motivated and positive your team will be.

Remember to sign up for your free 30 minute management consutlation today!

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