A recent survey found 43% of HR professionals in favor of telecommuting their workforce, which is by far a rapidly growing and global trend. Telecommuting describes a work arrangement in which employees do not meet face to face, which poses new challenges in employee engagement and motivation. To help managers engage and motivate remote employees, The Vaya Group shared those Six tips for motivating virtual teams.
- Invest time to put a face to the name:
Getting to know team members is critical, even when face-to-face interaction is limited. Take time to meet your team and learn about each worker’s career aspirations, strengths, development gaps and style.
- Recognize accomplishments in unique ways:
Recognition is a powerful driver for keeping employees engaged in their work. Highlight individual efforts in the company’s newsletter, tweet about it on Twitter, and try to host yearly award banquets over the web. For both personal and professional milestones, send employees customized gifts, whether it’s a gift card, wishlist item, or bonus.
- Schedule regular coaching sessions:
You can let them have it, or you can explain it to them so they do it better next time. Regular online conferences with your remote employees allows you to present new assignments that build upon their interests and strengths. Remember to always gather feedback from them. Listening is crucial.
- Create interactive ways for teams to communicate:
People love to socialize, well – normal ones at least. Allow your work teams to engage across distances to enhance their career satisfaction and sense of belonging. Go beyond email to develop an interactive team intranet that allows individuals to share ideas, post accomplishments and ask questions. Utilize web conferencing, web cameras and other virtual systems that permit more real-time conversations.
- Enable opportunities for periodic face-to-face interaction:
Schedule face-to-face team kick-off meetings and regularly scheduled subsequent live meetings. Incorporate it with team-building casual exercises to give staff a channel to to develop personal connections and build camaraderie. If meetings are infrequent, create virtual team-building games, such as having everyone send in little-known facts, then displaying it for the group to guess who it describes.
- Don’t overkill:
Meetings and meetups are important, but up to a certain limit. Cross that limit and it will backfire. Don’t bore your teams with long meetings, and give way to more productivity and meeting deadlines.