Motivating teams from homes
Digital transformation has never taken place faster. As companies set-up online attendance-reporting systems, virtual training sessions, and potato-filtered Zoom meetings, we are now moving on to the human-aspect of going digital - people managers across businesses have started to experiment the best methods to motivate their teams from home.
We have clients, or even employees, who were already onboard with remote working way before COVID19 made it essential. Although mostly for practical reasons and not personal unwillingness for human contact (e.g. unnecessary rental expenses for a small sales office), these organisations have already made it work, and made it better.
Speaking with respected managers, I picked out my favourite 5 tips on how some of them keep team motivations high during a global pandemic.
Plan a day, and guide that plan
Every ‘tip for remote working’ listicle out there has this one in bag. But what really works is not listing down ‘contact clients’ or ‘finish reports’ for the day. What works is thinking about contacting which clients, and setting a timeline of when you’ll finish those reports. For someone leading a team, the JD is also to guide what each member needs to do to get them where they need to go. The idea here isn’t to spoon-feed, but to make sure that each employee is stimulated sufficiently each day. What works better than general comments like “let's try harder” is “let’s try doing this”. Give concrete suggestions on what else can be done, possible alternatives they can explore, and fix deadlines. A little guidance goes a long way!
Take yourself off a pedestal
Put yourself in the shoes of your employees - do what you preach before even preaching it. Make sure you’ve done what you were pushing for your team to achieve, and not just in the past, but right now, in the same setting. Set KPIs? Make sure you can hit them too. Yes, even with your additional workload - no excuses! Show your team you’re in the same boat, and that you’re working for them as much as they are working with you.
Celebrate achievements, big or small
Be encouraging, we’re not in usual circumstances, so any step forward is a great step forward right now. Individually or in a team chat-group, praise effort, announce achievements, and celebrate one day closer to tackling COVID19!
It applies to everyone, but especially so for a people manager. Make sure your team knows how they can contact you, through Zoom, Teams, or messenger apps. You want to be there for everyone when they need it; you want them to know that there is someone to reach out to when they’re working in lonely isolation.
Trust your team
A big one - yet something we don’t see enough. Every now and then, it’s okay to take coffee breaks, it’s okay to scroll through Facebook. Not even working in the office makes someone work the full 8 hours. There doesn’t need to be more online meetings or phone-calls to make sure the employee is at his/her desk. Show your team you trust them to get what needs to be done, done, and let them prove to you that they were worthy of that trust from the get-go - you hired them for a reason after all!
What has your team done differently to stay motivated during this period?
Share your thoughts with us!