This article is part of our content contributor series.
The recent pandemic has changed the professional landscape - possibly forever. With more people working remotely than ever before, there is an ever-growing challenge of keeping employees motivated while working remotely.
Businesses need to rethink the tactics they use to build and lead high-performing remote teams so they can maintain high performance from employees in a remote world.
Communication is Priority
The current remote environment makes it crucial for managers to communicate more than they did previously. For instance, daily check-ins should be encouraged in order to keep priorities in check.
Two-way communication with peers and managers allows employees to get the information and perspective needed. It also enables them to express themselves so they can feel more in control.
Considering the remote work environment, it’s imperative to make sure you review all of the different webinar platforms on the market to choose one that'll work for your organization. In addition, choosing the right tools for quick video or visual communication to make it easier for you and your team to communicate, share, and explain things visually on your computer screens.
Provide Productivity Tools
Productivity tools can help a team keep track and manage projects remotely. The right tools can also help them communicate easier, just as they would if they were in the office.
Examples of effective productivity tools you can use include:
- Asana: A web and mobile app designed to help teams stay organized and manage their work.
- Monday.com: One of the best project management tools available on the market right now.
- MS Teams: A proprietary business communication platform with all the tools your team needs.
- Google Docs: A free and easy way to bring your documents to life and make collaborating easy.
Protip: Having training, testing and a change leader could help your team to adapt to new software with higher efficiency.
Encourage Peak Performance
One of the best ways to maintain high performance from employees in a remote world is through encouraging and recognizing peak performance. Below are three ways you can do that in your organization:
Pair high-performing and high potential employees with a mentor in a position that those employees are looking to grow into. This type of mentorship comes with a wealth of benefits, chief among them that it helps employees achieve skills and expertise a lot faster.
2. Showcasing Team’s Work at High Levels of the Organization
Sharing an employee’s work to higher levels in the organization can provide incentives and motivation for those employees to continue to do great work.
Such an opportunity allows them to take ownership of their work and provides transparency to leadership on the employees who are shining stars.
3. Providing Opportunities for Continued Learning and Development
Providing opportunities for high performing or high potential employees to grow through continued learning and development opportunities will encourage the right behaviors and keep staff motivated and eager to do their best. If you’re looking at educating your employees internally, it’s best to choose an online course platform that’s capable of handling your organizational needs.
Creating a Team Atmosphere
Most people lose that feeling of being on a team when working remotely. This can result in significant feelings of isolation. The tips below can help you prevent this by building a stronger team atmosphere.
1. Virtual Team Building
Virtual team building will help you compensate for the fact that your workers are not bumping into each other regularly.
You need to encourage employees to continue to communicate and collaborate with the rest of the team members rather than living in their own isolated world.
Here are a few tips to follow to help you create a true team feeling:
- Share the future vision of your company
- Maintain non-work-related communication
- Involve everyone on your team in important projects and events
- Play a quick solitaire game of the day and make friendly bets on which team member will score the best
- Send meaningful gifts for birthdays and special occasions such as a funny t-shirt.
- There are also many other ways to build a great team with a unique culture. Get inspiration from big tech giants like Dropbox, Moz and Twitter, and try to adjust it to the new reality of remote work.
2. Create Space for Non-Work Interaction
Something else you can do to create a team atmosphere is to set aside a space for nonworking interaction.
For example, you can have a virtual happy hour where employees can blow off steam, or you can have a chat room open constantly to talk about what is happening outside of work. Even if your team is a bunch of part-time college students working online, they’ll appreciate the ability to connect with each other in a limited capacity.
3. Host Team Calls and Give Shout Outs for Great Work
Another effective way to create a team atmosphere is to host team calls and acknowledge the members of your team who are performing well.
There are tons of video conferencing technologies you can choose from to make it easy and convenient to chat with your team, such as:
- Zoom: This is probably the best technology.
- Slack: Offers dozens of optimizations to improve remote communication.
- Google Hangouts: Great cross-platform messaging app from Google.
- Skype: Ideal if you want a free option, but lacks many of the benefits of the other tools.
Provide Emotional Stability and Support
When working with remote employees, providing emotional stability and support is very important.
Being there for your employees in this way can help them feel heard and supported. This goes a long way toward establishing trust and motivation.
The bottom line is there is a lot you can do to maintain high performance from employees in an increasingly remote world.
- Make communication a priority
- Provide the right productivity tools
- Encourage peak performance
- Create a team atmosphere
- Provide emotional stability and support
Ron Stefanski is an internet business expert and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market online businesses. You can learn more from him by visiting OneHourProfessor.com You can also connect with him on YouTube or Linkedin.