08 May DPRA’s Tips for Motivating Employees Working Remotely
COVID-19 has significantly impacted our day-to-day lives and our work environments leading many companies to implement work-from-home practices for all employees. During such a volatile and unprecedented time, there has been considerable emphasis on exploring best practices for the shift from working in-office to working from home. From an organizational perspective, the importance of employee motivation and performance is evident; these factors are necessary for the long-term success of an organization. DPRA has multiple locations across Canada, and employees frequently work remotely, given the nature and location of our projects. As such, DPRA has employed best practices to ensure that we can fulfil and exceed our consulting commitments to clients. We would like to share five tips for leaders to help motivate their workforce while working remotely.
Communicate and Stay Connected
The most effective way to motivate employees while working remotely is by staying connected; It is useful to schedule weekly check-in meetings with employees. Check-ins can provide opportunities to discuss the status of their projects and bring up any concerns or questions they may have. Before jumping into the formal portion of a meeting, it is useful to hold space at the beginning of the discussion to ask employees how things are going and to catch-up informally.
It is also important to have variation in the ways in which we communicate with our employees. Sometimes email is not the best option for staying connected; it may be better to use a phone or video call for occasional check-ins. It is important to establish the preferred method of communication with your employees because people have different communication needs and preferences. It may also be useful to have a “team chat” application that enables colleagues to send simple – less formal messages, especially for time-sensitive communication (Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts, etc.)
Boundaries and Expectations
It is important to establish reasonable boundaries and expectations for your employees early on and for employees to set these boundaries as well. If leaders wait too long to set these boundaries, employees might start to develop bad habits early on or may interpret delayed directives as punitive. Boundary setting can be an important motivator for employees, but it is essential that these boundaries are not too restrictive as this may impair creative thinking and problem-solving.
If you want your employees to be responsive and engaged during particular hours, it is important to outline this. On the other hand, if your workforce no longer has to follow a 9-5 schedule, allow employees this flexibility so that they are able to work during hours that they are most efficient.
Social distancing can be difficult because humans are social beings and constantly seek out human-to-human interaction. In the workplace, it is important for employees to feel connected to their workforce and their organization because feelings of isolation may lead to lack of productivity and motivation.
Leaders should try to encourage their employees to reach out to their colleagues for support and opportunities for collaboration. Employees often feel more connected to the organization if they are collaborating with their colleagues regularly, whether it be brainstorming, problem-solving, or planning.
Provide Positive Feedback
Without having face-to-face interactions with employees, it may be easy to fall into accepting a finished product and move onto the next without understanding the amount of time and effort that went into it. It is important for those in senior management positions to remind themselves that there is a real person behind the work and to ensure that their employees’ efforts don’t go unappreciated.
Research finds that lack of feedback significantly impacts motivation and job satisfaction. It is important for leaders to make time to recognize and praise good work. When employees receive positive feedback, they are far more likely to feel appreciated, continue to perform well, and put effort into their work.
Trust Your Team
It is easy to fall into negative thinking and become concerned that your workforce might not be as effective as they would be if they were in the office. It is important to recognize that your organization has outlined the requirements and expectations for your employees, and you should trust that your team will follow through.
If you have provided all the necessary tools for your employees to succeed and you continue to support them, there is no reason to believe that they are not just as disciplined at home as they are in the office.
During these uncertain times, DPRA Canada remains committed to serving our clients while respecting social distancing and continuing to work remotely. Our organization has been working tirelessly to ensure that our clients have extra support during this difficult time. Please visit www.dpra.ca to learn more about the services we provide and call us toll-free at 1-800-661-8437 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.