Engaging with and motivating your employees is challenging. Over time, employees can feel uninspired and demotivated for various reasons, from personal to professional. The reasons and situations can be so varied that managers need to maintain an open mind when dealing with their employees.
The pandemic has thrown many businesses in a state of uncertainty. To ensure the safety and continuity of their operations, many have adopted a work from home scheme. However, this set up has been a reality for some small businesses, even before the pandemic started.
A remote work set up has many benefits. For one, you don’t need to maintain a costly physical office. You do not need to worry about facilities and building maintenance. You can focus your efforts on your core business. You do not have to worry about commuting restrictions. Your employees can work whenever, wherever.
However, a remote set up also has its own set of challenges. The first on the list is employee engagement. How can you engage, motivate, and inspire someone you do not even see personally? How can you encourage someone who you do not know personally?
Know Your Employees
Of course, one way you can effectively engage your employees is to get to know them. How can you even hope to elevate someone you know nothing about?
Start with the basics. Are they single? Married? Raising a family? Still studying? While you may argue that this information is unnecessary for the company, they are necessary if you want to get to know them and their needs. When you know their needs, you can provide the benefits that will greatly benefit them and will inspire them to work harder for the company.
If most of your remote employees are breadwinners, you can offer insurance benefits to help with their wills and estate planning.
Establish a Feeling of Belongingness
An employee will be more motivated and engaged to work for the company’s growth if he feels that he belongs. Everyone wants to feel that they and their contributions matter. They want to feel that they are part of an organisation where they can become better versions of themselves.
Hold regular virtual meetings. This can help you communicate your goals, as well as establish rapport between your employees. The friendship that they can establish with their colleagues can foster feelings of belongingness.
You can hold several virtual meetings in smaller groups if you have a bigger company. If you have fewer employees, you can hold these meetings every other week or even weekly. Putting a face on someone you communicate with over chat platforms and email can greatly improve the relationships between your people. Better rapport can improve the efficiency of your teams, making them comfortable with each other.
Recognise and Award Their Achievements
While you cannot hold awards ceremonies, you can still reward hardworking employees that go beyond to serve their customers and help the company grow. You can opt for online vouchers that are accepted universally if you have an international workforce.
You can hold an online awarding ceremony, which you can have during your online meetings. This will make your employees feel appreciated and will motivate them to do more. It may be a small price for you, but nothing beats the feeling of being appreciated and acknowledged.
Prioritise Their Well-Being
Your employees will feel valued if you treat them as persons and not just as your workers. Show your people that you care about their health and well-being. Encourage them to take care of themselves by setting up reasonable working hours, day-offs, and realistic deadlines.
Remember that though your employees committed their full working time to you, they also have their personal lives to attend to. Striking the right balance between their professional and personal lives is important for their mental health. If they have enough time to do things that matter to them, they will be more energised to work for you. Of course, they will be at their best if they are healthy and satisfied with their lives.
Set An Online Meeting Just Because
After you have finished a project, set an online meeting just because. Virtual meets and hangouts can let you and your team talk about their experience with the project. You can check on the challenges that they have encountered. It can be a casual virtual meeting so you can check on how each team member is doing.
Welcome New Employees
Set the tone from the start and make new employees feel welcomed. Establish an onboarding process that can give your new hires a firm grasp on what you do as a company and how they can contribute to your goals. You can do this via Slack or Zoom. Make sure that your new hire is aware of the resources that are available for his use.
Your employees are vital for the success of your business. Keep them committed yet motivated to deliver their best, wherever they are around the globe.