Many companies had to embrace telecommuting with little notice. While the approach was necessary – for employee health and to comply with state and local mandates – it was also very new to most businesses. Work-from-home arrangements weren’t something every employer offered before the pandemic, so they had to learn how to manage a remote workforce essentially on the fly.
Now that some time has passed, many lessons have been learned that can help companies continue to flourish, even as the COVID-19 situation remains fluid. If you want to make sure you can effectively manage and motivate your remote employees, here’s what you need to know.
Supporting Employee Morale Is a Must
While many professionals have wanted to work-from-home for some time, that doesn’t mean that morale automatically remained high. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a variety of stressors into everyone’s lives. Plus, stay-at-home orders left many feeling isolated and alone.
Companies have to find opportunities to boost employee morale, ensuring their remote teams remain engaged, connected, and productive. Launching health and wellness initiatives can be a critical part of the equation. They show your team that you care about their well-being, and are willing to take steps to support it.
Additionally, coordinating socializing events and using video conferencing can help. It allows everyone to gather and have casual conversations, reinforcing past bonds.
Communication is also crucial. By being open and transparent, you make your employees feel well informed. This can reduce stress and boost loyalty, as they don’t fear that their employer is hiding something from them.
Reimagining Performance Management Is Essential
Maintaining productivity is a critical part of the equation. However, you may not be able to use the same approaches with a remote workforce as you did with an in-house team. After all, you can’t simply stop by a desk to check up on their progress or offer input.
Ideally, you want to completely reimagine how you approach performance management. While clearly defining your expectations is a must, just as it was before, you may need to coordinate check-ins, evaluations, and feedback conversations in advance. That way, you have a chance to discuss issues quickly, should they arise, and offer praise whenever it is due.
Further, implementing solutions that allow you to remotely review work quality is critical. While you don’t necessarily want to use screen monitoring software, as many employees find that intrusive, centralizing where assignments are turned in, allowing you to examine them with ease, or having daily progress summary phone calls may work. Similarly, using project management software that everyone can access can let you see which tasks are waiting for action, which are in progress, and which are complete.
Ultimately, the paradigm makes rethinking how you motivate and manage a team a must. However, by using the tips above, you can benefit from lessons that have been learned along the way, allowing you to update your approach with greater ease.
If you’d like to learn more about leading a remote team, the team at TempStaff can help. Contact us today and see how our workforce management and motivation expertise can benefit you.