Motivating Virtual Teams
Telecommuting can pose great challenges in employee engagement and motivation when your employees must meet virtually and not at a central location face-to-face. Telecommuting is a rapidly growing global trend and according to a 2010 survey, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 43% of HR professionals believe in the next five years, a large proportion of their workforce will be telecommuting.
How do you overcome the challenges of telecommuting in order to effectively engage and motivate your remote employees whilst also overcoming time and geographical constraints? Here are five top tips for virtual motivation.
- Create interactive ways for teams to communicate
Employees that interact and engage across long distances will have a greater sense of belonging and higher career satisfaction. You shouldn’t just use email to engage, use your corporate intranet (or develop one) that allows your employees to share accomplishments, share ideas and ask questions in an interactive environment. You can also utilize web conferencing tools for more real-time conversations.
- Invest time in relationships
Using distance is an easy excuse to not form relationships with your remote employees, however getting to know them is critical. It’s vital to take the time to learn about your employee’s strengths, career aspirations and development style even when face-to-face time is limited.
- Schedule periodic face-to-face interaction
Why not start your financial year with a face-to-face kick off meeting? These types of periodic meetings provide staff an additional opportunity to develop a personal connection with their fellow employees through team building exercises whilst also setting out targets for the forthcoming year. If regular live meetings are not practical or infrequent then host virtual meetings and incorporate team building activities into them.
- Recognise accomplishments
Workplace recognition is one of the most powerful employee motivation tools that will keep your employees engaged with their work. Social recognition systems are a unique (and low cost) way to add huge value to your business as they allow your employees to recognise the achievements of their fellow employees in a social, virtual and interactive environment across your corporate intranet.
- Schedule development sessions
Regular video or web conferences provide opportunities to present new assignments that align with your employee’s strengths and interests. These sessions should also be used to gather feedback from your employees as listening to them not only shows you value them but provides the opportunity to learn more about your remote employees and how their personal work experience can be improved.
Motivation equals success
Motivating your employees is an integral part of any successful business no matter how close or distant they work from your headquarters. As your company expands globally telecommuting will become a much more common work arrangement for your employees. It is vital however to keep your distant workers in the loop even if distance seems like a convenient excuse to ignore them.
Inconnection can provide you with the tools to successfully motivate your key people. To see how we do it contact one of the management team or give us a call on +44 (0)161 482 8222.