How to keep employees motivated when working virtually.
Working virtually for a day or two is often a welcome relief from the noise and distractions of the office. But after a while, as sure as the sun rises in the morning, the novelty will wear off. This tip sheet is there to help you keep your team happy, healthy and motivated regardless of whether they are in the office or at home.
Tip 1: Regularly pick up the phone to talk to employees
Imagine you were back in the office. You’d probably now and then circulate around the office and have a natter with your team. Of course, with everyone working virtually, this just isn’t feasible to do. So, make a point of picking up the phone to speak with a team member or two each day, just to see how they are.
Tip 2: Keep an eye out for who has gone quiet
In these uncertain times many people process their fear and uncertainty by going very internal. In other words, they will go quiet and not contribute much to any of the dialogue. If you have one of these members of staff, then make a point of giving them a phone call and asking them explicitly how they are feeling right now. And if your instinct says they are not fine if they say “fine” in response to that question, ask more questions of them.
Tip 3: Set up a group chat for each individual team and encourage a mix of 50/50 work vs non-work stuff
If you were sitting in the office every day you wouldn’t just talk work, so it is the same when your staff are working from home. It may take a while for the conversation to get going on the group chat, so much sure that you take the lead. See something which makes you laugh? Then share this. Getting annoyed by the kids being under your feet at home now? Then share this. Loving the fact that the sun is shining, then share this. Etc (You get the idea…)
Tip 4: Encourage your team to look for the positives
Right now, it doesn’t feel like much is positive. However, looking for the positives is a great way to counteract all the doom and gloom, and constant fear in our minds. You will need to lead the ‘being positive’ attitude with your staff. For example, how about on the group chat ask everyone to tell them something good which has happened today. Or share something which made them laugh.
Tip 5: Set up daily team calls
It depends how many staff you have whether you have all employee calls or individual team-based calls, or a mixture of both. If you have young, inexperienced or staff who are struggling working based from home you may like to have 2 of these calls; one in the morning and one after lunch. Ideally, in these calls you want everyone to answer these questions:
How am I feeling right now?
What am I happy, grateful or positive about?
What am I planning to get done today?
What help do I need to get this done today?