In the aftermath of the pandemic, one thing has become clear: remote work is here to stay. There are a myriad of benefits to having a remote team: you can hire the best talent without the limitations of geographic location, your team can achieve better work-life balance, and you can save on overhead costs like office space. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows; remote work can have its drawbacks, too. Without the camaraderie of in-person interactions, it can be easy for team members to lose drive and determination, so if you’re struggling with keeping remote workers motivated (or you’re simply intimidated by the idea), here are seven tips to help you get started.

  1. Demonstrate a Clear Path to Advancement

    “The Great Resignation” is leading many employees to evaluate whether they truly see a future with their employer. It’s more important than ever for your team to know exactly what’s necessary to get a promotion. A popular interview question from the interviewee side is, “What does success look like in this job?” and, of course, “Is there opportunity for advancement?”

    Think about those answers. Are you, as the manager, blocking the path to advancement by sticking with the traditional promotion strategy? Or can you allow a role to take shape depending on the employee’s unique skills and interests? Is the company willing to consider new titles and hierarchies to keep valuable employees?

    With a defined vision of their future, your employees are more likely to stay than forge ahead into an unknown path at a different company.

  2. Give Their Role Purpose

    Sometimes the day-to-day grind hides the importance of a role within a company.

    During team meetings, be sure to show where the department’s project or role fits into the company’s overall goals for the year. Even entry-level positions have purpose, but those employees often feel overwhelmed or weighed down with data entry or lower assignments. If you want to keep your team motivated, show them how even the smallest role makes a big difference. Show them that they are appreciated.

  3. Regularly Discuss Compensation

    Culture and compensation are top reasons people leave their jobs, particularly in a market with so many opportunities. Some employees find they can greatly increase their salary by changing jobs every two years (or even more often).

    Remote workers, especially, can jump between employers because they can work anywhere. Keep in mind that a remote employee who lives in the Midwest can get a job with a New York- or San Francisco-based company that pays more than their local counterparts. While this doesn’t necessarily mean you must pay more, compensation will always be part of the hiring discussion. There are more types of compensation than just money, like employee benefits, number of vacation days, and increased flexibility for those who are not fully remote. Great compensation will keep your team intact and motivated.

  4. Clearly Communicate Expectations

    You need to trust your remote workers, and they need to trust you. The easiest (and only) way to build that trust is through clear communication. Let them know how many hours a new task should take before they get started, set clear deadlines, and show where their task fits in with the project as a whole.

    You can never have too much communication with remote workers.

    How is this level of communication different from micromanagement? You are building trust and setting them up for success. Ideally, this communication should decrease as their work becomes consistent. The manager is not looking over their shoulder and questioning the status perpetually because the clear expectations make it easy to review the work after completion.

  5. Keep Everyone in the Loop

    Remote workers easily become disengaged when on-site teammates have conversations without considering their remote colleagues. The team leader needs to take the initiative to model a better system.

    Within Slack or Teams, post to the “random” channel for the miscellaneous updates happening in the office. For example, when one teammate shows a cute pet or baby photo to the on-site team, make sure to include the remote team.

    If there’s a work-related sidebar discussion, add it to your project management tool as an update or comment.

    Remote workers will stay motivated when they feel like they’re part of the team

  6. Prioritize Performance Over Hours Worked

    The greatest advantage of hiring remote workers is that you can source the best talent from anywhere in the world. However, this also means they won’t always be online at the same time as your other teammates. If your managers believe that hours spent at a desk signify a job well done, they won’t be able to track that well with someone in a different time zone. It’s important to remember that for remote workers, the most important measurement of success is the quality of the actual work completed.

    If your remote teams know that your managers want great work done on time, they’ll work towards that goal. However, you may lose team members if you expect remote workers to be in their home office the same hours as a physical office.

  7. Make Changes Based on Feedback

    It’s important that your employees feel heard. If your company regularly surveys employees about the culture and work-life balance, make changes based on that feedback. Report your findings and address how you will fix the problem areas or show where you are working on them already.

Wrapping Up

The world of remote work presents many outstanding benefits, but also creates new challenges along the way. Keeping remote workers motivated may require change, but it will reduce burnout and turnover. Motivated employees are happy and longstanding employees, so keeping these tips in mind will ensure you have a stable and successful team for a long time to come.

If you need a partner to help you navigate the world of remote work, contact us today. Our team of skilled recruiters has the industry knowledge and experience to help you find the best candidates fast. Connect with us to get started.