One of the most important tasks that a manager needs to track is keeping up the morale of their remote teams. It can often get sidetracked though, with looming deadlines and urgent problems that need to be dealt with. The longer you neglect to keep the team morale up, the more difficult it becomes to do the things that seem more important!
When a team is based all around the world, morale and engagement can be a bit more difficult to track and improve on. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Remote-how team, to get you the best tips on managing a remote teams morale.
It will take active effort on your side to see how everyone is feeling, and do something about it in ways that are different from in the office. To successfully manage all this, we’ve broken down some of the key areas that you need to be familiar with!
Motivations and their effect on morale
Each person in your team will have their own motivations when they are completing their work. You won’t always know what they are without doing a little research though. If you treat people as all having the same motivation, then your efforts in keeping up morale are going to get off to a bad start. If you help people work towards what motivates them personally, you’ll have a happy team that produces great work for you.
These two points are perhaps the greatest players in keeping up morale. First of all, think about whether each of your employees is intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. Are they driven by something that comes from themselves, like self-improvement or meeting a personal goal? Or are they motivated by external factors, such as a promotion or positive acknowledgment from the team and management? Once you identify what is driving each person, you can tailor your management style to suit the team.
If someone is particularly motivated intrinsically, offering them regular opportunities for training and more autonomy and choice in their work will help improve their morale. If you notice that another team member is extrinsically motivated, then setting targets or offering bonuses may be a better way to deal with keeping them engaged.
What’s the best way to find out?
Well, fortunately, the answer to this is quite easy. Take the time to get to know each member of your team! It’s really as simple as that. It does, however, require time on your side, and a willingness to do it and implement your findings. Ideally, this is something that you have already asked about in the interview process and followed up with regular one on ones during each team member’s time at your company.
You need to get to know everyone personally, which can be difficult as we naturally tend to gravitate towards people with similar personality types. If you notice someone beginning to fall off the radar or is particularly quiet, then you more than likely haven’t found out what motivates them and changed your management approach to suit.
Getting to know each other on a more personal level is a lot easier once you’ve established this in your company culture. By making sure that being fairly candid and open is a common part of the process, even when things are going well, people will be willing to open up more about what they want and what drives them with you.
Think about the best way you and your team can socialise
Genuine socialising at work is one of the best ways to get your team members to bond together, improve morale, and keep everyone happy at work. It will also have knock on effects on the work that everyone produces too. You find that people like to bounce ideas around while having a chat with their coworkers, which can help them with their tasks.
Encouraging socialising without making it too forced is a bit tricky, and might take a few goes to get right until you find something that works well with your team. Having an open slack or voice chat channel can be good depending on how people prefer to communicate.
If you let people know that it’s fine for them to chat while working and that you don’t mind, it opens people up a bit more than trying to force it. It sometimes is possible for people to meet up in person too if they’re not far away from each other. You can arrange for people to attend a conference or workshop if it’s nearby.
A company-wide retreat is also a possibility, which would really help to build friendships and improve morale. You really want to make socializing a core part of your culture, which in turn should help spread it throughout your remote team.
Offer some great benefits that remote workers actually want and need
Everyone loves getting some great freebies and perks at work. In a normal office, you have paid lunches, stocked up kitchens, and maybe even a gym if you’re lucky. Working remotely makes a lot of the common benefits unfortunately not practical. A lot of remote jobs will offer the usual things like a gym membership or occasional gift card, but there are much better options you can give that are ideal for a remote worker. Some great examples include unlimited vacation days, access to a local coworking space, grants for setting up your home office, and the occasional company retreat.
For smaller companies, budgets often limit what you can offer. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t think about whether what you offer is actually attractive to someone who is working remotely. Great, well thought out perks will without a doubt keep up morale in your team. It shows that you care a lot about your employees and are taking the time to think about what will make them happy. Everyone appreciates this!
For success, it’s not just about managing your teams’ morale
So now you’re ready to get out there and actively improve morale in your team! But perhaps your struggling in some other area in remote management like task setting or selecting the right tools? Remote-how have recently launched Certified in Distributed Management and the feedback they got was amazing, to say the least!
The program has loads of informative webinars, lessons, and materials to make sure that your remote management skills are up to scratch. From complete beginner to seasoned remote pro, there really is something for everyone in the 6-week online program. Don’t miss out and join the next Class! For more information, just head over to their website.