Is teamwork and company culture falling to the wasteside?
This past year has been challenging having to pivot in the way we work, live, and connect with other people. At times it is exhausting and others, it’s exciting.
Keeping remote teams motivated can be difficult. You don’t have the informal small talk, the walk by fist bumps, or water cooler interaction. But rather, your team is sitting behind a computer screen across a number of different locations.
Motivating remote teams goes beyond the computer screen and even beyond the organization as a whole.
I will be the first to admit, there is no blanket rule or action that you can implement to motivate your entire team, because the reality is, individuals are all unique and are motivated in different ways.
As a leader, discovering what motivates each employee is the golden ticket. Knowing what motivates every single person on your team gives you the ability to appeal to their values and ignite a flame inside everyone.
Often times motivating people starts with inspiration. Inspiring them to do great work, to achieve deadlines, to continuously reach for the stars. Tying the company’s success with your employee’s individual accomplishments can be very inspiring. Communicating the knowledge you have as a leader of where the company is headed and how important their work is for the company to achieve future success, now that’s powerful!
Another tool for keeping remote teams motivated is recognition. Being recognized for a job well done highly motivates employees to continue to produce great work. Feeling valued creates a stronger bond between them and their leader… and even strengthens the employee’s bond with the company.
Think beyond emails, and verbal recognition. For example, many moons ago when working a corporate gig, I received a small greeting card in the mail and on the front it read, “Rockstar” with a gem in place of the “o”.
A small, gesture for some. But I was over the moon. My boss, a very busy woman, had taken the time to handwrite a card, decorate it and mail it to me at home. She had recognized me for a job well done in a way that I had never experienced before. To me that was better than any recognition I’ve received. I was wholeheartedly surprised and delighted! It made me to want to work harder for the organization because my boss showed me that she valued the work I performed.
Another idea to motivate your remote teams are to have a traveling “Peer Recognition Award”. When peers recognize one another it creates a stronger bond and stronger working relationships. This unity can motivate the entire team to try to “win” the award. Plus it’s super fun to see the creativity and collaboration in selecting the traveling trophy because the team should decide what it is. The award should be mailed to the winner each time so they can touch and feel it, which makes it real.
Other ways to keep remote teams motivated are by hosting fun “non-work” virtual events. Teams can play trivia, bingo, go on a guided virtual tour in Rome, paint together, so many options to choose from nowadays. Rather than the leader select the activity, ask your team what appeals to them. I’m sure you’ll be surprised at some of the activities they come up with.
My team begins each team meeting with Actually Curious cards. We pull one card out and everyone has to answer the question, similar to Table Topics. It really allows us to learn more about one another in a meaningful way because there are relevant topics in the deck. This activity is fun because it keeps teamwork alive. When you learn more about one another you have a greater sense of empathy, which results in elevating the entire team. When people know each other personally they will work better together and have a mutually shared desire to succeed.
So, if you find yourself struggling to come up with ‘new’ ways of motivating your team, remember to INSPIRE & RECOGNIZE, and when all else fails, ASK YOUR TEAM for ideas.
P.S. If you are a hiring leader looking for a thought partner, I’m happy to hop on a quick [FREE] consult. You can schedule a time HERE:
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