There’s a lot of talk these days - and rightfully so - of how important a work-life balance is to increasing productivity, improving overall health, and fostering job satisfaction. But what about when employees are working remotely from home? Do the same motivational ideas and strategies apply? Is it even possible to recreate an in-office work environment that keeps employee engagement high?
In this post we’ll cover how employee motivation techniques, including gamification, can not only increase employee motivation but employee satisfaction as well, no matter where the work is being performed.
What are the Challenges of Working From Home?
Working from home may become many organizations’ only option to keep their businesses running, as advancements allow for remote working to become the norm for many. While working remotely can be positive for both employers and employees, the importance of employee motivation looms large.
Remote work comes with a lot of advantages for companies. Technologies and software streamline communications and improve daily workflows, employee productivity is increased, and retention rates rise. For their part, employees love the flexibility it offers, appreciate the time saved by eliminating the daily commute, and welcome the opportunity to work from wherever they please.
To be sure, there are also plenty of difficulties on each side. Time management problems, loneliness, and miscommunication are three big ones for employees. Employers often lack the understanding and tools to support off-site employees which can have detrimental consequences.
When problems with technologies, home distractions, and lack of collaboration occur, it can be difficult for enterprises to keep employees energized. How to improve employee motivation becomes a challenge organizations must face head-on if they hope to make remote working a success.
How to Manage and Keep Remote Teams Engaged
Keeping employees who work from home motivated is often complicated. Of course, not all organizations view or handle remote work the same way. But because studies find that 70 percent of an employee’s engagement is driven by their manager, there are common themes and solutions to look to.
Many remote managers struggle to create the ideal level of engagement in their employees.
- Individual home situations make it more difficult to have a set of rules that works for everyone as is more possible in a dedicated office environment.
- Communications, especially in the form of emails and phone conferences, can be misunderstood or abrupt.
- Accountability is difficult to measure.
It’s estimated that up to 30 percent of the workforce will be working from home multiple days of the week by the end of 2021. If they want a highly-motivated and effective workforce, management should start now to engage with their remote teams in different and meaningful ways.
How to Motivate Your Employees to Work Effectively
Recent events have provided amazing examples of how successful remote work can be and technology has played a huge role in making that possible. Yet in spite of this success, organizations still find it difficult to address socializing, team building, and networking challenges. For those wanting to help employees feel more connected and engaged, these 15 tips can be a good jumping-off point.
1. Define goals
Nearly 75 percent of employees say they put in more effort than is required when working from home. But in order for that to happen, employers must set clear and measurable goals about their duties and responsibilities. Establishing structured timelines for check-ins, creating realistic expectations, and defining cultural norms helps remote workers envision success—and achieve it.
2. Communicate Effectively
Poor communication delays projects, affects revenue, and decreases employee engagement. Strong managerial communication skills can prevent remote employees from feeling unclear and/or discouraged. Regular, scheduled communications that focus more on results, not employee activity is empowering for people who work from home. While there will be the occasional employee who needs more oversight, most people perform best when they feel trusted to get the job done.
3. Promote a cohesive company culture
It’s natural to feel disconnected when working from home. Virtual communities can go a long way in increasing productivity, engagement, and retention. And when employees are fully aligned with a common mission and goals, they remain motivated and focused on the task at hand. Culture is the heart of an organization. Building and maintaining it with remote workers is challenging, but it’s key to keeping your business moving forward.
4. Provide positive reinforcement
Recognition and praise are vital components of a successful remote workforce. Along with frequent communication, it’s important to make sure employees working from home also feel recognized and valued. Simple things like a quick email, text, or public shout-out can go a long way in keeping them engaged. Regularly providing positive reinforcement ensures remote employees put their best foot forward in terms of delivering exceptional work quality.
5. Provide consistent feedback
Feedback is different from reinforcement in that it’s a two-way street. Effective feedback for remote employees should be consistent and reliable, regardless of how a team member is performing. Structure is key to providing feedback that results in greater productivity and improved results. To keep the working relationship healthy and productive, management should arrange set times for meeting with remote team members to hear suggestions, get updates, and offer support. Some organizations find success through encouraging employee-to-employee feedback and/or assigning mentors for new hires or workers transitioning to a new position.
6. Quickly address technical problems
There’s always going to be technical issues employees need to deal with, but remote workers can feel they’re left to their own devices to solve them. When problems do arise, make sure employees are kept in the loop.
7. Provide the right tools
Video conferencing, communication, and project management tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams as well as HR tools like Slack keep remote employees engaged not only with the organization but each other.
8. Encourage knowledge sharing
Vital for both employee development and an organization’s success, knowledge sharing ensures everyone is using the same information to perform their tasks. Employees should be encouraged to share their learned experiences so others can profit from them.
9. Be present
Good remote management is more than tracking work progress. Periodic video calls that cover work and personal topics such as how an employee is coping with remote work are extremely motivating.
10. Promote health and well-being
Physical and mental health are key to making sure remote employees stay motivated. Wellness apps, motivational meetups or newsletters, and regular check-ins keep employees focused on their own well-being.
11. Let employees use their creative side
What’s effective in the office doesn’t always translate to working from home. Allow remote employees to experiment with new ways of doing things; they may just come up with a better approach that works in the office, too!
12. Encourage continuous engagement
Modern communication tools make it easy to instantly share information and updates within the organization. Encourage remote employees to stay engaged with their co-workers through these tools.
13. Use surveys
As opposed to feedback sessions, surveys can be anonymous, and employees may share more honestly. Surveys should be relevant to and include questions specific to working from home.
14. Offer career growth opportunities
Even remote employees need to know there’s opportunity to advance within the organization. Giving employees who work from home a fair shot at career advancement can be as simple as management developing a strategy for noticing the impact a remote worker has on the organization’s success. It’s also important to remember that advancement is not always about office management positions. Many remote workers want the opportunity to advance in their particular field, say from customer service manager to director of customer of service, a position with more responsibility, input, and compensation.
15. Embrace gamification
Virtual team-building activities give a sense of belonging to employees. Gamification is one of the main strategies organizations can use in multiple ways to recognize, reward, and motivate remote employees to reach higher performance goals. It’s important to align recognition with rewards with performance. Use things like employee incentives, too, to acknowledge employee accomplishments.
Every game BeeLiked designs can be customized and used to accomplish everything from boosting employee engagement to improving training and development. Cryptic image quizzes are a fun way for employees to be rewarded for reaching set goals. Digital scratch card games are another “goal progression” option. Our “Spin the Wheel,” “Spot the Ball” and “Quiz Creator” games have been used to motivate sales teams, attract quality talent, and educate and engage employees.
Other applications we’ve seen used successfully include games that give employees a “pat on the back” for a job well done and ones that track an employee’s onboarding progress. The possibilities are truly endless.
What is The Best Way to Reward Employees?
It sounds simple enough: if you want remote workers to be engaged in their work, make their work engaging. Some of the best ways to do this include making it personal, motivating with financial and non-financial incentives, and using technologies like gamification apps and software.
If you’ve been having a difficult time coming up with ways to incentivize employees who are working from home, the tips outlined above are a good place to start. Just be sure to custom-design your rewards and recognition programs to reflect the organization’s and your remote employees’ needs.
With customizable gamification solutions that are designed with your business in mind, BeeLiked can help incentivise your team, even when employees are working remotely. Ensuring your team is on board, supported and enthused while working from home is as important as ever, especially as the normalities of modern day working are shifting to allow for remote workforces. Bring your team back together to boost productivity, resolve and results with original and interactive, digital experiences. Get in touch with us today to set up a no-obligation discovery call and to learn more.