Many modern businesses and startups manage employees remotely. Working from home appeals to many employees, and Stanford University reports that about 10 percent of U.S. employees now regularly work from home. With more businesses relying on remote talent, and more workers in the U.S. and abroad working remotely, modern businesses must rethink traditional methods of employee motivation. Whether your business has only some remote employees or operates completely online, these are tips and tricks to help motivate the employees that you may not meet face-to-face every workday.
1. Build trust between you and your employees.
When assigning tasks to remote employees, make sure the instructions and descriptions of the tasks are clear and easy to follow. Then, take a step back. Do not micromanage. If your remote employees perceive that you do not trust them to complete simple tasks, they will not be motivated to do their best or take the liberty to complete the tasks to their fullest potential.
2. Communicate regularly.
For employers managing remote employees, it is imperative to establish an efficient way to communicate with those employees. If an employee does not feel comfortable communicating with you or feels adrift, then their work and motivation will suffer.
Tools like UberConference and Oovoo are conferencing and collaboration platforms that can make communication easier between you and your employees. Simpler tools like email and Skype are helpful as well.
3. Give praise when it is due.
When the finished work is being sent to you electronically, it can be easy to forget that there is a person on the other end who worked hard on that task. Many remote workers can lose motivation because it can seem that their work goes unappreciated. If a worker doesn't feel like the business or the employer appreciates the work they are putting in for the company, they will be less motivated to do their best. This doesn't mean that every time a task is completed a "congratulations" is on order, but an occasional email or call praising their work will go a long way.
4. Make remote employees feel part of a team.
Working from home, away from the traditional office setting, can deprive some people of a connection to the workplace. Interaction between coworkers is important to some people. Plus, if employees feel like they have no sense of the business they work for, then it is easy for motivation to slip away. Conference platforms, group emails, Facebook pages, or weekly newsletters can help remote employees feel connected to the company they are working for.
Remote employment is becoming a serious business model for many modern businesses. Because of this, employers managing remote employees need to take it seriously. Remote employees need to be treated and managed like any other worker. MACs Women manages many remote employees and interns, and we would love to hear your feedback on how you work with remote employees. What are your tips for motivation? Answer in the comment section below!