How to keep a remote team motivated

How to keep a remote team motivated
Photo: Fox, Pexels.

A successful team is one of the most important things when it comes to running a business. The fact is that if you don’t have a motivated team, there is no way that they can realistically be a successful one. Investing in your team can be one of the best ways to secure this success. This is even more important when it comes to a remote team. 

From the Sunshine Coast to Perth, you could have members of your team across the whole width of Australia–keeping that team motivated together is key. So, with that in mind, here are a few good tips to keep your remote team motivated. 

Create consistent, effective, communication 

Communication is vital when it comes to running any kind of business, but especially one that doesn’t have a central office or comprises of a mostly remote team. The fact is that to ensure the wheels of your remote team keep spinning effectively, communication needs to remain high. Without consistent communication, your remote team can quite easily fall apart. 

The best way to keep communication high when it comes to your remote team is through a good communication system, i.e. Slack, Rocket Chat or Fleep. It may not necessarily feel like the conversation is flowing as if someone is in the room, but it can get pretty close. So, invest in a good system where possible. 

Build relationships 

Remote team members need to bond more than your average team members. This means that team-building exercises, good communication and happy relations are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building relationships in your team. 

Team meetups, activities and the like are therefore much more important when it comes to developing the relationships in a remote team. Try to arrange meetups, in person, as many times as possible in the space of a year. This way people have the opportunity to actually meet and enjoy each others company. 

And remember, team chemistry is vitally important. Keep this in mind when you are recruiting new staff

Recognise hard work 

Working hard is often questioned when it comes to remote work. After all, some employers are suspicious of the level of work done and whether or not it’s actually to the standard they expect. As a result, rewarding hard work in a remote setting can be even more important than in a regular workplace. Without day to day interactions, your staff can easily become disheartened. As they may begin to feel that all of their hard work is being overlooked. 

And this doesn’t necessarily have to be a reward which is announced to the rest of the staff. Sometimes private rewards or words of thanks can be better appreciated, as they are sometimes much more meaningful. 

work team motivated laptop meeting
Photo: Daria, Pexels.

Set goals 

Sometimes one of the best ways to help improve a remote teams motivation is to actually set them goals. A personal work plan is incredibly important in order to keep your team moving forward; no matter if they’re a recruitment professional or something like a commercial rent review surveyor

Not only do goals help you to monitor the employees work, but it also gives them something to personally strive for as well. This can be beneficial in of itself. As not having a workplace goal can quickly create anxiety and a sense of purpose, damaging morale. Give reasonable goals and this doesn’t have to be the case. 

Track billings 

Instead of making trust an issue, either by giving too much trust and having it abused or by not having enough, make it easier to manage. You can do so by implementing ways to help employees–and you–track their billable hours/activities. This way, you have a full record of what they are being paid for. 

Which can help if time taken to complete tasks or potentially slacking off is a concern. As you can see it had taken them an abnormally long time to complete a simple task, you can question and get to the bottom of the problem. If slacking off is the problem, not the complexity of the task, then you can potentially reduce the amount you pay them for the hours spent. As this way any issues on their end can be fairly accounted for. 

Manage money well

As well as paying for the correct amount of hours worked or work done, you need to make sure that your business pays its remote workers on time. Constant late payments, promises to pay that will never come true and likewise can be a massive blow to your remote employees motivation. So, try to keep on top of your accounts for this reason. Good faith in an employees ability to pay them is just as important as a good work environment for remote employees. 

This means that you shouldn’t over-commit in any way. If you can’t afford to actually pay x amount of remote employees, then don’t hire them in the first place. Start small, keep up with payments and you may be surprised by how fast your team grows.

Have meetups 

Sometimes not seeing people face to face can make them feel less real. In a remote team, this can really bring down morale and make problems between team members feel much more serious than they actually are. Small disagreements can’t be swept under the day to day machinations of office life. Instead, they can fester and grow worse with poor communication. 

If the distance is too far–and therefore too expensive–then you should at the very least strive for a once a year meetup. And there are plenty of meetup ideas out there to make it a fun day for everyone! 

On the whole, keeping a team motivated all of the time is quite a difficult task. But, if you are able to keep your remote team motivated at least most of the time it can be extremely beneficial in the long run.