Most of us have already got used to working remotely: we have all set up a home office station, decided which tools we should use to communicate, draw up a new schedule, and permanently logged into our video conference accounts. We all know the basic steps towards creating an effective work environment for remote teamwork. The next obstacle everyone faces is how can you motivate your virtual team?
If you want your virtual team to be engaged in their work, you have to make their work engaging. The most powerful way to motivate your virtual team is to allow them to experiment and solve problems that matter. These problems won’t be the same for every team, nor will they be easy to identify at first, and to do that, we need to ask ourselves the right questions and clarify what sets our company apart from our competitors and what messages we try to send.
If a team member wholeheartedly believes in what they’re working on, their motivation will be natural. The first step to connecting employees to a business mission is to communicate the company’s values effectively. When assigning tasks, make sure to give the employee the full picture of how their work can move the company forward, and how the company’s success serves a mission that they can support. The best remote employees will be those who understand the company mission from the beginning and feel a sense of commitment to the team. The most compelling form of motivation is always internal.
Leaders need to continue developing their virtual leadership skills, so each team member feels valued and motivated. The biggest mistake leaders make is assuming what works for them is what works for their team. This is problematic because everyone is different, and everyone is motivated by and requires different things. Coaching is crucial in developing employees to their fullest potential and helping a virtual team succeed. When leaders provide regular coaching to their employees, they can identify potential gaps and focus on improving the skills for everyone. In turn, the leader helps develop trust with their employees resulting in a more engaged and motivated virtual team.
One of the best ways to motivate your virtual team members to be better at what they do is by giving them the opportunity to learn and upskill. Since they’re developing new skills, they can also grow personally and professionally and fulfill their whole potential. It also helps them realize that you value them and want to help them achieve growth that will serve them in the long run. This will also benefit your company since employees will have better skills to deliver exceptional work.
Positive reinforcement can be a great way to motivate your virtual team and keep them engaged to continue doing exceptional work. If good work goes unnoticed, your team members may feel invisible and underappreciated. But if you acknowledge their outstanding work and show your appreciation for it, they may feel more motivated to continue delivering the same quality of work. For impressive teamwork, make sure you acknowledge it and thank the team for their contribution. This will show employees that their hard work is paying off and they’re not just blindly working on something that will go unrecognized.
Leaders can experiment and adapt if they consider these steps, and the result will be a fully engaged and motivated virtual team! Make it your goal to achieve greater levels of growth and productivity as a virtual team than as an office-team. This is a challenge that can keep everyone energized and experimenting long after this crisis is behind us!