How to keep your team motivated when working at home

How to keep your team motivated when working at home

How to keep your team motivated when working at home

With lockdown in full swing, the coronavirus is causing negative effects all over the globe. While many organisations are equipped to manage a crisis like this, most are struggling with the shock and severity of a pandemic. Small businesses are certainly seriously impacted and are doing what they can to adapt to this uncertain time.

Many small businesses and entrepreneurs were already open to the idea of working from home occasionally, but COVID-19 has called for a complete change in working conditions in all companies. As the stats about the death toll from the coronavirus hits the news every day, employees are starting to become increasingly paranoid and morale is seriously low due to a fear for their lives.

With the amount of fake news out there, how do we know what’s real and what’s not? People’s lives are already turned upside down due to the lockdown, with families trying to juggle work and home life. Then, there’s the worry about job security and productivity. So, how do we keep our teams motivated when working from home during this coronavirus?

We’ve put together 7 tips to try and help boost employee morale and keep people motivated:

  1. Be clear about expectations

One thing that employees are going to be happy about when working from home is a flexible schedule. Unless you’re being super militant about it (and we don’t encourage you to!), then your employees will do their 8 hours roughly throughout the day, most likely with regular breaks in between. However, if you need them to be responsive during certain hours or be available to speak to clients at certain times, then make this clear to them so they can organise their day.

Due to these strange times, your employees may even be in different time zones, so it’s really important to stay organised. If you arrange team meetings and people are late or do not attend, then still hold them accountable as you would if they were in the office. Letting things slip can cause problems very quickly, so it’s better to make it clear that some work rules still apply even when working remotely.

  1. Planning and goal setting

Being organised is essential for managing a remote team – you need to be aware of deadlines and your project management skills need to be on point. Your team also need to be aware of deadlines and goals for each project and these should be laid out clearly.

Your company’s goals and visions may have changed as a whole due to the coronavirus and these need to be re-established with your team. Try to set weekly and monthly goals for each of your team members and make sure they’re recognised when they hit those goals.

  1. Communicate

It’s very easy to be at one with your laptop and forget everyone else exists, but it’s really important to consistently communicate with your team. You should be touching base with each of them every day, at least so they know you’re there for them if they need you. Try to keep communication as regular as you would have it were you all in the office.

Ensure that the team communicate with each other too – engage in the Slack channel or send each other memes in the WhatsApp group… whatever is normal for your team! Keep up the same attitude!

Some teams are still having Friday drinks… virtually! What a great way to keep up with your colleagues and maintain a positive company morale.

  1. Have regular meetings

This goes hand-in-hand with the above tip, but what we mean here are “official” meetings. When you’re in the office, it’s normal to have appraisals or check-ups every so often, so why not have them remotely too? Check in with each employee individually to see how things are going, what their worries may be, what they see their future looking like at the company etc. You could be surprised with what comes out at these meetings.

Same as group meetings – get the team together regularly to brainstorm or to discuss the company’s new goals. If you get them involved in company decisions as a whole, you will start to feel a more unified feel and they will feel more valued being included in decision-making processes.

  1. Get personal

If you’re a small business, there’s always a fine line between professional and personal relationships due to how close-knit you all are. But when you’re all working remotely, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your team members know that you see them as individuals.

When you have your catch-ups with them, make sure to get personal while respecting boundaries, of course. Just ask them what they’ve been watching on Netflix lately and have they found the time to read any new books or experiment with cooking? Show them that you care about them as a person and not just an employee.

Also, definitely don’t forget any of their birthdays!! Make sure you organise a Zoom party for that 

  1. Trust your team

Trust is essential in any relationship; in a business, it’s going to be the same. Once you’ve established expectations and goals, trust your team to go ahead and work towards those goals. The last thing they need is to be micromanaged. A key to a successful remote team is to motivate them and then get out of the way and leave them to it!

If you show that you trust and respect your team, they will show you the same respect back.

  1. Send them treats!

A nice surprise would be to send them little gifts in the post. There’s not even any need to leave the house and go to the post office – Amazon can do that job for you 🙂

Whether it’s chocolate or something more innovative, everyone loves a nice surprise and it will be a great way to motivate them and show them that you’re thinking of them!

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The BYOB Blog provides content tailored to small business owners and entrepreneurs, plus feature posts on our members and partners. If you would like to see a blog post on a certain topic, please get in touch via email on hello@byobgroup.co.uk

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