Written by: Sally Higoe, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
It looks like remote work may be the new norm for many companies, 16% of companies across the globe are implementing a remote work arrangement!
But this setup might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for those used to working on-site. For some, days of working at home can lead to feeling disconnected and isolated. And for the team as a whole, it can also lead to a significant drop in employee morale.
Morale drives engagement and productivity. If your workforce morale is high, there is a greater chance the business will achieve good numbers. Many people miss this key factor. Maintaining high morale must be a priority for those who lead a remote team. New ways of collaboration, communication, and engagement have to be implemented to promote positive company culture.
Here are some effective ways to boost team morale for your remote employees.
Make Sure Your Team Is Aligned with the Company's Vision and Message
It’s no surprise that an employee can feel detached from the team when they’re working alone at home, so it’s important to remind your remote team that each member's work contributes to a bigger picture.
Leaders should also make regular efforts to update remote employees about what's happening in the company. Transparency promotes a feeling of connectedness and can raise team morale. Team leaders can also share the highs and the lows every week to keep everyone aligned on the team's performance. This strengthens the bond and gives your remote workers an understanding of what the team is doing right and in which areas the team can improve.
Prioritize Development and Learning
Remote employees may feel stagnant in their careers if they feel that there's a lack of opportunities. Give your team the opportunity for continuous development and learning through online training and webinars. Make an effort to facilitate workshops that fit their work schedule. Organize, where possible, off-site activities (quarterly or annually) that incorporate development and relationship building, such as this one www.theresaliantcemethod.com.au.
Ensure your remote employees feel like they have a say on how the business is being operated and their part within it. Open communication assures workers that their voices are heard and that any issues that they are encountering will be addressed.
Asking for employee feedback fosters positive change in the organization. This can be done through surveys, forums, or 1-on-1 online conversations. Remote workers feel valued when their thoughts and insights are being listened to and dealt with this last part is most important there must be action following the feedback! and this leads perfectly into the next point.
Show Them That You Care!
Who doesn't love the feeling of seeing your co-workers march toward you, singing happy birthday while holding a cake? A birthday doesn't feel complete without any gimmick from your co-workers. But how can occasions like this be celebrated in a remote work setup?
You can host online birthday parties to show employees that you care. And this type of activity doesn't have to be done only during birthdays. You can also hold online events for work anniversaries, recognition of achievements, promotions, and so much more. Doing this shows remote employees that wherever they are, their leader and the rest of the team care for them. Think Wow with these efforts and don’t be afraid to go over and above with outside-the-box thinking. You may just be surprised at how well it’s received!
Encourage Colleagues to Cover For One Another
Be okay with this and lean in with trust! Encourage your remote workers to cover each other when needed. Whether someone is going through personal stuff or if a team member needs support for a certain task. Teammates looking out for each other establish partnerships and build trust and positive work culture.
Talk to and Make Time for Members that Drive Team Morale Down
There are many factors outside of work that can bring the team morale down, especially with a remote work arrangement. There may be certain team members that are negatively affecting the rest of the team. Leaders must identify these remote workers, talk to them about their issues, discuss the impact of their actions, and work on a resolution to address their problems. It is important to remain uncompromising with the expectations and standards of your business, especially in a remote environment. Everybody wants to be part of a place where they’re encouraged to grow. Ensuring standards are maintained will help the high performers to step up and encourage the naysayers and agitators to step down.
Allow Peer-to-Peer Coaching
Yes, it's the leader’s task to hold coaching sessions. But another good way to boost team morale and engagement is to implement peer-to-peer coaching sessions. Doing this helps remote workers see their teammates as another source of insight and advice (and they may be more likely to open up about some matters to a peer). This also improves team engagement and builds trust between remote employees.
Organize Regular Online Team-Building Activities
Leaders can improve connections and team morale through fun and engaging activities. This can be done through online games. These sessions can be organized every Friday before the work weekends, or in the middle of the week as a pick-me-up. Either way, they’re sure to help team members release stress and enjoy a good time with their teammates.
Boost the Team's Energy
Your team is on the last stretch of a difficult project, but you can tell that everyone is tired. What should you do then? Energy is essential at this point. It’s time to exert efforts to increase energy! A wonderful thing to do is to encourage everyone to share ideas to stay motivated. Have this list on hand and implement it as needed. You can also schedule shorter meetings and show extra appreciation for what each team member is doing. An early finish as an incentive is a great motivator too!
Leaders with remote employees, it’s time to lean in and embrace a different style of leadership and welcome the responsibility of boosting team morale! I trust these immediately implementable tips will be a great start but don't hesitate to generate your own ideas to improve your remote team's morale.
There is a whole lot to consider, and I encourage you to always focus on the fact that your team is made up of individuals! They have their own style, approach, way of thinking, working, and communicating! The better you can understand each individual in your team, the easier it will be to help them work together seamlessly as one, to promote high performance and all-around growth.
It must be a whole team effort in improving company culture. So keep the lines of communication open for your remote employees and make sure to continue to prioritize a healthy connection between all team members.
You can also consider seeking expert advice on how to boost your team’s morale and understand your employees at a greater level.
And of course, I’m more than happy to have a chat and see how I can help out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sally Higoe, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Sally is uniquely world-experienced in building resilience, emotional fitness, and quality sustainable practices in leadership. Her experience across multiple countries leading high-performing teams in high-pressure outlying remote environments has amplified her ability to know what it takes to connect a conscious leader to their team, with outstanding results.
Having spent decades on diverse projects in every climate imaginable, Sally discovered the critical aspects of authentic leadership and team alignment. She has now blended research-based, proven methodology with her pragmatic approach and ability to 'be herself' to create the transformative Align & Shine program. There, she guides formerly flustered, confused, and internally insecure leaders, to tap into their true classic selves, without the need to conform to outside pressures, helping them become bold, present, courageous, and energized leaders who genuinely connect with their team AND their business.
Sally is co-author of Resilience in Leadership, Pt 1 of the book series, leader of both community and international hardship projects, and accredited in scientifically proven Human Behavioural Profiling and Meta Dynamics ' thinking-based methodology, adding to her Practitioner of Coaching credentials.
Most importantly though, Sally, Founder of Team Resilience Method, is now on a mission to show striving leaders how to shine, gain clarity and create a ripple of positive change, from the inside out.