Encouraging remote teams can prove more challenging than how it was in the physical office. However, there are ways to make it happen in the virtual space as well.
All managers can agree that remote teams are harder to manage. Taking the physical presence away has a lot of disadvantages, especially when it comes to the most common remote working models which involves a lot of videoconferencing.
You can’t see your team members anymore and therefore you cannot encourage them in the traditional sense. You can’t see when a team member is having a hard time figuring something out, when someone needs guidance, or when someone is struggling for personal or professional reasons.
This disengagement that came with the first remote work model made team members feel depressed, lonely, and even insecure about their job. Most people need some sort of validation that what they’re doing is on the right path, and at the same time they want the freedom to work without being micromanaged.
Managing teams in the physical office involves many physical activities, such as having a quick chat with your team, or knocking on someone’s door and asking if they need any help. We can’t take the same practices such as checking up on someone and put them into use in the virtual space, because that would seem controlling and would have the opposite effect. Therefore we need to implement different methods to encourage our virtual teams.
Employees need to be seen, even more so in the virtual environment. Working for a company that doesn’t value them is the most common reason that leads to quitting.
This need of being valued is rooted in our DNA. We need to feel we’re being part of something important, and that what we do has a significant importance for the company. Which means a manager should recognize hard work and give praise to it as much as possible.
When team members feel valued as workers, they’ll work harder and better. They’ll give their best because they know that effort is appreciated. Nobody wants to invest effort in something that doesn’t have value.
Encouragement is a powerful motivator and there’s never enough of it. And to be honest, companies would not exist without their hard workers, so this is simply giving them the appreciation they deserve.
If you want to have a productive team, you should encourage self-care as much as possible. The business world is evolving to an employee-centric culture, where open communication is welcomed, feedback is appreciated, and psychological safety is provided.
And this is the smart thing to do.
Encouraging the employees’ well-being will create a long-lasting working relationship that you can trust. Because people appreciate the managers who looked up for them. Working hard to the exhaustion doesn’t benefit anyone, even if the usual instinct of team leaders was to count hours.
The working hours don’t matter as much as productive hours. One could spend an entire day at work doing little or no work while someone else can have only two very productive hours and then have the day off. At the end of the day, what the employee does is what matters.
People are most productive when they are at their best, mentally, physically, and emotionally. That’s why managers who will encourage their remote teams to take care of themselves will nurture a strong and competent team.
When the company wins, everybody wins. However, the team members who made it possible deserve to be praised for their work.
This advice also revolves around the employees’ need to be validated. People need to be valued for their hard work. They need to see that their efforts matter to the ones in the leadership position.
When you celebrate your team members, you boost their morale and give them the confidence to put all their best effort forward. And it gives encouragement and validation to the entire team.
One of the greatest motivators for employees are the opportunities to learn and grow. Professional progress creates a feeling of satisfaction in team members. If managers nurture this growth through financial and logistical support, the team will enjoy working with them.
This is important because the need to progress is also rooted in our DNA. We love to know we’re getting better in life, even if we talk about our profession, our financial situations, or our health.
When managers support their team members with opportunities to learn and grow, it also shows a level of generosity and goodwill that makes everyone feel part of a great team.
The last advice for team leaders who want to encourage their teams is to build a relationship based on trust. This goes beyond letting go of outdated practices such as micromanaging.
Managers need to genuinely trust their team members with the jobs they’ve been assigned with. Employees who see they’re trusted to complete the tasks by themselves without being verified every hour will generally give their best to match that expectation.
Because trust is also a sign of respect. When you respect your employees, they will respect you back.
We have to realize that our working relationships are built and nurtured almost in the same way as other relationships. You cannot have a healthy relationship of any kind without trust.
“I trust you, you trust me” it’s the kind of work culture that would inspire and motivate people to give their best and truly care about the work they do.
And at the end of the working day, that’s what truly moves the needle in terms of productivity.
These tips are effective for encouraging remote teams, but they are harder to apply on remote work models based on videoconferencing apps. We need an alternative to Zoom, Webex or Jitsi that allows us to incorporate the advantages of the physical office in the remote space.
In contrast to videoconferencing solutions, ivCAMPUS offers permanent presence - which creates mutual visibility: employees want to be seen and recognized (they want to be acknowledged for their hard work) and leaders want to see their employees performing without micromanaging them.
With ivCAMPUS you can see who's in the virtual office, knock on someone’s door and have a quick chat, or go into the coffee room for a casual chat. Encouraging remote teams has never been easier. Try it for FREE and bring back the advantages of the physical office in the remote one. Find out more in the buttons below.
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