Having a passionate and motivated workforce is vital when trying to succeed as a business. Once you have hired the right staff and provided them with effective training, the onus is on them to help work towards your wider business goals, but keeping them motivated can be difficult.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have found themselves having to introduce more flexible working measure and some even removing physical workspaces all together.
From developing trust to providing external training, there are ample things that line managers and business leaders can do to help boost moral and keep staff motivated when working from home. Here, we discuss some of the ways to help achieve just that.
Work on trust
In order to create an effective work environment for remote employees, business leaders must trust individuals completely. The newfound freedom that comes with working from home, means staff can essentially manage their day how they wish, something that some managers may not be used to. Despite this, people will still need to know what’s expected of them, so it’s important to set expectations as well as boundaries within the flexibility.
Be considerate to personal circumstances, such as childcare or lack of equipment, and understand that working from home is likely to naturally reduce motivation in the first instance. Productivity will vary from person to person, so instead of setting expectations based on hours in front of a screen, set them based on the quality or quantity of their outputs.
Invest in training and equipment
Feelings of isolation and lack of progress are some of the most common complaints about remote working, but just because staff are working from home, doesn’t mean their development should be hindered because of it. Managers should continue to book in regular training sessions to be done via webinar or video call, as they would if they were still in the office. This method of training is not only to be adopted for desk-based staff, as online training can be carried out no matter what area of work it is in. For example, drivers can take qualifications such as CPC training online and warehouse staff can update their safety standards training via an online portal. Likewise, office-based staff can take part in anything from software training to organisation and time management workshops.
This ensures that every member of staff within the business, whether they are based at home or on the road, receives the same level of support and development.
Keep things as exciting as possible
If you want your teams to be engaged in their role, you have to make their work as interesting and exciting as possible. Introducing employees to new projects or areas of work will help them to feel empowered and more likely to work harder and more effectively. Try to delegate tasks in line with the specific interests of individuals as this will make them naturally more passionate and committed to their day to day work.
Keep communication going
Communication is an integral part of building a successful workforce, whether you are physically together or working remotely. Continue to check in with staff on a daily basis, both as a team and individually, as regular communication boosts moral and productivity. Team members can maintain a clear line of communication through video calls, instant messaging tools, emails and conferencing platforms, all of which will encourage collaboration when colleagues are not together physically.
It is also important to dedicate time for social catch ups aside from work. Online socials or coffee chats will encourage camaraderie and provide some light relief for employees. To help build trust from employees, make it clear that outside of organised meetings, the door is always open for an ad-hoc call whether it is work related or not.
Encourage health and wellness
Happy employees are likely to be engaged employees, so it’s wise for employers to invest in their health and wellbeing. Encourage breaks for exercise throughout the day to give people the chance to stretch their legs or letting them finish early to enjoy the sunshine.
If you don’t already have one in place, you should consider introducing a business initiative or incentive where employees are rewarded for taking up some sort of healthy habit such as cooking, yoga, sports or volunteering. This will not only support your workers’ health but also bring them closer together, helping them to bond.
As working from home becomes increasingly common following the recent pandemic, employers will have to adapt their management techniques in order to keep staff engaged and motivated. Robust communication, online training and setting clear expectations will help to keep employees focussed day-to-day as well as help to retain them in the long run.
Contact: Richard Owen-Hughes