The global COVID-19 pandemic caused major upheavals in the businesses landscape worldwide. One of the significant shifts it brought was transitioning in-office work culture to a remote work setup. Click here to know what does swag mean in marketing.
Although companies have become accustomed to the new normal by now, they still find it hard to upkeep the remote workforce’s morale. It is because teleworking makes individual workers feel more isolated and socially disconnected. The absence of regular in-person interactions, casual break talks, etc., make it hard to keep themselves engaged. As a result, their morale goes down, thereby hampering their performance and productivity.
Even though motivation comes from within, organizations can take several initiatives to boost employee morale. Leaders can rethink their approach, integrate modern practices into their routine to cater to the employee-centric era. It is because only a motivated talent pool will be able to contribute to the organization’s growth.
This article elaborates on the best leadership tips to boost remote employees’ morale.
5 effective practices to boost employee morale
Leaders can follow myriad practices, form their own strategies to show support, and elevate employees’ morale. However, certain practices are proven and can be implemented by almost everyone.
They are enlisted below:
1. Formulate and convey a definite plan of action
Remote work has led to certain communication barriers due to time zone differences, dispersed teams, etc. Thus, it can be arduous to convey work-related information effectively and efficiently. Failure to share these important details can cause ambiguities and confusion in understanding what needs to be done. Therefore, it’s imperative that organizations prepare a definite action plan for the team to follow.
A plan of action for any process, be it specific projects, the transition from one technology to another, etc., will help bring everyone on the same page, especially when teams are distributed. Further, transparency and clarity around the action plan help negate differences, and internal conflicts, and enable the workforce to channel their effort in the right direction. Thus, a roadmap or an action plan goes a long way in keeping the teams engaged and motivated.
2. Establish and convey goals with clarity
As stated earlier, streamlining communication between a distributed workforce is challenging due to differences in time zones and geographical boundaries. It results in confusion around final goals and milestones among employees. Resultantly, the workers may not be able to align their efforts with the final project-specific goals or organizational goals, thereby hindering productivity.
Hence, leaders should conduct daily stand-up calls, joint project progress review meetings, end-of-the-day meets, etc., to reiterate goals and targets. It helps the employees understand how they are contributing to the bigger picture, how their efforts matter in the long run, which ultimately boosts their morale.
3. Entrust employees with responsibilities
It is natural for remote team leaders to become skeptical about their team members’ efforts and dedication. The lack of in-person discussions, check-ins, etc., may make a leader doubt its team’s ability to meet deadlines, maintain work quality, and so on. They may inadvertently resort to micromanagement via rigid schedules, frequent check-ins, etc
However, micromanagement or constant check-ins will disengage the workforce further, lower their confidence, and hamper their productivity. So, a leader must always prioritize autonomy over work and working style and entrust their team members with roles and responsibilities. It will boost their confidence and foster a sense of accountability. Using a task management tool helps you stay updated on everyone’s work without having to constantly check in.
4. Foster employee wellbeing
During the in-office work setup, it was easier for employees to unplug themselves after work hours. However, retaining work-life balance has become more difficult after the advent of the remote work culture. It is because an individual has to juggle unwanted interruptions and numerous work responsibilities while at home. It blurs the line between working and non-working hours, and remote employees end up working beyond their stipulated capacity, causing stress and burnout.
So, the employer should adopt an empathetic approach to address their work-related stresses and issues. They should form clear policies about calls after work hours, provide flexible work schedules to the workforce, and so on. Using cutting-edge tools such as resource management software, managers can track individual employees’ utilization levels and ensure no one is overworked. Another thing that could help is a software that can help in booking time off work and making it feel like a breeze. Besides, online team-building sessions, free counselling sessions, virtual yoga classes, etc., can ensure the holistic wellbeing of your workforce.
5. Conduct online training
Leaders can assess evolving skill requirements in a given industry and look at the current resource pool’s skillsets to determine if there are skills gaps. Accordingly, they can create individual learning programs (IDPs) for different employees to bridge the gap. Catering to each employee’s personal career goals while utilizing their potential for the company’s benefit helps keep them engaged and committed. Moreover, managers can implement a training scheduling solution to align the training with employees’ availability and capacity.
Conducting these training programs also future-proofs the workforce against market uncertainties and keeps them ahead of the competitors. This way, despite the challenges that the hybrid work culture has brought along, it has opened the doors to developing business resilience while keeping employees thoroughly engaged.
Revamp Leadership, Boost Employee Morale
The workplace dynamics have experienced a paradigm shift – especially since the pandemic onset. It has also brought about a significant change in employees’ expectations from their leaders. Every employee today seeks trust, compassion, and support from their employer, irrespective of the industry.
Thus, being a leader today necessitates going beyond traditional management practices to keep employees engaged and motivated. Implementing the right tools and strategies discussed above can help you boost employees’ morale and ensure the organization’s success.
Mahendra Gupta is PMP certified with 20+ years of expertise in resource management & Planning. Presently he is working as Project Consultant at Saviom Software, where his experience has enabled multinational businesses around the globe to diversify their project portfolio. Follow his work here.