How are your people holding up in the #WFH environment? Is remote team morale suffering?
Are they thriving and loving the new normal. Or are they struggling with juggling work and home-school commitments? Are they lacking motivation, experiencing anxiety, stress, or feelings of isolation? Or just very, very bored?
So how do you not only maintain but build team morale and support people who have been isolated from their normal working environment? Isolation is indeed one of the main issues to be tackled. Therefore managers need to focus on actively engaging with their remote team members with some simple yet effective methods to help maintain high levels of positive morale and team spirit.
The Governments’ enforced lockdown has meant many of your teams may have been working remotely for a good few months now. And your company may have decided that this is now the new normal for your business. But is this working for you? Are your managers struggling to keep morale buoyant with limited or zero experience in managing remote teams? Maybe this is a challenge for them too?
Here are some tried and tested tactics to increase morale in your remote teams and improve overall employee satisfaction and productivity.
Establish consistent communication
Many of your team and indeed your managers may be working remotely for the first time, so carving out communication time is crucial. As is committing to regular meetings. Setting up clear communications channels and sticking to them really helps with feelings of isolation and being away from the normal office/work environments.
To supplement regular virtual meetings as a team and also one-on-one meetings, shift communications online using instant-messaging tools. To help create an ‘office environment’ managers also need to be available to answer questions or chat. Leadership is even more important now to keep everyone in the loop and feeling together and included in the new virtual workplace. More importantly, ask for feedback. Communication is after all a two-way street.
Goals and development are still important
To overcome the feelings of disconnect many remote employees experience it’s really important that managers take a sharper focus on goal performance. Whether that’s business performance-related or personal learning and development. Recognition is really important, remote teams need to know they are doing well to feel part of the team, and on the flip side, managers need to track if there are any problems bubbling under the virtual surface unseen. Out of sight, is definitely, not out of mind.
Schedule social meetups
A good deal of office life is the regular amount of personal interaction you have during the day. The ‘water cooler’ moments if you like. The few minutes here and there between meetings chatting about ‘life’ etc. fosters a culture of positive interaction and respect amongst colleagues. It’s something that many of your people may be really missing working from home.
It’s important that managers re-create the social aspect of in-office working by scheduling virtual social meet-ups with current and even furloughed employees. The aim is to separate from work so that employees have a chance to interact on a personal level. Make it a regular thing, and incorporate fun, social activities that are easy to participate in and are positive, inclusive and uplifting
Need more help building morale in remote teams?
We’d love to help! Our virtual behaviour change programme ‘Build Morale through Virtual Meetings’ might just help.You can view the full programme here or please get in touch for an informal chat or if you have something specific in mind and we’ll help you pick the right programme.