With more businesses than ever working remotely during this time, human resources and management teams are facing new challenges to keep their employees happy and motivated. While there are undoubtedly many advantages to working from home or remotely, managing employees who telecommute can be difficult, especially for those experiencing it for the first time. At its core, creating trust, fostering open communication, and focusing on building personal connections are necessary for collaborative work relationships within teams to be successful. From utilizing the right tools to fostering the right kinds of conversations, there are many different strategies HR teams can focus on to make their employees feel motivated, supported, and striving toward a common goal. If you’re wondering what those strategies include, continue reading for a good place your company can start.
Set clear expectations
Remote employees often see the advantages of having a flexible schedule, but there’s likely a continued expectation that your workforce is responsive during certain hours. Rather than expecting that without explicitly telling your employee-base, have your HR team write up documentation of expectations and communicate that clearly. Encourage your employees to allocate time for their entire week when they’ll be online and available, and have them visually show that through a collaborative calendar tool so their teams and managers are fully aware of their hours and workflow. A few things to keep in mind while setting these expectations include challenges like time zone differences or specific client needs. If your teams have critical standing commitments such as team or department meetings, continue to hold everyone accountable for attending and follow up on absences just as you would with an in-office workforce. That being said, be sure to encourage the scheduling of these meetings to be feasible for those in different time zones, as remote work allows for those across state and country lines to work for the same company.
When it comes to working remotely, communication is one thing many employees fear they will struggle with or lose entirely. Without seeming invasive or crossing respectful boundaries, try to make your employees feel seen as individuals rather than just workers. Because they are unable to run into one another in the hallway or run to the coffee shop next door together, try to imitate casual meetings as best you can by scheduling virtual events such as happy hours, coffee breaks or seminars. This encouragement of interaction within teams can help make your employees feel less isolated while stuck at home and foster healthy relationships within your teams, ultimately leading to your workforce being more effective. On top of planning meetings with your employees, consider placing more emphasis on announcing and celebrating milestones and achievements to recognize your workers for the good things they do.
Encourage healthy habits
One of the biggest changes that comes out of transitioning from going to the office to working from your home is the lack of movement throughout the day. This is likely going to take a toll on your employees, so being aware of that and making an effort to help with this challenge is key for HR teams. Make a point to encourage your employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout and keep your teams sharp. One of the most important aspects of maintaining this balance is setting start and end times that work for each individual. Making sure that people aren’t overworking during this time is critical for avoiding burnout. On top of this, encouraging physical health during this time is important as well. With everyone’s kitchen just a few steps away, it can be easy to overeat. Overeating, alongside the lack of moving around the office, can take a toll on the body quickly. To help avoid this, consider providing access to an educational weight loss program that teaches about nutrients and helps build an understanding of what foods really contain. To further encourage healthy living, set up spaces for people to chat about their different interests. These can take the form of a shared recipe space, virtual workout group, or fitness challenge to keep healthy habits at the front of your employees’ brains.
During this strange time, keeping your employees motivated and healthy is critical for your business’ success, but showing your employees that you care and are thinking of them first is just as important. What strategies has your team been implementing to keep your employees motivated?