Right now, with all that is happening in our world,“flexibility” is one word that is coming up more-and-more in today’s workforce and beyond. We are universally being asked to “go with flow” and adapt to this dynamic situation that we are in. But what does that truly mean? Being flexible could mean just about anything at this moment, and it’s non-negotiable—that’s for sure! One thing that is certain though is that we are creating a new normal.
Xactly’s founder and CEO, Chris Cabrera recently wrote about this topic. He said, “I believe COVID 19 will prove to be an interesting test case for a fully remote workforce. What will happen if more employees are more productive? What if sales cycles remain the same? Will mobile apps and cloud platforms help us maintain business as usual? All of these things are yet to be determined, but the output of this sequestered period of time will surely be a catalyst for interesting and heated discussions moving forward.”
It’s a great time to re-think how you’re managing yourself and to encourage your teams to continue to be productive. To help motivate your remote teams, here are five things you can implement today to help boost morale and performance:
Virtual Motivation for Your Workforce
1. Provide Opportunities for Professional Development and Education
Being remote offers valuable time that you can use to further career development and skillsets. Professional growth is a beneficial strategy employers use to ensure their workforce is staying at the forefront of not only available new technologies, but also learn and apply the latest knowledge and information that will improve their performance on the job.
Xactly hosted new virtual activities this week that included empathy training and a lunch time session on managing and navigating healthy conflict. This can be a learning experience, each day think of ways that you can learn something new and grow professionally.
By constantly fine-tuning and learning new skills, you are ensuring that your knowledge and skills stay relevant and up-to-date while also allowing yourself to be more aware of changing trends and directions in your industry.
2. Throw a Virtual Happy Hour!
It’s simple! At the end of a hard day put work aside, jump on a call, and socialize with your co-workers. Talk about life, families, pets, or other fun topics to promote team bonding and make sure your coworkers know you care about them even though you can’t physically be in the same room as them.
Work parties of any kind offer an opportunity for coworkers to become more than just colleagues—and to relieve some work-related stress.
It also helps to boost your team's morale, which is critical to workplace success. As a result, everyone can feel supported by their team, build bonds, and enjoy work more when they realize there is some leeway for fun. Plus, a party enhances a team setting.
3. Give Employees the Recognition They Deserve
Let your team know that their work is appreciated. Working in isolation or with your entire family surrounding you will prove to be challenging for most of us. Take a minute to share a shout-out on social media, or send a mass email or Slack message to the entire company detailing a colleague’s job well done. This gives employees a sense of pride and ownership over their work.
When you can’t see your coworkers face-to-face on a daily basis, keeping up with acknowledgments is key to making sure your employees still know you see their hard work even when you’re not in the same building. The good news is that there is a ripple effect from recognition. Other employees will crave similar accolades and put forth more effort into their own work to get the desired attention and praise from management. It’s a win-win.
4. Provide One-on-One Time
Team meetings and group discussions are helpful—even if it’s over a conference call. Still, nothing beats sitting down to discuss matters that are truly relevant to the employee—even if it must be virtual. Taking time out of the day to schedule brief one-on-one meetings shows employees that you value their time and input.
It’s a great way to check-in and see how they are doing, and offer any kind of support that you can. During these sessions, you can also discuss both short-term and long-term goals, as well as how you can help them reach their objectives. Employees are more loyal to companies when they feel their goals are supported.
5. Prioritizing Remote Performance
As we all work from home, many of our employees/parents/caregivers will be dealing with school and daycare closures. This can present challenges for people with children, particularly if the children are at home like "how do I work and manage my kids", "how do I keep them busy and quiet.”
Here are some tips that our CHRO, Leanne Bernhardt shared this week with our people managers.
- DON’T worry if children or pets make noise in the background - be understanding
- DON’T worry if they interrupt you or if employees need to step away - and be understanding
- DO encourage employees to introduce their children and/or pets and let the children say hello.
The most impactful way we can help support our employees is through flexibility around their workday and schedule “get work done anytime/anywhere versus “punching a clock.”
These are unique and different times and we need to continue to seek out opportunities for all of our employees in a host of situations.
The Main Takeaway Is… Be Empathetic!
Putting your team's needs first and understanding ways to help them succeed can act as a motivational inspiration to increase and stabilize engagement and loyalty.
Taking the time to understand their needs and goals is the first step towards planning the right form of virtual strategy your organization needs to make sure everyone is always on their A-game. When your teams are satisfied and happy, they perform better and help you achieve more growth—which is a win-win for everyone.
Want to learn more about how you can motivate your remote reps successfully? Download our guide, "How to Build and Retain Sales Reps to Drive Top Performance."