Now that working remotely is here to stay for a while longer, we asked Maura Jakksen Byrne, MD of Your Business Smart Coach, to give us some advice on tips on motivating your team now that most are working remotely.
It’s all change for everyone in the new reality. Managing and motivating your team now that you can’t interact physically every day is the greatest challenge for managers right now. Here I’ve outlined some ways to help you motivate your team now that everyone is working remotely.
Be a Model for The Change
Mindset, Message and Behaviours
For Managers managing your own mindset, the messages you’re communicating and the behaviours you display is critical to motivating your team who are now working remotely.
Decide what Message You want to Communicate and Make Sure Everyone in Included in Any Communication
If you are to successfully manage and motivate your team remotely, you must create a strategy with the senior leadership around what message the company wants every employee to know and then plan what the message is, what channels you are going to use to disperse the message and when you will send this message. Remember Coronavirus is not permanent, this time will pass.
Recognise that Some People In your Team are Struggling
Some people in your team will be flexible and relish the new reality of working from home but others will find it stressful not being in an office environment. They will miss the company of their colleagues and the continuous motivation they get from being physically close to other team players. They might be frightened of the future and worry about their job and the bills they have to pay.
Set up One-on-One Meetings with Each Team Member
Jot down each of your team members names and how they generally like to be motivated. Schedule one-on-ones at the beginning of every week with each of your team to get a direct pulse check with them. This means they still feel connected to you and know that you have their back even though they no longer see you every day. At these one-on-one’s the most important thing for you to do as a manager is to listen and model a coaching style of leadership.
Connectivity & Technology
If the move to full remote working is to be successful for your team, everyone must be connected to each other. If a team member’s broadband isn’t sufficient, that needs to be rectified. As the manager, you need to make sure that each member of your team has the same level of technology and access to you, to their colleagues and to the business.
Technology Channel Decisions
From the list, decide which channels you will use for which activity, set up what hasn’t already been put in place and then COMMUNICATE THIS TO EVERYONE IN YOUR TEAM IMMEDIATELY.
Meetings are CRITICAL to Motivation. Because you no longer see everyone in the office every day, there aren’t opportunities for quick chats, a coffee together or a chance to ask quick questions on a busy floor. Because of this more meetings need to happen, that are scheduled and where the purpose of the meeting is clear and stated clearly on the subject line.
As manager, you host team meetings and allow people to contribute. There may need to be rules around how long someone can speak on VC as it’s easier at a physical meeting to accommodate longer responses. Also, when people are sitting on a seat staring at a screen, they can more easily be distracted. The technology can be sticky too, and it is a good idea for everyone to have their video on (so that everyone can feel connected to each other) but the audio on silent until they speak.
Here’s a list of possible meeting types. Run a pulse check on your current meetings protocols and check if a new meeting protocol needs to be set up for remote working. Circulate this to other managers and to your own team. Your software CRM’s has meeting schedules. Here are some examples of types of meetings:
Type of Meeting
Options for Change
Company Inspire VM
Catch up - one on one
There are a multitude of channels and messages that help your team to stay cohesive. Besides the formal meetings you’re having, encourage informal chats to keep everyone tight as a team.
People are coming up with incredible ideas and fun challenges with their colleagues like walking steps challenges, online cocktail hour, online yoga and exercise classes, quizzes, cooking together, movie time together. This really helps people stay motivated and feel that they’re still part of their team.
It is also important to create structure for people now that they can’t go to the gym or other entertainment places and when fun challenges or informal events are scheduled for after work hours, it can help people to feel closer to colleagues outside of office hours.
It is even more important now to celebrate each other’s success at virtual team meetings, in one-on-ones, on the company app, WhatsApp groups, Viber groups, etc. This helps people be more connected to their team and to the business and it keeps them motivated and happy.
Encourage Every Member of Your Team to Engage in Self-Care
Develop a self-Care plan for each member of your team. Encourage them to have structure in their day, place boundaries around technology so that they are leaving their desk and not staying online too much, that they are taking breaks, getting up from their desk and walking around, getting outside, going for a run and doing things with other members of their team and with their family and friends that support this self-care.
Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Viber – all places where team members can message, chat or video each other to stay connected and to safeguard their mental health.
Maura Jakksen Byrne is MD of Your Business Smart Coach - an Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Consultancy. She is a Kingstown College qualified Senior Executive Coach and Mentor and a Coach Institute of Ireland trained Life Coach. She is a qualified Behavioural Analyst and Psychometric Tester using the TTI international DISC® system. She is a member of the European Mentor and Coaching Council (EMCC).
A marketing graduate who has run several successful businesses and who understands the challenges of business and managing teams, she is also a published author. Since 2017, Maura has worked extensively with leadership teams in several businesses in the Recruitment Sector specifically on improving Leadership Performance and People Management. She has run several workshops for the National Recruitment Federation on ‘Superior People Management’ and ‘Remote Working’. She is now an Irish Institute of Training and Development qualified in the Virtual Classroom Essentials Programme and can train individuals or teams virtually.
For more information contact Maura:
Phone: 086 8566460