What key challenges remote employees face? They often report feeling isolated and out of touch with things that matter to the organization. In addition, as a result of receiving little to no feedback, some of them tend to feel undervalued as well. On the other hand, remote leaders complain that they have no control over their employees who have too much freedom in interacting with clients or too flexible work schedules.
Even if managing remote employees is becoming a more widespread phenomenon, many leaders stills struggle with one of its key aspects – employee recognition. It doesn’t matter whether employees work on-site or remotely – obviously, they need to be engaged and motivated all the same. Unfortunately, without the opportunities for spontaneous ‘Good job!’ remarks, many managers are at a loss when it comes to recognizing the achievement of remote employees. According to a statistics released by New York Times, “43% of American workers were engaged in some remote work in the year 2016.” This goes to show the importance of remote workers in today’s workforce.
Although managing teamwork online can be a very difficult proposition the benefits of having a remote team cannot be undermined. We will talk about the different challenges that you can face while managing remote teams sometime later in our future blog. Right now, it is about time to change your perspective while designing staff benefits for the organization and think about the rewards that you will be giving to your remote workers first.
Read more about managing remote employees here
As employee productivity specialist Dave Nevogt says, “the only things keeping remote employees from taking their foot off the gas pedal is their own discipline and their motivation.” It’s the employer’s responsibility “to provide this motivation across many miles, sometimes continents.”
So here we have listed out five practical ways to ensure that your remote workforce remains focused and motivated:
1. A Common Platform for Employee Communication
As with all things in business and relationships, communication is key. Remote workers have an equal stake in being included in the direction of the business. Keeping remote employees informed and in the loop reminds them not only that they’re part of a larger organization, but also that the organization has a vested interest in their relationship.
2. Gamify It
Gamification is excellent for boosting employee engagement and motivation. And you can add recognition to the mix as well. Organize team activities like sessions of online work bingo together – employees will fill in a square every time a team member completes a specific task. This will boost team productivity and create a sense of collective effort in bringing a project forward.
3. Emphasize on Cultural Variation of Remote Employees
If your team is composed of workers coming from different corners of the world, you should adopt an open-minded attitude and try to learn a bit about the cultures of your workers. Getting to know the traditions of a multinational workforce, you’ll be able to interact with them appropriately and recognize important days/holidays in their national calendar. This is a clear sign of your respect and appreciation, which is bound to boost employee morale.
It can even go a long way in ensuring that it enhances your employer brand when the remote workers tell this to their friends and colleagues. Offer the remote workers a subscription to a travel lounge or a pre-check authority to make their vacation a pleasant experience.
4. Offer an Annual Technology and Workspace Allowance
Even remote workers would require tools to get their job done. The best way to make a huge difference in their job is by offering them an annual technology allowance that can be used to purchase a better headphone, a new app, an extra monitor or a laptop upgrade. Remote workers want the right chair and desk to work. Offices refurbish furniture from time-to-time. The next time you upgrade the office furniture provide workplace allowance to your remote workers so that they can upgrade their home office. This way you can ensure that the remote workers get job satisfaction and make them strive hard to maximize their outputs for the organization.
5. Recognize Efforts and Productivity of Remote Workers
Although remote workers prove their productivity they don’t always receive recognition for that work. Make it a point to ensure remote workers are being recognized for the myriad contributions they’re making to your organization. Not only that, make sure that the recognition is highly visible so other members of the organization are aware of the valuable contributions remote workers are making on a daily basis. Modern communication and collaboration tools make accomplishing this dead simple. Call out remote workers’ big wins on companywide channels, and empower the rest of the team to do the same.
6. Put Aside a Health Budget for Remote Workers
It is always critical to keep your employees healthy for better productivity and positive results. The same thing should apply to the remote workers. Although you might consider health insurance to be boring it is still an invaluable asset, especially for those remote workers who have a family. You can give a health budget to your remote workers in such a way that they can spend that amount on gym memberships, yoga classes, setting up a home gym, enrolling in a meditation course or getting new running shoes.
7. Transparent Goal Setting
A big fear of remote workers is they’ll miss out on promotions or get lost in the shuffle by management. The best way to avoid this is to set transparent team and individual goals with accompanying rewards so every team member knows where everyone stands. For example, Google has used their Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) concept since 1999 to transparently set goals and measure their performance. By tying rewards to goal completion or attaining results, you can ensure everyone will feel they are being treated fairly based on their performance, remote or in-house.
8. Invest In Their Learning & Developement
Most of the employees working in your organization are looking for growth and expansion. The best way to ensure that is by expanding their skills that can better their performance. There are lots of online training courses available nowadays. The best way is to encourage your remote workers to take advantage of these. You can even take membership of these courses by giving access to everyone in your remote team. Alternatively, you can set a budget that your remote team can invest in selecting the online courses of their interest. This way you can reward them and encourage them to learn and grow in their professional lives.
The ideas presented in this blog can make the remote workers feel included, valued and an integral part of your organization. By regularly delivering positive reinforcement you can ensure that your remote workers put their best foot forward in terms of delivering exceptional work quality. So, how do you plan to reward staff benefits to your remote workers?
cFIRST Think Tank is the team that researches and produces content for cFirst. This team comprises of seasoned content and digital design professionals and background screening industry veterans. Together we produce insightful blogs, infographics and reports meant for HR and background screening professionals.