Article | November 28, 2020
In 2019, over 4.3 million people were reportedly working remotely in the U.S. This number does not include the ones who work from home partially or temporarily. If there is one thing we can infer from this statistic, it is that remote work is bigger than ever, and it is not a mere trend or a phase.
Traditional workforces are rooted in conventional standards of productivity and efficiency. While it may work for an in-office, always available team, it is less than ideal for a remote workforce. A remote team, by the virtue of being remote, is not as connected as a physical team usually is. There are several benefits to working from home, but there are some downsides as well. As per a study by Harvard Business Review, employees who work remotely are reportedly less motivated than those who work from an office. Low employee morale can lead to lower performance levels or dissatisfaction and it your responsibility as the employer to enhance the remote experience. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain morale as and motivate your remote workforce. Here are some ways to figure out how to motivate your team:
Develop a Remote Work Culture
Work culture is a buzzword used often in terms of employee management of human resource management. But what does it really comprise of? Work culture is an amalgamation of several factors that make up your entire office experience. In an office setting, it includes everything from your tasks and processes, to the lunch timings, celebrations, water cooler conversations, and even non-work related banter.
This is an impossible feat to achieve with a remote workforce because chances are that they never meet each other or talk beyond the scopes of work. Many people believe it to be the natural course of things and leave the situation be. But because of the nature of the remote workforce, it becomes that much more important to develop a work culture. So how to keep your employees motivated and develop an office culture?
Do not try to replicate an office work culture exactly, as it isn’t possible. Instead, try to start small traditions and rituals that work for your team. Whether it is sharing what you’re having for lunch or discussing a current issue, conversations make for a better team. You can also include several virtual activities at the end of the day to help everyone cool off.
Offer Flexibility and Autonomy
You can scratch your brain for ideas to motivate your remote employees, but studies have shown that employees who work from home are already more efficient than those who do not. One of the biggest reasons why multiple studies have shown remote employees to be more productive is that they are accountable for their own work and time, which is often not the case in the office. The autonomy that comes with working remotely tends to be a powerful driver in terms of efficiency. However, employers tend to micromanage remote employees in a bid to control an uncertain situation. This not only demoralizes your employees but can also create trust issues. The best course of action is to trust your employees and let them take care of the work in whatever way they like.
Remote work can often be a lonely process. There is no one to interact with and several employees report feelings of isolation when working remotely. Google shows a severe spike in the search team ‘how to stay motivated working from home’ since early 2020. The reason could be the forced shift to remote work.
Offer support in terms of interaction and regular communication. This will make your employees realize that you genuinely care about their well-being.
There are also other forms of support such as technical and resource-based. Make sure that a tech team is available to your employees at all times for support. Also, ensure that they have all the required tools to function at their highest capacity.
Update Your Metrics
Working remotely is very different from working from an office. The lines are blurred, and the personal and professional aren’t always separate. So it makes no sense to calculate your employees’ efficiency based on factors such as punctuality or time spent on a task. Instead, update your metrics to reflect end results. Creating a result based metric system such as the OKRs will allow you to measure the true efficiency of your employees and also motivate your remote team to function more efficiently. A result based system will encourage the employees to push themselves add to their work from home motivation.
Conduct Frequent Reviews
Remote work can be an extremely efficient process if the lines of communication are clear and precise. One of the quickest ways to ensure that is to conduct frequent reviews with your employees and discuss the work, shortcomings, and achievements. This offers feedback to you as well as your employees and helps you stay on the same page. Feedback loops are a great way to motivate remote employees working in an isolated environment.
Everyone works differently and is motivated by different factors. Some employees find motivation intrinsically, while others require external motivators. In any case, incentives work as a great motivator as well as a good form of reward for most employees. Incentivizing goals for the entire team can enhance the camaraderie and team efforts while motivation the remote team.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you manage and motivate a remote workforce?
The key to managing and motivating a remote workforce is communication. Communicate with your team frequently and understand their needs. Offer feedback and take their suggestions seriously. You can also introduce virtual activities, new rituals, or even a virtual hangout session for better communication.
How do you incentivize remote employees?
While most people think of money or bonus as an incentive, the nature of the incentives is such that the cost does not matter as much as the acknowledgment of the effort. Make sure to offer incentives for completing goals rather than abstract expectations.
How does remote working increase productivity?
Remote work offers a lot more autonomy to the employees than working in the office. They are responsible for their own productivity and this motivated them to function more efficiently. The flexibility of remote work also plays into this, as employees can work within the comfort of their own home.
Article | May 1, 2021
It’s worth sharing some of the findings from our global advisory group, Mindshop, and our colleague advisors from around the world about what they’re seeing in their marketplaces.
First of all we understand that businesses will typically be facing 1 of 3 scenarios:
1. Busy - business is still going well with some disruption to the way they operate and demand may even be increasing.
2. Low Impact - perhaps there is a revenue reduction of between 10% and 20% with some uncertainty about the future and the possibility that the impact could be short-term.
3. High Impact - revenue reductions of 50% or more, or the business has even stopped operating as normal.
In each of these scenarios we have seen the need for common overarching responses and the need to maintain those on cycles of no more than 30 days. These responses are firstly to Survive, followed by exploring the options to Pivot or Adapt and then to move into a Thrive mode in the new reality.
We are aware of some businesses that have already made a substantial Pivot and may have changed, for example, the focus of their manufacturing and consequently have continued to do very well. While that looks like a great outcome we would expect the best of these businesses to already be planning whether they need to make another Pivot as things change or to lock their new found income streams into their future business model. These are strategic decisions that will need to be taken quickly.
Being approximately 6 weeks into an overall community response, we have seen that most businesses are anticipating that their survival initiatives will probably be around a 3 month process and that they are about halfway through that now. We are also seeing an expectation that the search for, and execution of, opportunities to Pivot will take a further 6 months and it may be as much as 12 to 18 months before organisations are starting to thrive in their new reality.
In looking at what this means for leaders, there are a whole range of strategies and tactics that can be applied, here, we would like to just provide a few examples under the Survive and Pivot/Adapt responses, and then point you to some free resources that you may find helpful.
1. For Leaders in all scenarios
a. Survive - Calmness, communication and scenario plans are vital
b. Pivot/Adapt - regularly review your business vision - things will change
c. Thrive - have your growth plan ready with a new view of risk mitigation based on our current shared experience
2. For Leaders in the Busy Scenario
a. Continually review the operational capabilities to respond to unexpected falls in demand and to anticipate growth
b. Make sure that you continually update your disaster scenario plans - it could still happen to you
c. Make sure to use your newfound cash flow to prepare yourself well for your new future as you continue to develop your new product and service offerings
3. For Leaders in the Low Impact Scenario
a. Communication and focus are both here, team members will have seen enough of the alternative scenarios to be concerned about their future and if they are not working with purpose, low-impact can turn into high-impact very quickly
b. Your Pivot responses should see a revised strategic plan focusing on recovering lost business but also on evolving into modified products and services - reimagine these in a changed market
4. For Leaders in a High Impact Scenario
a. Hibernate long-term strategically important areas of your business as effectively as possible
b. Choose the team members to work with you on the recovery very carefully
c. Reimagine the business as a leaner and more effective operational unit as the market starts to recover or you discover opportunities to Pivot
Obviously, these are just simple snapshots of leadership responses, but clarity of thinking in all scenarios is what will see good businesses coming out of this on the other side successfully.
Article | April 20, 2020
The success of any staffing initiative lies not just in finding and hiring the right talent but also in how quickly new hires become productive. And the lynchpin to effective time-to-productivity is the employee onboarding training that each new hire receives. In fact, the speed at which new inductees become productive often determines the Return On Investment (ROI) generated by corporate training programs at large.
Article | March 9, 2020
These 6 employer branding stats will impact how you hire whether you’re ready or not. How important is employer branding in 2020? As the Talent Board’s recent study has found, “the number one recruiting focus for 2020 will be employer branding.” Employer branding is a popular buzzword in HR, but how important is it really? Do you need to invest into employer branding in 2020? What is the ROI of building and promoting a strong employer brand? Will it help you attract better candidates, hire faster and save money.