Remote working is the way of the world these days. While many employees love the flexibility of working from home avoiding busy commutes, there are also many challenges when it comes to managing remote teams and fostering team morale. Without the bustle of a shared office and team coffees during lunch breaks, employees can feel somewhat disconnected, and this can directly hinder business success.
Undeniably, morale is essential for teams to succeed. It boosts employee productivity, sparks innovation, and encourages team members to go the extra mile. When enthusiasm is deflated, feelings of loneliness and disconnect can loom, and productivity begins to decline.
Happily, there are some brilliant tried and tested ways to boost morale within remote teams.
Good communication is one of the most important components of managing your remote team. When teams are working in an office setting, it is easy to have quick catch-up meetings and to address issues as they arise. When teams work in remote environments however, communication modes have to be adjusted accordingly. Some key ways to guarantee successful communication between team members include the following:
Check-in meetings are a great way for teams to stay connected and to make sure that everyone is on the same page with regards to the current project. It also gives managers the opportunity to rectify any issues and stay on top of deadlines.
Remote teams need to know that their managers are there if they need them, even if they aren't there in the flesh. Normalizing virtual meetings drives this point home. If your team is comfortable with video meetings on platforms like Troop Messenger, Microsoft Teams or Zoom, opt for video meetings rather than calls. This allows your team to connect on a deeper level since they will see facial expressions and body language.
Make time for meetings with the entire team and regular one-on-one meetings where you can check in with individual employees. This will ensure that employees feel seen and supported and allow them to share any concerns before they hinder team morale. Also, you can create a video on new tasks and share it with your team so they can watch the video whenever feels any confusion. It boosts their productivity with fewer mistakes.
Another way to ensure that communication continues is to create a chat group for your team. This will allow employees to ask clarifying questions in the moment, and in turn, tasks will get done with a greater sense of urgency. It might, however, be worth stipulating that the team chat should only be used during office hours as encroaching on personal time might have a negative effect by diminishing morale rather than boosting it.
If a team member is dropping the ball or not understanding a concept, it's imperative to give them feedback fast. Sitting on minor problems and not addressing them head-on can result in more significant issues within your team down the line. A great way to prevent this is to organize weekly feedback sessions. Coach your staff and encourage them to find solutions to problems through creativity, innovation, and collaboration.
It's essential that every member of the remote team is on the same page, especially when managing multiple projects or complex tasks. This is where a project management platform like Indy can significantly improve collaboration. The all-in-one platform offers remote teams everything needed to manage projects with ease. Top features include:
This function allows team members to easily sync their calendars and collaborate. Schedule group meetings, set deadlines and ensure that everyone knows precisely what component of the project is due. When it comes to managing remote times, timing is everything, and this feature is a must-have for brilliant coordination.
The chat feature ensures communication flows and allows for centralized conversation between the team. Create different chat groups for various projects and build a culture where staff feels confident asking questions and asking for support.
This is an excellent feature for big projects that require many components. Check off tasks as they're completed and allow the team to monitor the project's progress.
Other features include invoice templates and generators, time tracker, contract templates, and space to upload forms and files. Since everything can be accessed via a centralized dashboard, team members can clearly see what each project entails.
When your team is feeling happy and supported, they will naturally produce better work. For this reason, it's imperative that you encourage employees to take care of their mental health and spend time doing activities that rejuvenate them. If you notice a shift in mood or output of a team member, organize a one-on-one chat and see if they need some support. If finances allow, sponsor some sessions with a therapist or consider onboarding an organizational psychologist to work with your team. It's also important to take an interest in your staff outside of work. Remember those important details like their kids' names, their upcoming birthday, or the holiday they just went on.
All work and no play can have a detrimental impact on a business and team morale. Organize online catch-ups that are solely focused on encouraging connection outside of work and having some fun. Ideas could include virtual after-work drinks once a month, online gaming tournaments, themed quizzes, or a book club. This also gives employees and managers a chance to really get to know each other and build their rapport. This will naturally have a great impact on communication and teamwork.
One of the best ways to encourage better morale is showing your team how much you appreciate them. Give them positive feedback when they do a great job, recognize their hard work, and celebrate their wins. Numerous studies have showcased that a positive culture – whereby staff members are given positive feedback and appreciation – can considerably impact overall morale. In fact, a study by Robert Half discovered that around 66 % of people leave their jobs "because of a lack of appreciation." Appreciating your staff will boost productivity and motivation and result in greater employee retention. You might also start an employee of the month system or reward employees with bonuses when a project is particularly successful.
Trust also plays a huge role in boosting morale. While you might have the urge to micro-manage employees and follow up on every moment of their day, it is essential to showcase that you trust them. When your staff feels trusted, their work will naturally improve. Allow employees to plot their own projects and instill a culture of trust from the get-go.
There are loads of ways to boost team morale within remote teams and enhance overall productivity and workplace satisfaction. Prioritize communication, make sure your team is all on the same page with projects, foster a culture of trust and appreciation, and don't forget to have some fun!