4 Ways Leaders Can Motivate a Remote Team

Ensuring your coworkers have the right tech set up is the first step in creating an effective remote work environment. But how do you motivate a remote team that’s dispersed, possibly for the first time? 

As a leader, how you show up, communicate, and care for your remote teams is key to keeping your employees motivated. Motivation comes from encouragement, positivity, and a visible effort to try new ways of working or implement new cultural experiences. 

Here are 4 simple and effective ways you can motivate your remote team.

Show your enthusiasm

Leaders that show their enthusiasm and passion naturally increase optimism in their employees. Expressing your optimism is particularly important when you have a remote team. When you take away the physicality of working together, messaging and positive reinforcement become even more important to employee morale. Encourage your remote team to express their own levels of engagement, too. Optimism promotes collaboration, increases performance and employee engagement—all incredibly important pieces to motivating a remote team.

Leverage connection and community

Building a strong company culture is always a top priority for leaders. How do you build or maintain company culture for remote teams? Encourage your employees to share resources, start a company guild, or host a presentation on a passion project. Intuition helps leaders spearhead cultural initiatives—especially for remote teams—by providing virtual learning sessions, classes, and workshops all tailored to the interests of your team. Providing your employees with an opportunity to learn something new or shake up their daily routine will give them a sense of renewal and encourage creativity.

Reflect and get feedback

Whether you’ve always led a remote team or not, allowing for reflection on how you work together is powerful. On a bi-weekly or monthly cadence, ask your remote team to provide feedback on the structure and communication of how you’re working together. Take that feedback and iterate on your remote leadership style. This shows that you’re not only thinking about the engagement of your employees, but shows your flexibility in taking suggestions for better ways of working.

Proactively give time off

Burnout in a remote work environment can happen easily. People crave in-person interaction and tire of video conferencing and a full inbox. While encouraging your distributed team to take the time they need off, some employees may still not feel completely comfortable doing so. Consider giving your team a Friday off for a long weekend—everyone will appreciate the gesture, feel relaxed that their time off is leadership-approved, and come back to work refreshed and ready to contribute to strong results.

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