These days, many people are lacking motivation. Given the very real crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is has been more difficult than ever to keep people motivated. This has hit the workplace particularly hard, which has switched largely to a remote model. However, given the very real realities of production needs in a workplace, it is important to make sure that all virtual teams stay motivated despite the realities of the world at large. With that in mind, here are some techniques you can use to improve your virtual team’s motivation.
Create a Collaborative and Open Working Environment
When it comes to Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other business messaging software, it is important to consciously create an open and collaborative work environment. In an office setting, people can spontaneously come by other people’s workstations and start casual chats or even just be agile for their needs in the office. This spontaneity does not always translate to remote work, however. It often takes a long time to coordinate via Slack or Microsoft Teams, although this is not always a bad thing.
In using these platforms, you can actually create an increased sense of collaboration and team building that may not have happened in an office setting. This, in turn, will help to motivate employees and make them feel like they are a great part of the whole. One way to do this is by setting up off-topic Slack channels. These channels can serve as a resource for employees and managers alike to get away from the stressors of work and talk about things like their favorite music and movies, and share gifs, memes, and other things that they are enjoying. This can help set a more positive and open move and make employees feel more motivated, which is a great way to increase productivity and reduce employee turnover.
Check in and Get Some Facetime
Although there are many great ways that Slack and Microsoft Teams help us collaborate, one thing they don’t do is humanize the working experience. Fortunately, video platforms like Zoom solve this problem by allowing for effective communication and for employees to get facetime with each other and their managers. This helps put a face to a name and give employees a greater sense of identity and shared purpose with each other and the company at large.
This can be extended beyond the oft-dreaded Zoom happy hours, and be used to connect with employees individually and in small groups. You can use it to gauge feedback and allow employees to blow off some steam and actually be themselves beyond just the basic motions of human interaction. This will help increase their motivation and create a stronger sense of connectivity that is necessary to improve employee motivation.
Improving the motivation of a virtual team is a challenge, especially if they are not located in the same vicinity and have different ideas and cultural values. However, it is possible to use digital tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom to bridge the gap, and allow for employees to share sides of themselves that may not have even come out at the office. In doing so you’ll be able to better see what is possible and not possible with your virtual team and push them to motivational heights you may otherwise not have been able to achieve.