Motivating Remote Employees


Do you manage remote employees? Maybe you have a flex Work-From-Home culture? According to engagement research, remote workers are proven to be happier, so it’s no surprise that more and more companies offer this flexibility. An overwhelming 91% of respondents say they’re more productive when working remotely but to maximize that productivity, we need to see what factors are helping or hampering their work. The myth? Since there is a less of a need for in-person interaction, some managers feel that it may be easier to manage a remote team.


Not so fast.


Virtual Gritty leaders need to make an even larger effort to maintain the same amount of engagement and motivation since the luxury of facetime isn’t available. We have to be even more proactive in building trust, managing productivity and ensuring that our employees are satisfied with the work they are able to contribute to the company from afar.


Here as some ways to keep your team on track when they are logging in from home/coffee shop/beach:


Make time for building trust.

Since trust is largely built with time and interaction, it can be difficult to build relationships when those occurrences aren’t as frequent.  Be sure to make time for small talk, interaction, and go out of your way to set up coffee chats once in a while.


Use efficient communication technology.

Sure, email is great. But there is something about being able to have real-time conversations that add value to the sustainment of relationships and effective working partnerships as well. We at the Gritty Movement rely on Slack for day-to-day live communication, and with the convenience features of mobile apps and notifications from any device, it’s even easier to stay connected in those “quick question” occurrences.


Set clear goals and track performance.

Without the availability of daily interactions, we have to be efficient in communicating goals and ensuring clarity of vision with your remote employees. Make sure you have written goals and milestones, regular check-ins, and constantly ask for feedback on ways to be a resource to them during their projects. Oh, and when they do good work? Celebrate and recognize. Trust us, that still matters.


Cut out useless meetings.

Although this should be the case anyway, we have to be conscious of time in our virtual meetings as well. Sitting through another meeting that could have been an email is the last thing anyone wants aka #WasteTheirTime2018. In general, if you don’t need the team to help make a decision or solve a problem, find a different way to share the information!  When you do have a virtual meeting, create an agenda in the calendar invite that outlines who will cover each topic and approximately how much time it will take.


What challenges have you faced related to managing remote employees? Let us know what's worked well for you as a leader of offsite teams and what hasn't in the comments below!