The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge many organizations to move their daily work online, while trying to remain productive and connected. With the remote workforce growing, employees can often feel disconnected and disengaged, which can lead to a loss of motivation. Remote workers also face challenges including distractions within the home and limited access to necessary information. If your company has moved to an online setting, you are probably wondering, “How can I help my employees regain their motivation and get them excited to work again?”
Putting your efforts towards learning and development, increased communication, and empowering your employees can make a world of a difference.
Engaging through Online Learning
Learning and development efforts should not be paused or discontinued during the pandemic. If anything, employers should give special attention to online learning during this time. Online learning can develop motivation and ownership, encourage collaboration, and improve productivity. Additionally, online learning is scalable and can be easily personalized for employees.
Training is an essential activity in every organization. Training can support better understanding of the organization, job responsibilities or industry topics. Consider the following key types of training programs:
Orientation: Initial training for all new employees is a one-time activity to get introduced to the organization.
Onboarding: To ensure employees get adjusted to their department or team, onboarding should take place over a longer duration and may require multiple sessions.
Product training: Whenever new products or capabilities are introduced, training should be done to ensure employees are aware and educated.
Technical skills training: Instruction focused on the employees’ jobs and subject matter expertise will not only help them do their work, but also help boost confidence
Soft skills training: Guidance on communication, leadership, time management and conflict resolution can help build employees’ personalities overall.
Keep in mind any other mandatory training for your organization, like sexual harassment, work safety, first-aid training or other workplace-specific procedures. It’s important for all employees to follow local laws and regulations. Also, aside from offering training, consider tuition reimbursement for employee development. Employees may be interested in pursuing online courses or programs to advance their technical or industry knowledge.
Another type of employee training that is gaining more traction in a post-coronavirus workplace is upskilling. Upskilling is when employers provide employees the opportunity to learn new skills to better their current work performance, while also prepping them for the projected needs of the company. Depending on the industry, organizations may shift their focus from hiring new talent to upskilling current employees as they adapt during the pandemic. By upskilling your employees, you are providing them with growth opportunities, greater employability, and increased job security. Upskilling can be beneficial to the growth and longevity of your organization. Other long-lasting benefits for employers include employee retention and remaining competitive within the market.
Motivating Remote Employees
To boost self-motivation for remote employees, leaders can consider the following practices:
Empower employees to solve meaningful problems and experiment According to the Harvard Business Review, employees who are allowed to solve meaningful problems or experiment report higher motivation—regardless of where they are working. Consider how to find ways to engage employees with high-level contributions.
Measure motivation Communicate to employees that self-motivation is the desired outcome. Set goals and measure accordingly to reach them. This could be completed through productivity measuring tools—or even through surveys completed by employees.
Allow employees to showcase their achievements Employees take pride in their work. However, when working remotely, natural opportunities to showcase and discuss accomplishments may be scarce. Find ways to let remote employees talk about their achievements, such as during team meetings.
Supporting Each Employee
During these trying times, employees may need a little extra support from their leaders to remain engaged and motivated. Employers should consider how to best support their remote employees. Ways to provide support include one-on-one check-ins, establishing expectations, and open communication.
Remember, each employee is unique. Some employees may adapt well to a remote environment, while others may need individual support to achieve a high level of performance and personal well-being. Because of this, there isn’t one right way to best lead remote employees. Create practices and expectations that work best for specific teams and individual employees. Contact us for additional resources regarding best practices for utilizing the remote workspace.
For More Information
An effective onboarding program, regardless of whether it’s in-person or remote, provides employers with a solid starting point and sets a foundation for a strong company-employee relationship. While onboarding your new hires remotely may not be your first choice, COVID-19 has required employers across the country to get creative. For more information about how your organization can respond to COVID-19, or for additional onboarding resources, contact Carrera Lee.