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6 Ways to Boost Remote Team Morale

A force of nature (Covid-19) took hold in early 2020, and our teams have, perhaps, been forever thrust into the work-from-home business model.  The unfortunate thing is that most companies don’t have a clear understanding of what motivates remote workers or how to boost morale among remote team members.  Some even wonder if it’s even up to employers to foster team cohesiveness and motivation. Well, yes, it is.  That’s why, in this article, we’re focused on 6 ways to boost remote team morale.

1. Create routines.

Routines help keep things organized and predictable. The last thing your business needs is unpredictability. So, what might a routine look like in a virtual team?  For starters, planned meeting times.

The best way to put a dent in employee morale is to force too many unplanned meetings that interrupt their work. Have set times when you’ll meet, whether that’s daily or every other day. Find days and times that will work for everyone, not just for you. And then stick to that schedule. Clearly communicate the schedule to all team members.

2. Employ communications tools.

One of the best ways to keep employees engaged is to employ communications tools. Use Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom or a similar video conferencing platform.

But not all meetings need to be video conferences. For shorter meetings, audio will suffice. You can use the same tools as you use for video, just with audio connectivity only.

3. Use collaboration tools.

Collaboration tools like Slack and Trello enable remote teams to not only collaborate but also to manage projects, organize tasks, increase productivity and boost team spirit. Not only does it keep projects organized and enable a portfolio of a work in progress, but team members can easily communicate with their fellow teammates.

4. Invest in project management software.

Managing projects is hard work. Even harder if you don’t use software or have work spread across too many tools. It’s easy to lose track of all the moving pieces—and tough to stay up to date. That’s when things fall through the cracks and the ball gets dropped. The good news is that project management software like Asana and Jira can help remote teams organize projects, make communication easy and meet deadlines.

5. Instill Trust, not Skepticism.

If you’ve hired professionals, you should be able to trust them and they should be able to trust one another.  Foster that trust by demonstrating it.  If you micromanage your employees, they will feel mistrusted.  Instead, establish deadlines and clearly communicate them along with your expectations about the quality of work to be produced.

However, you must communicate those things in such a way that employees will perceive your confidence in them.  The old adage is true:  People will live up to whatever you think of them.  If you believe that an employee is a loyal, hard worker, that employee will live up to that image.  And the rest of the team will tend to regard that individual as a hard-working teammate.

By contrast, if you believe that your employee is a slacker who can’t be trusted and must therefore be “babysat” and micromanaged every day, you will end up with an employee who doesn’t perform.  And you will end up with a team that does not value that teammate.  That’s a recipe for disaster in any organization.

6. Lead with values.

Inclusive values are the shortcut to trust because they make people feel safe and respected. Encouraging positive team behavior can go a long way in building team engagement and trust. It can remind your team to keep in mind the interests of others, to ask for help when it’s needed, to give their teammates the benefit of the doubt, to allow everyone to share their thoughts, and to have a forum to discuss tough issues.

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