The remote worker can be a boon in any business, whether you have a fully formed digital workplace or run a team which offers remote working opportunities. However, remote working comes with its own difficulties, and never more so than when you have a new employee to induct. Getting acquainted with the company intranet is one thing, but the really tricky adjustment is how to engage with and motivate a dispersed team.
New team members report that building personal connections with their coworkers is key to their motivation. Fast and strong inter-personal relationships between new team members are the building blocks for a smart, professional workplace. So once HR has finished introducing them to your digital workplace systems and all the paperwork is finished, how do you ensure your new employee is well motivated whilst working remotely? Here are a few suggestions on how to manage and motivate your new remote workers in the digital workplace:
Utilise all forms of communication
Managers are increasingly relying on phone calls or email to communicate with their team. This trend comes at a time when remote working is becoming ever-popular, and professionals are managing teams across a wide geographical space. In these cases, sometimes a quick email just doesn’t cut it. What’s needed is face-to-face communication, and video conferencing is a great way to deal with some of the most common issues that pop up with remote working.
Video calls supply a brilliant opportunity for all staff to get to know one another too, which is vital for new team members. New staff typically struggle to make connections with other colleagues in a remote working environment, but this can be balanced by regular video calls with the team. Encouraging a mixture of communication methods, from internal social media messages and emails to phone and video calls will ensure your new staff feel connected to the team, wherever they are working.
Think outside the box
Need to share an important message to the company? Think outside the box and beyond the boilerplate email, and consider recording a positive video message that staff can share and engage with. Posting the video on your digital workplace will make sure all staff – both those in the office and working remotely – can access it. A video message also has the added benefit of praising a team publicly – proven to increase motivation, especially among new employees.
Create a culture which invests in staff wellbeing
Companies who have an office base often use it to run programs which foster wellbeing, creativity and community amongst their staff. Be it yoga classes or cooking competitions, this is a valuable part of any functioning office. It allows staff to build relationships between different parts of the company, and brings together teams who might not otherwise get along. This is especially valuable for new staff. New employees report that these programs make them feel comfortable, familiar and at home in a company’s culture. This is not something that has to disappear when a company turns to remote working. In fact, it may become even more important, since new employees may struggle to build relationships with existing team members.
One way to build a friendly company culture across a remote working structure is to offer online courses, collaborative classes, or team events. You can run these initiatives on your intranet software, which acts as a central hub for staff to build relationships and take part in team-building exercises.
By adding a little creativity to your remote working options, you can motivate and manage both new and existing remote team members and create a culture of productivity.