Five Tips for Motivating Your Team from a Distance

Business Insights

By Sam Norman, TOPdesk UK

One of the vital daily tasks for managers and team leaders is motivating their team. However, when there’s a screen in the way it can be difficult to boost morale. Creativity is a great way to ensure a happy and motivated team when it comes to working remotely or a different office to one another.

Here are five creative tricks you could use:

A daily ‘roll-in’ and ‘roll-out’

Provide an outlet for your team to catch-up at the start and end of each day. It doesn’t have to be compulsory, or exclusively work-related, but it can really help isolated team members feel part of the group. You can use it to discuss what everybody’s up to/been up to, or even people’s plans for that evening’s dinner. Regular catchups help to bring your team closer together, feel confident to voice their challenges, and ultimately, boost team morale.

Be a good role model for your team

If you’re making healthy choices, chances are your team will try and replicate this. So, if you’ve gone for a walk before work or done a home workout, be sure to communicate this to everyone. Better still, share your favourite workouts or things like recipes with each other. By being open about your work and life balance, you encourage your team to look after themselves, too. With your team to prioritising their mental and physical health, they’re more likely to be happy, creative, and motivated at work.

Post successful results somewhere everybody can see them

At work, naturally, many of us are motivated by success. For this reason, it’s key to share every success, no matter how big or small, with the team. A new sale? Innovative idea? Group project? Post it somewhere visible within your organisation. This will give your team reassurance that they’re achieving results and providing value in their work, which often isn’t easy to monitor when you’re isolated from one another.

Create an informal stream on your communication software

Collaboration software is great for keeping in touch with your team. I mean, who even sends emails anymore? Tools like Microsoft Teams or Slack allow you to create different streams for different types of content. Have one stream for things like figure updates or policy changes and an informal stream for things like interesting blog posts, funny moments that have happened during the day, or even team challenges. For example, a game of ‘Through the Keyhole’. The premise? Send three obscure pictures of your house to your team lead and let each member guess whose pictures are whose.

Put yourself in your team members’ shoes

It can be hard to remember to update your team about everything you’re up to, what’s going on in the company, or what’s even relevant enough to pass on. Whenever you’re undecided about what to share, try to put yourself in your team members’ shoes. For example, would I want to be told why my manager has been ‘away’ on Skype for two hours? If it’s not in their calendar, then probably. Being transparent with your team will encourage them to be transparent, too. You would want to know if a member of your team needed a screen break, so let them know when you do, too.

Keep talking, keep sharing, keep motivating!

A final thing to remember: you are not an island. While you’re the manager of a team, this doesn’t mean you can’t build bridges between departments to help your team stay afloat. Keep in touch with other team leaders within your organisation and share methods of motivation. Ultimately, as long as we keep talking to one another, whether face-to-face or from a distance, we’ll all be just fine.