Motivating Employees From Afar

Today more and more supervisors are given the task of supervising employees who they rarely see face-to-face. These employees may be working at home, in different states, or sometimes even in different countries.

Luckily, when a supervisor is given the task of supervising remote employees, those employees usually are fairly autonomous and self-sufficient; therefore, they are not likely to require a supervisor monitoring their every move. However, remote employees still require the same amount of motivation as office employees, and in some cases even more than what office employees require.

Tips for motivating remote employees:

1.) Out-of-sight should not be out-of-mind. Yes, this tip is obvious; however, it is the one that most supervisors adopt when supervising remote employees. Supervisors should not forget that remote employees should be teleconferenced in during staff meetings, team meetings, and goal setting meetings. You may also want to consider placing pictures of your remote employees in your office or cube so you and other employees will remember them.
2.) Remote employees should not be declassified as UNIMPORTANT PEOPLE because they do not come into the office. A supervisor of a remote employee should frequently ask for his or her opinions, and they should champion his or her opinions with their coworkers.

3.) Allow remote employees to built friendships with the office workers and other remote workers by using the telephone, e-mail, or by using a company based Internet chat-room. Remember, if you want “sticky” remote employees; allow them to build friendships with the other employees in the company.

4.) Short-term goals work best for your remote employees, and long-terms goals work best for your office employees. It is okay for office employees to have long-term goals because they frequently receive informal short-term feedback while accomplishing their long-term goals. However, remote employees frequently do not receive the same informal feedback; therefore, by setting up short-term goals it will force you to provide them with the positive feedback to keep them motivated.

5.) Communicate value to your remote employees by helping them understand how their work adds to the overall success of the company. Office employees require less “value” communication because they can see what they are creating, while remote employees can usually only see their own work.

6.) Build company loyalty with your remote employees by sending out coffee cups, hats, and shirts with emblazon with your company’s logo. Instead of sending out your remote employee’s paycheck in a plain white envelope, stick it inside a logo emblazon coffee cup in a nicely wrap gift box.

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