How to motivate remote staff workers

While people couldn’t dream of working remotely 10 years ago, nowadays every other company makes use of at least one remote employee. Big corporations and enterprises employ entire remote worker staffs, whose presence on office grounds is unrequired. PR managers, HR experts, copywriters, journalists, photographers, bloggers, accountants make the list of professions created or adapted for remote work that is so big, it can be endlessly expanded. Let’s instead talk about the proper staff motivation ideas so that remote workers can be cost-effective and productive.

At first, it seems that employee motivation is not the easiest task to undertake when concerning remote employees, as in most cases we talk about freedom-loving, self-reliant and a little bit capricious people. By using our worker motivation advice, you will become a master of motivating and managing personnel, even if said personnel works a thousand miles away from your office.

First and probably the most important advice: Stay in touch

We live in a time of social networks, Skype conferences, and endless business correspondence. On the one hand, being constantly available via social networks and various messengers, or holding Skype calls once a week can seem hard or time-consuming. On the other hand, if you are constantly in touch with remote staff members, these workers can ask questions they are interested in any time they want. This allows for preventing mistakes that can lead to a big loss of money for the company. Don’t waste an excessive number of hours on calls, simply be online or set up a strict time period when you will be available for your employees. For example, set up time from 1 PM to 2 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays when you will be able to talk with a particular worker.

Second, although not less important advice: Formulate tasks clearly and precisely

At first, the way remote work operates seems pretty simple: you provide an employee with basic information about your company, explain certain work particularities, give him a task and oversee how it is carried out. However, it seems that articulating the task properly and precisely is even more important. You shouldn’t assume that a remote staff worker who doesn’t understand what he was requested to do is going to ask a lot of follow-up questions. Most employees don’t burden themselves with this and do work based on their own understanding. Not all employees want to do their work over and over if you are unsatisfied with the way a certain task was performed. Because of this, managing remote employees should come with crystal clear and precise tasks for remote employees. This will allow building a fruitful and long-lasting partnership. By explaining everything clearly on the first try, you won’t have to lose precious time and money when someone makes a mistake.

Third equally important advice: Hand out bonuses

Financial motivation is a classic, but sadly there is no escaping this old but tried staff motivation idea. Everybody likes to get paid, and they like bonuses even more. That is why if you see that an employee does his work on time, takes the initiative, he is polite, hardworking and sometimes works overtime, don’t be stingy and set up a system of small bonuses or pay out large money sums quarterly or in a half-year. That way workers will be interested in his work and will carry it out both immediately and happily.

Fourth advice: Original presents

This method is suitable only for employers who are fanatically and truly in love with their business and value each person involved in it. When you know a remote employee for years and he performs his work diligently, he deserves to be treated with respect and even friendliness. That's why you can improve worker motivation with original interesting gifts. For example, if you know an employee for a long time and are aware that he is a big hockey fan, you can buy hockey match tickets for his birthday or as a gift at the end of a quarter. When there is a married woman working in your company who spends too much time on your projects, give her two movie or theater tickets, so that she could spend a lovely evening with her husband. While remote employees are far away, they are still a vital part of your team and you shouldn’t treat them with prejudice or not encourage them in the same manner you would regular office workers.

Fifth vital advice: Trust

An experienced CEO certainly has to be involved in managing remote employees and keeping his eyes on things, but shouldn’t forget about trust. Of course, in case you have never hired remote staff before, you are going to find it hard to adjust to certain aspects of this process as well as learning to trust workers and give them authority. While managing remote employees you can’t keep track of every move they make, how much time they waste behind their PC’s, how many times they visit the kitchen or distract themselves with phone calls, you still have to learn to trust them. When you hire an employee to do remote work, you have to find out how responsible, single-minded, qualified and able to set his priorities right the person is. Experienced top managers will easily spot a slacker or add a hard-working expert to their team.

Sixth advice: Set deadlines

When giving a task to an employee, it is vital to set a deadline and warn them about the consequences of failing to meet the terms of turning their work in. Should you fail to set up deadlines, a worker will start getting lazier and pursue his own interests instead of attending to the tasks at hand. As a result, the work will be done in the last minute and rather sloppily.

Seventh advice: Good attitude

Unfortunately, it's rather hard to find a job where you will be appreciated, respected and your opinion listened to. That is why nowadays a good attitude towards employees is worth its value in gold. Many people exchange their office for remote work because they are tired of shameless exploitation from their employers and the squabbling collective that feels more like a nest of vipers. CEOs who employ a staff of remote workers, have to try treating them with respect. Ask them how their day was, is everything OK in their families, what kind of weather their countries and cities of residence are having. It is important not to make these talks too intrusive or bordering on familiarity.

Friends, we hope that you find these tips useful for working with remote employees and will help you build long-lasting and productive relationships with them. Remember that you are responsible for how well the working process is organized in your company. Only the most experienced, talented, single-minded and progressive employers will take their businesses to the top.