Businesses depend on the people they hire. The most successful companies understand this aspect and invest a considerable amount of effort into improving their employees’ quality of life and work.
The gig economy has, undoubtedly, opened many doors for aspiring businesses and has provided professionals around the world with a broader set of opportunities. However, it does come with a few issues that we ought to solve. One of them is keeping your employees happy and motivated. How do you do that when your team is distributed across the globe?
In this article, we wanted to explore the ways tech organizations can make sure their remote workers are content with their jobs and highly motivated. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
If there something that freelance/remote professionals appreciate is clarity. When you look at the reviews freelancers leave for their employers on platforms like Upwork, People Per Hour, and others of that sort, it’s very common that they’ll have something to say about the clarity of the tasks that they have been provided with. This is why it’s essential to provide them with very clear outlines and briefs for the tasks they’ll be working on.
Remote workers tend to change projects less often, compared to freelancers, which is why it’s imperative that you provide them with a clear explanation on the organizational design of the company — who’s their immediate superior, which they’ll be delivering individual projects to, who they’ll be communicating with, and anything of that sort. Tell them what their functional role is in the company.
Thirdly, it’s essential to underline the entire list of responsibilities associated with their role.
All these three steps are preventive measures, rather than directly encouraging, but they are an essential strategy against demotivation in the long run.
We’re all human
Employee recognition programs are a very efficient way to keep your teams motivated. It’s essential that business owners or Human Resources departments develop a strategy to praise and/or reward their most productive and bright employees for the hard work that they put out.
According to a study published by Gallup, when it comes to employee recognition, respondents have identified the following types of recognition as the most memorable:
- public recognition
- private recognition
- receiving or obtaining a high level of achievement through evaluations or reviews
- promotion or increase in the scope of work or responsibility, which is typically indicative of or can be associated with trust
- monetary reward
- personal satisfaction or pride in work
It’s essential to stress that monetary rewards are by far, not the most important ones for the participants of the study mentioned above. Furthermore, another Gallup study indicates that engaged employees are considerably less likely to leave a company if they are engaged while offering higher pay won’t necessarily stop them from considering other jobs.
To round things up on employee recognition, it’s worth mentioning that the former Gallup study found that little under a quarter of the respondents considered recognition from their CEO’s and little over a quarter considered recognition from their immediate management to be the most memorable.
Quality over quantity
If you decided to distribute your work to remote teams, you should also be ready to shift from measuring your workers’ performance based on the actual amount of work executed and the quality of the work, instead of just focusing on the time they invested.
Putting a system that measures the performance of your employees in place will ensure that they remain motivated. At the end of the day, we pay them for the skills they have and not the time they’re ready to dispose of.
If your employee has a finite set of tasks that are due at the end of the day, and they can address these tasks much quicker than you’ve anticipated, there’s no real reason why we, as an employer, should have an issue with that.
Appreciating the quality of the work delivered will stimulate your workers to continue producing high-quality work.
Invest in their growth
There’s nothing more daunting than being locked in a project that doesn’t seem to contribute to your professional growth. You’ve learned everything you had to, in order to deliver great work, but you’ve hit a knowledge ceiling that’s forcing you to stagnate.
Your workers’ skills need to be upgraded over time. Learning additional skills will provide them with a sense of growth and passion for their craft, and, more importantly, it will enable them to provide you with better services.
Allowing your team to grow professionally is an essential mechanism for increasing their retention and engagement. The recent Human Capital Trends Report, published by Deloitte back in 2017, indicated that growth opportunity for employees is one of the central factors in providing workers a great employee experience. This hasn’t changed a bit in recent years, and it appears that it has changed a lot for many HR departments around the world.
Gamification is an essential component of stimulating and promoting desirable behavior. Many freelance and remote professionals use platforms like Plecto or Gamify to make work more engaging and rewarding. Gamification as such isn’t just “another trick” businesses use to squeeze every single drop of effort their workers can provide. On the contrary, it’s an excellent tool for self-improvement and incentivizing good patterns of behavior, just like social media platforms, and gaming apps incentivize negative patterns related to FOMO and distraction.
A straightforward example of workflow gamification would be introducing some sort of reward for an executed task, especially tasks that have been completed prior to the established deadline; this would stimulate healthy competitive behavior.
Here are some statistics on the efficiency of gamification in the workplace:
- Employees like the idea of using gamification software. Nearly 100 percent of respondents over the age of 45 consider that gamification software will improve their overall output at work, over 85 percent believe that will have a positive impact on their productivity, and 85 percent would like to use gamification software more. (a study published by TalentLMS)
- Eighty percent of US workers consider that learning with the aid of gamification is more engaging than otherwise. (An eLearning Learning study)
- Gamification training has shown to increase the workers’ engagement by 60 percent and increase their productivity by half. (An eLearning Learning study)
Keeping your remote staff engaged and motivated is by no means an easy task. It’s a continuous process that implies dedication and trust.
By investing the right amount of time and resources into their wellbeing, you’ll be able to build a team of dedicated and engaged people, focused on solving complex issues and bettering your products and services by the day.