Sarah Thomas

Looking for ways to motivate your remote team? While working virtually may be challenging for some, leading your team and keeping them motivated shouldn’t be. There are plenty of ways to encourage and motivate your team members on a daily basis.

Ask how they’re motivated

First, ask your team what motivates them. Your team is comprised of individuals, and they may all be motivated by different factors. Get to know each person on your team to understand what motivates each individual, so you can understand what motivates your team as a whole. A great way to understand the inner working of your team is to have your team take our assessment. Then, take a look at the cognitive differences in your team using our Team Room, so you can see any strengths and biases within the team. And finally, ask each team member what motivates them individually. They may be most apt to communicate this through an anonymous survey, or you could ask everyone in a meeting or individually depending on the preferences of your team. When you know the factors that best motivate your team, you can utilize those factors moving forward.

Trust your team

Look for ways to encourage and build trust within your team. Your team has to have trust in you as a leader, and in each other to complete their tasks. When your team has a foundation of trust, they will be open to sharing what motivates them individually and as a team. They’ll be open to sharing their thoughts during meetings, so you can ask them freely if they’re feeling motivated and get their opinion on how to best motivate them both individually and as a team.

Communicate clearly

Communication is essential when your team is working remotely, so you have to have a foundation in strong, clear, and frequent communication. Inc suggests scheduling regular check-ins with team members, both as a group and individually, either by phone or virtual meeting. That way, you’ll stay on top of any potential miscommunications. There are plenty of tools that make it easy to stay connected with your virtual team every day.

 Focus on problem-solving to motivate your remote team

Go beyond the scope of your typical work, and have your team focus on problem-solving. When your team is solely focused on the tasks that they do every day, they may begin to feel burned out. However, when you regularly engage your team in problem-solving, they feel motivated and satisfied when they successfully solve the problem. Harvard Business Review suggests spending up to half of the workweek on adaptive performance and problem solving, which can help your team grow stronger and keep them motivated.

Be creative

A key factor in keeping your team motivated is keeping creativity free-flowing within your team. Forbes recommends modeling an exercise from improvisational troupes called “Yes, and.” In this exercise, instead of the improvisational troupe method of expanding on an idea by saying “yes, and…” you expand on an idea by agreeing with it, and then adding a conditional “if” instead. To boost creativity, have team members devise solutions to current issues by using this “yes, if’ exercise.

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