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Motivating Employees working from Home

The COVID-19 situation has put restrictions on travel and forced a large part of the working population to work remotely. Practicing self-isolation is currently the best way to prevent the spread of the contagious disease and organizations have quickly equipped themselves to continue business as usual by adopting work from home practices. However, the work from home situation brings some unique challenges to both the employees and the organizations. As employees struggle to adjust to their new work life from home companies face the task of keeping them motivated to work in this new setting. We’ve listed some strategies on how to keep a team motivated working from home in this unprecedented time.

1. Communication is key

Working away from their teams and managers can make employees feel lost and demotivated. This sudden transition can hamper the internal communications of the organization. Now is the time for companies to invest in tools that can promote effective, timely and targeted communication. Video conferencing tools are a blessing in such a situation. Not only is it easy to keep up with the regular meeting schedule but they also facilitate the much-needed social interaction.
It is also important for managers to provide context to their team members so that they can see how their role fits into the larger goals of the organization. Using collaboration tools to align employees working across the organization can keep workers engaged with the company as a whole, not just their part of it.
The HR team should also communicate with the employees on a regular basis and keep them updated with company policies during the pandemic situation. They can also share simple work from home tips such as maintaining regular hours, keeping a dedicated office space and scheduling breaks and encourage employees to implement those.

2. Goal setting is important

One of the biggest challenges that the employees face while working remotely is reduced supervision and direction from their bosses. Most people require some sort of guidance from their managers to stay on track with their work assignments. Along with this feeling of being lost, they also have to deal with the constant distractions at home. Having clear tasks and goals is imperative for employees to feel motivated to work. This is why it is very important for managers to set clear deliverables and specific metrics that will enable easy tracking of outcomes and effective results management.
Another important aspect involved here is clear alignment of expectations. While flexibility is the new norm with working from home, it is best to define the working hours for all employees so that they are responsive and engaged together as a team.
While clear goal setting along with some amount of guidance is important, managers should restrain from micromanaging their teams. Micromanaging is one of the least effective ways to keep the employees motivated during these times. Encouraging achievement and trusting employees to follow through will motivate the employees to deliver better results.

3. Engagement with recognition

The employees may not be able to get together for the company’s annual R&R ceremony, but that shouldn’t stop the companies from recognizing their contributions. Being recognized among their colleagues goes a long way in keeping employees motivated, even in the virtual setting. Thanks to advanced technology, recognition can now be rewarded instantly and from any place.
While recognition is one step towards employee motivation, keeping them truly engaged to the company requires rewarding the employees with the right gift. The rewards should be such that they are equally valued by all employees while also being relevant given the current pandemic situation.
Qwikcilver offers one such solution, QwikRefundx,, a comprehensive rewards and recognition management suite that helps organizations recognize and reward its employees. Based on the specific case, companies can design a rewards program for their employee, be it individual or a team. With built-in options for multiple occasions QwikRefundx enables easy setting of rewards criteria, customization of designs and engagement with users through communication. What’s more, QwikRefundx offers a choice of more than 150 brands on tap. And all these brand gift cards can be delivered instantly to the employees with easy redemption options as well.

4. Invest in learning and development

Fostering a growth mindset during such bleak times is critical to keep the employees motivated. Managers should focus on the potential and not just performance and open up opportunities to learn and stay challenged.
One of the most meaningful ways to keep the remote employees engaged and enthusiastic about working for the company is by offering professional training and development. The current work from home situation provides a great opportunity for employees to learn what they have always wanted to and a great time for organizations to facilitate that. Some companies have already invested in e-learning platforms where employees can learn new skills and upgrade their existing skills. Learning shouldn’t be limited to professional development only. Many online platforms offer a wide range of courses for personal development as well as enable people to take up new hobbies such as music, art and craft. With the anxiety levels sky rocketing during the Coronavirus crisis, revisiting old hobbies and learning new ones is a great mood buster and stress reliever for the employees.
Finally, don’t forget to have some fun! This is a stressful situation for all of us and it is important that we are there for each other, even without physical presence. Use virtual hangouts to schedule coffee breaks together, take out time to discuss non-work-related topics and make sure you take feedback on how everyone feeling about the work from home situation.

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