Why Virtual Teams Need to be Motivated 

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Employee motivation is never a thing to be overlooked. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual teams, increasingly unmoored by the constant of office life, are feeling pushed and burnt out due to the constant presence of work in their lives. As such, it is important for managers of virtual teams to recognize not only that employees need to be motivated, but why they actually need to be motivated. This recognition is crucial to understanding the plight of workers who are not used to working remotely, and who are used to having the camaraderie of office culture, as well as more normalized social lives and personal lives. 

As such, work has become an anchor for many during this time, and companies that run through virtual teams need to step up to the challenge of motivating their employees both from a work perspective and an emotional perspective. With that in mind, here is why it is so important to make sure that virtual team members stay motivated. 

Reduce Employee Turnover
High employee turnover is somewhat of an organizational issue that can be fixed. Fortunately, this can be reduced by simply not inspiring it in the first place. While certain industries will have higher turnover, others traditional do not and adjusting your company culture can do a lot to reduce this. For example, you can schedule regular facetime with employees not just to evaluate their performance but to actually see what they are doing. 

Scheduling regular facetime will help remote employees feel as though you actually have a modicum of interest in their lives and want to help them not just in the workplace but also with any situations that may arise in their own lives. In doing so, you will not just gain an immense amount of employee loyalty but also actually increase their productivity. Messaging over Slack or Microsoft Teams is great, but it’s not a substitute for building and maintaining relationships and keeping a virtual team motivated. 

Define Company Values 

The phrase ‘live your values’ may have been diluted to the point that there is no truth to it, but when operating virtually, it is very necessary. This is especially the case when a business is in a service-based environment such as an agency. For example, if your organization has a bad client that is causing members of the team distress, retaining that client at their expense is not going to keep them motivated. This will only be exacerbated by the remote setting, but will also harm motivation and productivity in way that may be more difficult to monitor than in an office setting. As such, ti is important that you hae a handle on your company values and actually make them a meaningful part of your remote work environment.

Keeping a virtual team motivated is tough. However, with the proper tools and mentality, it is easier than ever as long as you are committed to it. Managers of virtual teams need to treat their employees and direct reports as humans and not just ‘human capital’ that exist solely to fulfill business functions. Otherwise they may lose motivation and harm the goals of your organization, making it a more difficult situation all around. 

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