The advent of remote work brings with it a set of challenges. As speed, flexibility, and collaboration become the bottlenecks of today’s workplace, a whole new set of norms exist now. Companies looking to build a high performance culture confront the challenge of sustaining employee motivation without face to face interaction. How can employers make sure their employees stay in love with their work and the company, despite being in a long distance, remote relationship? Employee surveys that measure appreciation and engagement are the key to keeping the love alive.
Employee Motivation at a Distance: Success Story
For those who believe that out of sight always equals out of mind, consider the case of Collage.com, which successfully motivates a 100% remote workforce. In this Glassdoor article, CEO Joe Golden recounts the drivers of his culture’s success. Although meetings occur over videoconferencing, one-on-one and team meetings are “extremely frequent.” Curiously, Golden hints at what has made this strategy a success,
Remote work isn’t a good fit for anyone who isn’t a strong communicator since it’s even more important to communicate well when everyone isn’t in the same physical office. It’s also important for anyone who works in a remote setting to be self-motivated since there’s no one physically with you to ensure you stay on task.
His words highlight the role that recruiting to retain plays in employee motivation. Here, an understanding of the type of employee that will do well in this environment drives positive outcomes. They get it right from the beginning by investing a great deal of energy in the recruiting and onboarding process. New hires spend extensive effort and time in the first weeks in direct interaction with teammates and supervisors.
Survey Indicators to Boost Employee Motivation
Employee surveys make the difference between what you think is going on, and a clear understanding of work culture and level of employee motivation. They increase the depth of this knowledge by articulating the workforce’s state of appreciation and engagement. While every company has a different way of understanding itself, appreciation and engagement are universal gauges to predict success (two commitment indicators in CAPLET survey methodology).
Appreciation is the first sign that employees feel heard and valued. A lack of appreciation towards any element of the work environment directly impacts how employees perceive the value of their productivity. Whether it be working long hours, volunteering for a hard project, or improving collaboration skills, it is best to reinforce behavior through recognition of their efforts. As most communication is non-verbal, companies lack the data to know how much their employees feel appreciation. And in a long distance relationship, it is even more crucial for appreciation to be a part of the company culture. One indispensable insight managers need to know when managing a remote workforce is to validate how each and every employee is important to getting the job done, and measuring their efforts through employee surveys.
Long distance relationships dissolve if we don’t engage one another. That is why engagement is the second key to managing remote employees. To determine how employees feel about workload and how meaningful they believe it to be, we measure it. This way, managers can use that information to better support the actual work being done. The goal in any relationship is to see if there is enough magic to advance to the next level. So are you moving in (i.e. finding opportunities for advancement) or moving out (i.e. quitting)? Direction and intention is a hard thing to judge in the interview process, as even potential slacker candidates will put on their best performance. Employee surveys determine if management has gone all-in when it comes to making sure their teams are at peak and engaged to the fullest.
Employee Retention Idea #46: The 2 Minute Remote Worker Hug
It’s easy to take remote workers for granted. Asking meaningful questions keeps a long distance relationship healthy. Whether it’s a validated Commitment Survey, or taking 2 minutes to ask your remote employee “How can I help you?” or “What can we provide to successfully launch this project?” – take the time now before you find yourself speed dating for a new replacement. While any human relationship happening at a distance is going to face some challenges, focused and support of remote work can offer tremendous benefit to a company’s workforce morale. For tricks to keep the employee motivation flame burning with your long distance workers, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Jackson, Amy Elisa. (2017, March 20). How One CEO Successfully Built A 100% Remote Workforce. Glassdoor. [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/collage-com-ceo/