Virtual workforces, like the atmosphere we share at GiftCard Partners, are becoming more and more common as we can work together and share projects through digital channels. However, virtual workforces need alternate forms of employee engagement and motivation. Fostering team camaraderie and sharing common goals requires innovative solutions from organizational management. Here are 5 ways to motivate your virtual workforce, from an employee of a virtual company who couldn't help writing about such a relevant topic!
- Invest time upfront to form relationships, despite the distance – Even when face-to-face interaction is challenging finding ways to get to know your workforce is critical to team dynamics and camaraderie. Using tools such as video conferencing and group conference calls is helpful in building relationships and creating time for employees to get to know each other.
- Recognize accomplishments in unique ways – Recognition is a powerful driver for keeping employees engaged in their work. Using rewards and incentives, and recognizing employees over virtual mediums for a job well done is a great way to translate a traditional workplace rewards program into a workable virtual solution. Gift cards fit well into virtual rewards programs since they can often be delivered electronically. Sending employees gifts such as a shopping trip to The Limited , Burlington Coat Factory, or The Children's Place, a night out at The Cheesecake Factory, or even a healthy lunch from Subway, on the company, can go a long way to continually motivate and engage employees, wherever they may be.
- Schedule regular coaching sessions – Professional development is critical to employees motivation and advancement. Since teams cannot sit in a conference room for training and professional development, offering these benefits in a webinar or virtual meeting format can be equally helpful and effective.
- Create interactive ways for teams to communicate – Create different channels and mediums for conversation in real time among employees and across teams. Maybe this is an internal project management system, or an instant message client that is required for the company, even a video conferencing service for employees helps keep interaction at a normal level and helps foster a community environment.
- Enable opportunities for periodic face-to-face interaction – Schedule regular in person team, or company-wide meetings. This could be as simple as a quarterly company summit, or could be situation team building engagement exercises. Employees will look forward to spending time and building business together in person if in-person meetings remain consistent.