We previously defined remote employee morale and identified ways to understand and measure the morale of your workforce. Understanding and measuring is one thing, but how do we strengthen employee morale?
In this post, we’ll dive deeper into the key tactics and strategies HR leaders and managers can implement with their workforce to help boost remote employee morale and employee wellness as well as develop a communicative and trusting internal company culture, regardless of where employees are located.
Our 3 ways to strengthen remote employee morale are:
- Key 1: Employee Recognition, Praise and Appreciation
- Key 2: Build a Culture of Gratitude in Your Company
- Key 3: Effective Communication, Connection, and Trust
Let’s dive into the tactics and help you strengthen your remote employee morale today.
#1: Show your appreciation by recognizing and praising employees
Recognition, praise, and appreciation can help your employees feel valued and stay motivated.
Many management guides stress the importance of doling out praise or appreciation – as well as bonuses in compensation. No matter what form your appreciation takes – written, vocal, monetary – it’s been shown to increase productivity and boost morale. Employees are sensitive to the fact that some praise may come off as insincere, so there are some caveats to this key – you can exhibit and develop praise and recognition for your employees’ good work, and build a culture of recognition within your team so the appreciation doesn’t just come from the top down. Employees can show appreciation and gratitude towards their co-workers and team members, which can also have a positive effect on morale and productivity.
You can show you care about your employees by recognizing them and showcasing that gratitude to the broader team. Here at Burnalong, we close out every week’s team meeting by offering a ‘thank you’ to one or more members of the team. This has stayed part of our weekly agenda for much of our team’s history, and remains a core part of our remote company meetings even when we were no longer located in the same office.
- When employees feel recognized and appreciated, they are more motivated and encouraged.
- Leading with a culture of gratitude helps perpetuate the cycle, giving employees the space and encouragement to thank others on the team as part of their daily work.
#2: Build a culture of gratitude at your company
Develop a culture of gratitude in your company to create an internal sense of camaraderie and trust.
Promoting a culture of gratitude really helps engage and motivate employees, especially when aligning them to the organization’s purpose. When we end every week by thanking someone else at the company, the benefits of promoting gratitude across levels of the organization can have far reaching effects. It comes up more during weekly meetings, and often people will thank others directly across messaging platforms as well as during team meetings.
Recently we hosted a webinar for HR leaders. During it Senior People Leader at Google shared this thought about expressing gratitude in the workplace:
At the leadership level, we have what we call a shared gratitude journal: basically a shared Google doc or Box notes, whatever shared documentation platform you are using to have every leader come in and write down what they’re grateful for. And gratitude actually helps build a lot of resiliency at the individual level. And when we’re doing it at the leadership level, it starts to flow down. So I think that is one thing that is a small thing – It’s easy to do, it doesn’t cost anything – that we’ve done that’s gone a long way that I personally feel like everyone should do.
#3: Communicate and connect to help build trust
Communication and connection is key to fostering and strengthening employee morale – and is even more important when remote teams are separated by location.
Stay connected with your employees through consistent check-ins and team meetings. Even being virtual, it can take just a few minutes a day to reach out via email, text, or message and see how your team is doing. Opening the lines of communication and keeping them well-used gives your employees a sense of safety. In turn they’ll bring ideas, challenges, and solutions directly to you.
With that in mind, for managers and supervisors it’s also important to recognize that there is a balance between productive levels of communication and collaboration, and allowing people time to get work done on their own. Managers need to have a high level of trust to avoid micromanaging or trying to establish too much control over their employees because they’re worried they are taking advantage of the lack of direct supervision.
You can boost remote employee morale if you lead with recognition and appreciation, develop a culture of gratitude, and balance effective communication across all levels of the organization.
(Bonus) Include benefits that they’ll love
Another great way employers and leaders have been able to strengthen remote employee morale is by offering effective employee benefits.
Employees want to feel like they’re being supported and taken care of by leadership. In office environments, many organizations promoted benefits like free coffee and snacks, an on-site gym or massage therapist, or a game room with pool tables and ping-pong. In the post-COVID world, these in-office perks are less important to employees as benefits like a good 401K plan, solid health insurance for themselves and their dependents, and wellness benefits they can use from anywhere in the world
With millions of people now working from home for the near future, and potentially forever, major organizations are starting to look to remote benefits as viable ways to boost employee morale during this time, and beyond. Employee stress is at an all-time high and as a result, companies are focusing resources on improving employee mental health. As they’re working from home, employees are also spending more time around their family and have additional stresses placed upon them; physically, mentally, as well as emotionally and financially. Companies who identify this and put the right type of employee benefits in place will find they have a stronger, more resilient workforce with a higher level of employee morale.
We’re passionate about helping leading employers boost their employee’s morale, health, and wellness