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5 Ways HR Leaders Can Drive Employee Motivation While Working Remotely

Just over one-third of all private-sector employers offered remote work opportunities for employees during the pandemic, and close to 60 percent of those companies intend to keep remote working policies in place, according to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And these expanded policies – now permanent for some – fall in line with what employees want.

According to a recent Gallup study, 91 percent of remote workers prefer to continue working from home in some capacity, with 54 percent choosing a hybrid schedule and 37 percent opting for exclusively remote.

With remote work here to stay, employers must prioritize motivation and engagement for your remote teams. To succeed at this, employers should encourage remote employees to find what drives their workday motivation and how to stay on track when working remotely. And, of course, there’s helping employees carve out time for their physical and mental health.

For HR, this can be tough while employees and teams are working from home. But, with new ways of working, HR leaders must incorporate new tactics when managing employees.

Let’s look at five ways HR leaders can drive employee motivation while working remotely.

1. Offer a Virtual Happy Hour

Let’s start with a fun suggestion. Offer a virtual happy hour.

While virtual happy hours were new experiences at the pandemic’s beginning, the newness has perhaps worn off.  However, that doesn’t mean scrapping this virtual event.  Instead, add some activities along with that drink.

Bringing your team together in a non-work setting, with a drink in hand, helps employees relax and bond with one another outside of the day-to-day stresses of work.

However, consider adding a fun task, such as sharing pictures of families or pets.  Or a favorite vacation. This can help steer the conversation, helping your employees get to know one another while boosting morale.

2. Suggest Daily Touchpoints

We all know that communication is critical to remote working success. Suggesting daily or weekly touchpoints gives your team a chance to have a one-on-one with their manager or other team members.

These one-on-ones allow employees to stay in the loop about company events and successes while communicating personal goals. Additionally, managers and employees can give valuable feedback during these daily touchpoints, while getting coaching and mentoring.

Through continuous and consistent communication, employees can identify the road to success, boosting their experience with the company – what a great way to not only motivate your remote workers but retain them as well.

3. Demonstrate Your Trust

No one likes to be micromanaged. Employees today want to be trusted to work flexible schedules, accomplishing what’s needed on a daily and weekly basis.

So, how do you show your employees you trust them? Communication. Not the looking-over-your-shoulder, checking-up-on-you kind of communication. But honest, transparent, and consistent communication, providing insight into the company’s goals while sharing wins and providing coaching when needed.  This ties directly into the suggested daily (or weekly or bi-weekly) touchpoints.

The more consistent the communication, the more predictability and stability the employee can expect. This stability builds trust between the manager and employee, boosting morale and driving employee motivation.

4. Encourage Employees’ Mental and Physical Health

According to a 2022 study by the American Psychological Association, 63 percent of all adults surveyed claimed that their lives have “been forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.” These changes have resulted in mental health issues, lower physical activity, and trouble sleeping – all impacting work and productivity.

HR leaders should prioritize investing in their employees’ mental and physical health, ensuring they have the company’s support. For example, encourage your remote workers to take a daily walk, sit in the sunshine for about 20 minutes, or go to the gym regularly.

Additionally, encourage employees to take time off to care for their families – such as taking their children to the doctor or attending the honors assembly at school.

Research suggests that managers who prioritize family and work balance result in greater job satisfaction and retention for employees. And, today, this balance and support are expected for businesses to enjoy a competitive edge.

5. Offer Employee Recognition

Offering employee recognition has long been essential to driving employee motivation, satisfaction, and engagement. The same holds true for remote workers.

Here are some ideas when recognizing your remote teams:

  • Share customer feedback
  • Recognize daily accomplishments
  • Build recognition and praise into your one-on-one meetings
  • Send a thank you card to your employees
  • Offer free stuff – company merchandise, a gift certificate to a restaurant, or a free day at a local gym
  • Gift an employee some additional time off
  • Designate a no Zoom morning or afternoon

Get creative. Have fun. But remember, communicating appreciation for your employees – whether remote, hybrid, or on-site – is critical to employee motivation and engagement.


This post was originally published on the Cangrade blog.

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