In case you missed it, last week, we focused on essential skills needed to effectively work remotely, and how people can optimize their learning via a Peer Review. This week we will focus on the skills that managers need to effectively manage remote teams. We will share how HR can support managers with practical tips on increasing motivation through recognition. Employee recognition and praise are powerful tools in making your employees feel valued and appreciated. Through seemingly small gestures managers can have a big impact on people’s motivation.

We will focus on:

  • Soft skills to effectively manage remote teams
  • The importance of recognition
  • Practical tips on how to increase recognition

Soft skills to effectively manage remote teams

Now that work and home life have merged, managing the “whole person” becomes central to the role of a manager. Your managers have the opportunity to engage their teams and lead with empathy in order to emerge stronger. Everything they do for their teams today is an investment in their loyalty and performance for the future.

Three essential soft skills to effectively manage a remote team:

Empathy - Showing empathy for people’s situations and their emotions is the most important thing managers can do to help their team. With no informal coffee moments in the office, managers need to make themselves available for regular virtual check-ins to see how their team members are doing. Personal situations should be addressed and discussed during 1:1s and managers need to “read between the lines” to see how people are coping.

Trust - Instead of seeing their team’s daily input, managers now only see the output and need to trust their team to deliver. By giving people autonomy and trusting them to make their own decisions and take initiative, they’re empowered to thrive from home.

Driving Motivation - While working remotely, contributions are less visible and acknowledged, which is taking its toll on motivation. One of the most powerful ways managers can motivate their team is by giving them regular recognition for a job well done that is timely, specific, and personalized.

The importance of recognition

Praise and employee recognition are powerful tools in making your people feel valued and appreciated. When someone feels their work is valued, they will be motivated to keep up their work or even improve it.

A survey done by Great Place to Work showed that 37% of respondents said that more personal recognition would encourage them to produce better work more often. Let's not forget: appreciation is a fundamental human need so it's essential that managers incorporate it into their coaching style.

Having a continuous feedback culture where managers give regular feedback means there are more data points to assess performance, which ultimately leads to less rigorous and time-consuming performance reviews.

Practical tips on how to increase recognition

With the sudden change to remote work, Brussels based customer Emakina.be wanted to make sure recognition was kept top of mind while working remotely. Managers were reminded of the value of feedback during their daily huddles as well as how to do this in Impraise. In addition, they had 15 minutes in their calendar blocked every week to prioritize recognition in their teams. Let the results speak for themselves:

Across the organization, they saw a 230% increase in the number of Praises sent in the month of April. Praises sent by managers to their teams increased by 308% from 12 to 49 Praises and they also saw an increase in managers sending Praise to people outside of their teams. Overall, positive recognition increased company-wide!

Find out how to run a recognition campaign at your organization with our downloadable guide. This guide includes how-to instructions and ideas for feedback initiatives, along with example communication and resources.

Next in our Series

Next in our Remote Work & COVID-19 Response series, we will focus on the mid-year performance review and why you should follow through. We will give you tips on how to make your performance reviews a success, even while working remotely.

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