darren-nolander-massesMotivating from the office is one thing; motivating your team from your home to their home is another. While you may have to tweak your practices slightly, you can still get the passion and creative juices flowing, even if you’re behind a computer screen.

Play Up What’s Pleasant

As with all things, this starts with you. It can be easy to slack off when we’re working from home, but that’s a path you don’t want to go down with your team. Be sure you’re dressed for the day and working from a space that resembles an office. Bright colors, natural lighting, and a few meaningful trinkets here and there can set the stage for success. We’re all motivated to perform better when we’re looking at – and operating in – an aesthetically pleasing space.

Listen More, Talk Less

A good team motivator doesn’t just know how to rile the masses, they know when to be quiet. It’s less of a team and more of a dictatorship if you’re the only one talking. So flip the script. Get the conversation rolling and then sit back, listen and absorb what your people are saying. Fight the urge to problem-solve, refute or play referee. If you give your team an open, honest environment where they feel safe, the motivation to do a good job will come organically.

Offer Incentives

You may not be buying a round of drinks anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer a few extra perks to team members who do an outstanding job. Create an incentive program, and watch the motivation go through the roof! The incentive can vary depending on what’s important to your team. Some teams may appreciate a good business book, while others will love a gift card from Grubhub or Amazon or access to a streaming service. You know your team best. Find what motivates them, then put that on the line.

Be Flexible

Many people wrongly assume that working from home means we all have more time. This isn’t necessarily the case. With a packed house, many team members may be dealing with homeschooling kids, ailing parents and other familial obligations that we’re not privy to. Give your team some leeway in this unique environment. We’re all trying to navigate it the best we can. Set hard deadlines, but let your team decide how they will tackle these projects from there.

Get Direct

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to motivate your team. In fact, you don’t even have to do that much work at all! Your team is right there in front of you. Well, in front of your computer screen, anyway. So talk to them. Take a page out of my earlier suggestion and ask them what motivates them and which incentives excite them the most. Then let them have at it. Not only will this be a great team-building exercise, but you’ll learn a thing or two about your members – both individually and collectively!

No one remains motivated 24/7, whether we’re in the office or not. You can make your job a lot easier, however, if you keep your team engaged and committed by working toward a common goal.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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