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We all have personal motivations that drive us in our daily work. How do we engage our employees to ensure they are performing their best while working from home?

​As we’ve moved into a new era of remote working, you may have hit some turbulence with managing your staff as they’ve begun to work from home more often. There is no “one size fits all” plan to motivate your employees, so you will need to identify the source of motivation for each person. As you find out what makes them tick, you can help push them further to achieve their goals.

First, it’s important to identify the types of motivations. There are two basic motivations that people have – intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is the act of doing something without any obvious external rewards. You do it because it’s enjoyable and interesting, rather than because of an outside incentive. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside the individual and is a behavior that is driven by rewards such as money, fame, grades, or praise.

Next, you can begin to identify which motivation your employees have. Start by conversing with your staff members individually about their personal and professional lives. These conversations may take some time to develop rapport and trust by engaging with the employee on topics that aren’t directly related to their job duties. Asking questions about their purpose, passions, and autonomy will help you get a feel for their long-term desires and goals.

Since you might not be able to meet in person, make this effort more personal than a phone call by holding a virtual coffee or happy hour. This may be more appealing for the employee to open up and participate in the conversation.

Now that you know what motivates your employee, you can move to a more structured conversation to create goals and milestones. Create clear objectives with rewards that are personalized to each individual. Including the employee in this process should help give them a sense of significance and value in what they do within your company. After you’ve created goals, hold check-ins with the staff members once a month to see how they’re doing.

Communication is key to the continuation of success for your employees. Equipping your team with technology and productivity tools will ensure everyone is on the same page. Platforms such as Asana, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Google Hangouts will help with program management, chat messaging, and video conferencing. Use rewards to incentivize good behavior where needed, and reward your worker’s inherent motivations too.

As the employer, taking this leadership requires work and planning. Be consistent with your communication and show you care for your employees by taking responsibility in this role. It will pay off and you will see an increase in motivation with your employees!