Blue, Motivation, Neon Lights, Sign, Text, Work Harder

After months of remote work, your staff may be showing signs of burnout. Increased levels of stress, social isolation, and the pressure to perform while working from home can start to take a toll on employee motivation. To ensure that your remote workers are staying productive, use these tips to encourage employee satisfaction, engagement, and efficiency. 

Create a Company-Wide Reward System

There are two types of rewards you can use for employee motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic.

An extrinsic reward would include any tangible prize you give to your employees to incentivize a specific behavior. This type could consist of gift cards, bonuses, or trophies. An intrinsic reward is any gift that isn’t tangible, like recognition or a compliment.

Both forms of rewards help motivate your staff and should be used together in some combination. To determine what type of reward to use for your team, you may need to assess the kinds of goals they are trying to achieve. 

When to Use Extrinsic Rewards

Trophy on a White background

To motivate your staff with extrinsic rewards effectively, you should only use them when there is a clear and measurable outcome you are trying to obtain. For example, a goal to get your sales team to close 5% more deals than the previous month would work because it is specific and measurable.

Through proper reporting and monitoring, you can determine if the sales team has accomplished its objective.

It’s also essential to put a time frame on your goals for extrinsic rewards as this will give your staff a sense of urgency and will motivate them to work harder for their objective. 

It would help if you additionally had a hierarchy of rewards. That means the prize for the goal achieved should match the amount of work your employees are putting in. If you assign a significant objective to your workers, you need to ensure that the prize is attractive enough to motivate your employees. 

For less critical achievements, you can offer a smaller reward to your employees, like getting their paychecks ahead of time. Even as a simple reward, it can incentivize workers enough to accomplish easy requests.

Smaller achievements could include trying to get your employees to submit their timecards by a particular day or making sure their hours are accurately reported in a specific form. 

Either way, a straightforward goal shouldn’t require a large reward to motivate your employees. By working with your payroll department or a financial service provider with early paycheck deposits, you can get checks to your employees up to two days earlier. This reward means your employees can have less time waiting for payday, and quicker access to their money. 

More substantial rewards like bonuses or gift cards should be reserved for more significant achievements like increasing sales by a specific percentage or boosting production to a predetermined level.

More important goals should also be broken down into smaller objectives with smaller rewards. This method will ensure that employees are engaged throughout the process and continue to stay motivated even when the goal is long term. 

When to Use Intrinsic Rewards

Coffee cup sitting on a goal planner

Intrinsic rewards are typically best used for subjective and unmeasurable goals.

If you are trying to change your company’s culture or develop a specific type of behavior in your staff, you should reward their efforts with praise and recognition.

That’s because intrinsic rewards have a longer-lasting effect on your workforce’s attitude. Since cash and gift cards are quickly spent, extrinsic rewards are great motivators for short term outcomes. If you want to make a permanent impact on your staff, you will have to use intrinsic prizes to motivate them. 

There are countless ways you can use intrinsic motivation with your employees. Giving them recognition is quick, easy, and one of the most effective ways to inspire your staff’s loyalty.

This type of reward can include an employee of the month award, weekly shout outs, or even a one-on-one meeting between a supervisor and an employee. 

No matter how you reward your staff, ensure it’s inclusive, meaning that your workers are rewarded in a manner they appreciate.

Not all employees will enjoy a public call-out and may even dislike the attention. That’s why it is crucial that you take the time to learn what inspires each worker. Using the proper form of reward will help boost company morale, employee motivation, and engagement. 

Implement Gamification for Employee Motivation

You have probably heard the word gamification in recent years as a form of employee motivation for emerging start-up companies. While smaller businesses were some of the first to use this method, it has become increasingly popular with larger, more established corporations.

But what is gamification, and how can you use it in a remote work environment? 

Gamification is a motivation method used by companies to increase productivity, employee engagement, and job satisfaction by implementing game-based techniques into everyday tasks and empowering employees to take pleasure in their work. 

Boardgame on a white table

Since it’s human nature to enjoy playing games and competing with others, you can use gamification to encourage your staff to learn new skills quickly.

Begin by creating a training program filled with achievements, badges, and rewards for completing required learning modules. You can even have your workers compete against each other or with other departments of the company.

This technique not only promotes some team building but can give your employees a sense of accomplishment when they succeed in a challenge. 

Gamification can also be used for applications outside of employee training as these same principles can be applied to sales departments. As sales professionals work on improving their closing ratios, you can use competition as a motivating factor.

Such tools as leader boards, progress charts, and high-level challenges for the whole department can boost your sales team’s efficiency and engagement. 

Give Frequent and Honest Feedback

Like reward systems and gamification, giving your employees honest feedback is essential in keeping them motivated and engaged. Whether the feedback is negative or positive, it will help your workers grow on a professional and personal level.

Without it, they will never know what aspects of their job will need improvement or what areas of their work they excel in. 

man using MacBook

How to Give Positive Feedback

Positive comments are the easiest feedback to give to your employees, but you need to make your praise specific for it to be effective. Otherwise, it might come off as a generic compliment. When talking to your worker, discuss the particular behavior you like, and explain why it was the right thing to do. 

It would help if you also focused on why the action is beneficial to the organization and how it aligns with its values. Explaining the positive feedback more in-depth with your employee will help them understand its importance and ensure that they will repeat the action in the future. 

How to Give Negative Feedback 

Most managers have a hard time giving their workers negative feedback. However, a poor assessment can sometimes be a stronger motivator than positive praise. You might have heard of the sandwich approach when giving negative feedback to your employees.

Sandwich approah technique where you give a compliment, then the criticism, and then another compliment.

Instead, try talking to your employee in a neutral manner and with factual evidence to support your criticism. You don’t need a list of examples, but it can be helpful to have some specific incidents picked out ahead of time to discuss. Don’t use harsh language or personal comments, as this can cause your worker to get defensive. 

Mainly, it’s important to focus on talking about their performance and how they can improve it. It would help if you also made time to listen to your employee’s feedback on the criticism at the end of the conversation. This approach will allow your worker a chance to have their thoughts heard and voice their own opinions. 

An employee filling out a survey that reads, "How was your day?"

It’s crucial that you remain empathetic when your remote staff members lack motivation. They could be struggling with personal situations or experiencing stress caused by their workload.

Besides, there are ways you can increase employee motivation without resorting to extreme measures. Using a reward system, gamification, and providing honest feedback to your workers can create happy and engaged employees while improving productivity and efficiency for your company.


Pictures from Unsplash and Pexels.

Anna Vedishcheva

Content Creator at Standuply. Travel and photography addicted. You can contact me on Linkedin, also contact me via email.

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