5 ways businesses can keep remote working teams motivated and engaged

Lloyd Wahed, host of the 'Searching for Mana' podcast, dives into how businesses can improve productivity in a working from home world.

16 July 2020

Lloyd Wahed is the founder of Mana Search – a recruiter seeking to help elevate brands by headhunting the right candidates for the job. Lloyd also hosts ‘'Searching for Mana'’ – a progressive podcast celebrating leaders and founders in the tech and finance space. The show is available on Apple, Spotify and other major podcast platforms. On Tuesday, 21st July, Lloyd welcomes Lara Gilman, co-lead of iwocaPay, as a guest to the podcast.

Businesses big and small are having to re-examine the way they approach their team's productivity, with so many adopting remote working setups. Whilst much of a team's performance is down to individual intrinsic motivation, there are ways that companies can keep their staff engaged in a virtual world of work. In this guide, Lloyd unpacks 5 ways employers can do this.

1. Team activities

Team activities are vital to improving trust levels during the pandemic – even facilitating informal encounters online can help boost morale. These could include informal online breakfast meetings that focus on things outside of work, an online quiz or remote yoga session.

Building personal connections will inevitably positively impact employee relationships within a team, with research showing that employees who are friendly with each other are more likely to be happier, more engaged and less likely to look for new jobs.

2. Regular check-ins – turn the camera on

When it comes to communicating with your team members, little and often is key. When you’re physically working in the office, it’s normal to chat with team members in this way, so try to reflect this when working remotely too.

Turning on the camera in online meetings can also help build team spirit and show mutual engagement. Ultimately, taking a more human-centric approach during this time will mean that employees feel more valued in their roles, even when face-to-face interaction isn’t an option.

3. Find your team's superpower

The term 'mana' means superpower – I launched my ‘Searching for Mana’ podcast to explore what superpowers drive successful business leaders and companies. I'm really interested in the characteristics of those who are pushing innovation forward, and I'd recommend making a note of what superpowers you believe your team has. This will help ensure that you're nurturing your existing team strengths, and also identifying areas of improvement.

4. Make smart hiring choices

Hiring the right people is crucial to building a team's resilience and creativity, especially whilst navigating such an unpredictable transition period in the post-crisis reality. An industry-based study in 2014 from Oxford Economics revealed that just one bad hire could cost a company as much as £30,000.

In addition to replacement fees, there are also hidden costs such as productivity loss – where the damage to productivity caused by the inexperience of new employees is the greatest contributor to the overall cost of turnover.

5. Set up a weekly podcast club

Absorb advice from books and podcasts and use this as a starting point to discuss key learnings with your team. You could conduct a weekly podcast club where you chat about ideas taken from a particular podcast episode. Sources of podcast inspiration could include The Tim Ferriss Show for self development and productivity, Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman or The Vaizey View by Ed Vaizey – a new podcast on European technology policy from the UK’s longest serving minister of tech and culture.

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Lloyd Wahed is the founder of Mana Search – a recruiter seeking to help elevate brands by headhunting the right candidates for the job. Lloyd also hosts ‘Searching For Mana’ – a progressive podcast celebrating leaders and founders in the tech and finance space.

Article updated on: 16 July 2020

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