Categorized in: Center for Government Innovation

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Published: December 22, 2020

As this pandemic stretches on and we feel the fatigue of remote work, do you need new ideas to help motivate employees working in the remote environment? Here are some suggestions to keep them engaged and productive.

Assure team members they are not alone

Be honest: There are days when you as a supervisor or manager struggle with productivity, too.  Do your team members know that? It’s hard to focus on the work if you feel like you’re the only one struggling. Discussing your own difficulties will put team members at ease by showing them they aren’t the only ones working hard to stay productive. Make it clear that everyone, including you, is affected by this pandemic in some way and don’t leave team members alone with their doubts. Try working this conversation into your regular 1-on-1s.   

Relate their struggles to your similar experiences

Try to pinpoint where team members feel they are struggling specifically. Once you do, make their difficulties feel more “normal” by sharing your own, similar experiences. For example, if someone is feeling unproductive because they are fighting with new technology, tell a specific story that explains your own difficulties with a similar task. This builds trust while connecting you to the employee’s development needs without them having to directly ask for help. Once you know where they are having difficulties, coach them in ways to set a goal to improve. Or better yet, connect them with another team member who has mastered that technology or skill to provide an opportunity for additional collaboration and support in this remote work environment.

Cultivate a ‘growth mindset’ on your team

What’s a growth mindset? It’s the belief that you can develop your talents through hard work and input from others rather than being stuck with what you were born with. Why should you take time to cultivate a growth mindset? Because researchers like those at the Harvard Business Review found that it’s one of the most important factors of whether you and your team will be motivated to grow, change and improve. Why? The research found that people with a growth mindset get less discouraged when they put their energy into learning. Where others might see failure, employees with a growth mindset see temporary setbacks, challenges and opportunities. 

How do you start? Let employees know that struggling with a problem or adjusting to something new is actually a good thing because it stretches their “learning muscles.”

You can also cultivate a growth mindset by:

  • Using a resource like StrengthsFinder to identify each team member’s top talents so you can help them grow and develop those talents
  • Encouraging responsible risk taking, even when things don’t work out exactly as you had hoped
  • Making it clear when giving feedback that you believe your team members have what it takes to improve and grow
  • Asking your team members for ways you could improve. This demonstrates that you want to walk the talk and develop your own growth mindset.

We are here to help

If you are interested in learning more about StrengthsFinder, why not contact us to discuss a personalized training session. Because we specialize in working with local governments, we can adapt our services to meet your needs. Reach out to us at center@sao.wa.gov.

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Categorized in: Center for Government Innovation

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