Remote working has changed the daily work world for many people—including managers. They have to do all they can to prevent employees from falling into the trap of simply going through the motions.
Remote work has demonstrated the valuable role that personal contact with colleagues plays in an individual’s own motivation. Individuals who draw on an inner fire to carry out their responsibilities because they are passionate about a particular area (intrinsic motivation) have a clear edge on others. But individuals who gain most of their motivation from interaction with colleagues, teams or customers (extrinsic motivation) have a more difficult time. In such cases, managers must step in and systematically foster employee motivation. This will also be the case once everyone returns to the office.
Everything that increases the self-organization and individual responsibility of employees should be supported. The aim is to create an increasingly “independent” form of work.
2. Assignment of responsibilities
A precise assignment of responsibilities that includes clearly communicated expectations and the right coordination of tasks remains the key to fostering motivation and warding off demotivation.
Feedback topics should be defined during briefings between managers and employees: When will we speak again about which topic? What will I check when and how as a manager? Full transparency will frequently work wonders here. Employees can trustfully tackle their jobs and tap their full potential because they know which tasks are a top priority and what matters most to their supervisor—the foundation is laid.
When possible, employees should be allowed to make decisions about which responsibilities and tasks that they will take on. This approach fuels curiosity and real interest—and prevents the development of a 9-to-5 mentality. Discussing an individual’s strengths and preferences is another reasonable approach to take. After all, one of the responsibilities of managers is to continuously look for the jobs that come easy to employees and the jobs that they consider to be demanding and complicated.
5. Focus on relationships and responsibilities
A manager should devote only 20 percent of his or her time and energy to “task orientation.” The remaining 80 percent should be invested in human/relationship orientation. This work includes permanent improvement of collaboration and the continuous support of employees. Intrinsic motivation will remain in place only if a manager shows a genuine interest in employees, enables them to learn from mistakes and achieve goals in their own way.