How to Motivate Remote Employees and Grow Your Tech Startup

by Sandra Petrova

8 min read · Mar 20, 2020

Motivation is a key factor for successful remote teams. Learn the best practices for how to motivate remote employees and build a competitive tech startup.

The key to growing a business is enthusiastic employees who are excited about your business. Motivated employees act in your customer’s best interest at every turn, and they want the business to succeed. In-office employees aren’t the only ones that need motivation. Remote employees are becoming more popular, especially among startups.

In fact, a survey by Deloitte showed that 75% of Millennial respondents said they prefer to have the ability to work remotely. If you have remote employees on your team, it is time to dedicate your efforts to motivate them.

Motivating remote employees can seem like a bigger challenge since you aren’t in direct contact with them. However, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible. It deserves some strategic moves, but it is worth it. Motivation can play a huge role in helping your tech startup grow. So, let’s clarify why motivation is so important and how to motivate remote employees.

motivated remote employees
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What Motivated Employees Can Bring to the Table

Motivated employees aren’t just excited about their own success. They care about the organization. If you motivate remote employees, here are the results you will witness:

They are more willing to work late or start early

When an employee respects the employer and grows a certain attachment to the business, they won’t do the job just for the money. They will also do it because they like what they do, and they want the business to succeed. Motivated employees won’t have trouble to work more. Their honest wish that the business grows will give them the strength to pull out those few extra hours.

You will see less turnover

Just imagine this situation. You train the employee, then they leave, and it happens over and over again. This will hurt your business because new employees take time to get used to new requirements and rules. When you have motivated employees on your team, you're increasing the chances that they'll stay with your company for a longer period of time. Working for a company that has a good relationship with the employees isn't something an employee wants to let go of.

Motivated employees will work as brand ambassadors

Motivation evokes the belief in the company you are working for. Not only will the employees work better, but they’ll also praise the company. Motivated employees can serve as brand ambassadors. The more brand ambassadors you have, the better. They can introduce your services to their friends and acquaintances and maybe even promote your startup on social media. Never underestimate the power of an effective brand ambassador.

motivate remote employees
Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

How to Motivate Remote Employees

The key to motivating your remote employees is using effective methods. As a startup, you may not be able to use money as a motivator. That doesn’t mean you cannot get your employees excited about their part in your new venture. Here are a few useful tips that will help you to evoke motivation in your remote employees:

Most Importantly: Communicate!

When you aren’t in the same office or building with your employees, you aren’t able to give them in person the push they need. That is why you have to resort to a powerful method – communication. Learn employees' goals by openly talking with them. With open communication, you can help them create a path within your organization!

Introduce them to the team through video calls

The demotivating factor for remote employees can be a lack of connection. Since they don't know the people they are working for or working with, it's harder to commit completely to the company. Change that by introducing them to everyone through video calls. Instead of just making audio calls, let them match the voice with the face. It will feel more personal, and you'll give them a chance to see your personality and establish a connection with others.

Empower them to act autonomously to solve problems

Micromanaging the employees have never lead to employees’ happiness. You should show your trust in employees by allowing them to solve problems on their own. Gaining the independence to deal with any issues on their own will make the employees feel relevant and appreciated.

Keep them in the loop about new developments, goals, and milestones

Share with your remote employees all news and relevant information about the business. They shouldn’t feel left out. You can write down the important points and turn them into a well-written guide by hiring writing services like Trustmypaper. If you already have a writer on your team, just run the guide through Grammarly, an editing app.

Let them see that you work just as hard as they do

Seeing that the boss puts a lot of effort into the business will motivate remote employees to do the same. Some employees imagine their employers just sitting and bossing around others. If you let them have such a prejudicial image of you, they won’t be motivated to give their best. Show them that you are keeping track of everything that is going on in your business.

Include them in the meetings

Make remote employees feel like they are part of the community. They might not have the chance to spend each day with your team, but they are just as relevant. Whenever you have a big meeting, invite the remote employees to take part. Sharing such moments with them will be a form of appreciation.

Give startup team members possible opportunities

In most cases, one of the predominant motivational elements for employees is a chance for a promotion. You remote employees should also have a chance to progress in your company. Emphasize to your remote employee if there would be any leadership positions or other opportunities to profit from the company’s future success. Of course, don’t make false promises. Mention only those options that can come true.

Use non-monetary rewards and incentives

It’s not all about the money. There are different ways in which you can show your appreciation for your remote employees. A gift or incentive can motivate remote employees them to keep up the good work. For example, if you have some notebook or pens with your company logo created for your employees, send it to your remote employees as well. Even if they are from a country on the other side of the world, the internet makes gift giving so easy.

Create a comfortable and collaborative atmosphere

All of your employees, including remote ones, should feel comfortable to share an idea, issue, or dilemma. As a startup, you need a lot of support and reliable people on your side. To ensure such a relationship with your team, you need to be collaborative and emphasize teamwork. Build a sense of community that will motivate all employees to stick together and work towards growing your company.

Final Thoughts

Your startup's success depends on your employees. Even the best business idea won't become a reality if the entrepreneur doesn't have reliable people that are willing to contribute. If you want your remote employees to deliver loyalty, hard work, trust, and determination, you need to motivate them.

From the tips above, you can tell that money isn't the only thing that can motivate employees. Many different ways can help you to evoke motivation in employees. What employees can value even more than money is a commitment, compassion, appreciation, and teamwork. Finding a high-paying job is easier than finding a job where an employer shows respect for an employee.

About the author: Daniela McVicker is a blogger and a freelance writer with a background in sales and team management. She works closely with B2B and B2C businesses, helping them implement the best practices to ensure customer satisfaction. Currently, she blogs for TopWritersReview, a website to find the best online essay writers or content specialists.

FAQs

Q: How can employees be motivated in the workplace?
  1. Communicate.
  2. Introduce them to the team through video calls.
  3. Empower them to act autonomously to solve problems.
  4. Keep them in the loop about new developments, goals, and milestones.
  5. Let them see that you work just as hard as they do.
  6. Include them in the meetings.
  7. Give startup team members possible opportunities.
  8. Use non-monetary rewards and incentives.
  9. Create a comfortable and collaborative atmosphere.
Q: How do you motivate a contract employee?
Money isn't the only thing that can motivate contract employees. There are many different ways that you can evoke motivation in employees. What employees can value even more than money is commitment, compassion, appreciation, and teamwork.
Q: How do I manage my employees remotely?
  1. Choose good team collaboration tools and stick to them.
  2. Hold regular meetings.
  3. Create procedures and implement project management systems.
Q: How do remote employees communicate?
There’s a variety of different remote work tools. Some of them you can use on a daily basis for staying in touch, while others are handy for managing projects. The best communication tools include Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Asana, Jira, Google Drive, Github, and Trello. 
Q: How can remote workers improve communication?
Ongoing communication is the key. Make sure you get in touch with your remote employees during the day and meet for a video conference at least once a week. Also, choose a set of collaboration tools and stick to them. 
Q: How do you bond with a remote team?
The best way to bond with your remote team is by playing team-building games. There are many games for remote teams to choose from. Get inspired here