Here’s How to Motivate Your Team Remotely: A Complete Guide

Here’s how to reward and motivate engineering teams, remotely

Remote work is no longer an unknown domain, but many companies have already moved their workforce from in-house to remote development teams. Employees have already set up their tech tools and logged into their zoom accounts, while managers have already defined and established processes and operation standards. However, this is only the first step. Many companies are struggling to manage and motivate remote employees. They are trying to ensure their teams' willingness to put their best foot forward for creativity and innovation. So if you are wondering how to motivate your team remotely, then in this blog we have discussed different strategies and steps to motivate your remote engineering teams.

The adverse impact of demotivated employees

Demotivation translates to reduced productivity and lower output levels, directly affecting company objectives and key results. This output causes the organization to experience a decline in terms of overall performance. And this is the last thing an organization would want. A company must be on top of its performance parameters, and one of the best ways to achieve that is by keeping the employees happy and maintaining a fun environment at work forums.

Another powerful and negative impact is voluntary employee turnover. This turnover leads to an endless cycle of hiring, onboarding, and training new professionals, which is a daunting, time-consuming, and cost-consuming task. When you practice such a culture, it can steadily destroy your brand image. You can lose out on many skilled and competent talents who might refuse to apply to such an organization that doesn't value its employees. Employee retention ensures they are engaged with the company vision and have access to exemplary work-life balance.

That's why it is extremely critical for you to be a valuable employer. You can offer gifts and goodies to appreciate employees' contributions to the organization, recognize achievements, and conduct team reward and employee motivation sessions to keep your remote employees happy and incentivized. It’s important to realize that not all your employees will be motivated solely by monetary compensation. But instead, there should be well-strategized team reward and management policies.

If you're planning to build such policies but do not know where to start, this article is just for you. We have curated a comprehensive list of steps that you can take to manage your remote employees effectively.

However, before we dive deep into the steps to build efficient team reward and management, let's first understand the benefits of rewarding and motivating engineering teams.

Benefits of team-building with rewards and motivation activities

Motivated employees are the key who can make a difference between success and failure. Many successful companies make sure to establish calculated efforts to take full advantage of team-building exercises and reap long-term rewards.

Suppose you overlook the power to build stronger relationships with your employees. In that case, you may lose out on boosting productivity, retention, employee engagement, and morale, especially if your team works across multiple locations or from their homes. That's why you must take some time out of everyone's busy schedules to allow them to build strong relationships within the team. This ultimately leads to quality and timely project deliverables that can greatly impact how well they work together.

Here are the top benefits of team rewards and motivation activities -

Team rewards as a motivation tool to improve productivity

A team means a group working toward a common goal to reach objectives and key performance indicators. However, if there's a miscommunication or misconnect within the team, it can lead to incomplete tasks and friction and resistance among team members. Consequently, you get unsatisfactory output from each staff member.

That's why employers must take advantage of opportunities to identify ways to improve productivity's 'three Ps': policies, processes, and procedures. When there is employee engagement and communication with each other frequently, everyone's on the same page. This process eliminates work duplication and miscommunication and relieves stress and burnout.

Team recognition as a motivation tool to encourage creativity and innovation

One of the most important benefits of team rewards and motivating remote workers is recognizing your team members' achievements and strengths. They are more motivated to be creative and use their initiative to bring unique and extraordinary effects to an organization. This kind of reward sends a message to other employees and encourages them to think outside the box and find solutions to potential problems. Through recognition, you can also send a strong message to every staff member concerning your company values and how each of them can help the organization's success.

Team rewards as a motivation tool to identify leaders

Recognizing employees who are tomorrow's leaders today is vital for your company's long-term success. Through team rewards activities, you can not just motivate remote employees to give their best but also find people with great leadership qualities. You can make a note or a checklist of distinct and unique qualities you might notice when conducting such activities. For instance, a team member might encourage their peers to put their best foot forward and also takes part in supervising/conducting various team-building activities. These helpful insights can assist you in finding your next potential executive, manager, or leader.

Team rewards as a motivation tool to boost confidence

Ask yourself this question: do you give your best when you’re not feeling great about yourself?

The answer is a big NO.

Confidence and high morale are essential to excellent customer service, quality of work, and productivity. Not giving the recognition and rewards that an employee deserves can be crushing and humiliating. That's why you should always find ways to recognize each employee's strengths or even weaknesses based on performance and contributions to business goals. Be receptive to feedback about your performance, and also be ready to give feedback to empower your employees towards improvement. This way, they feel more confident, respected, and empowered, which is essential for improved productivity.

Team rewards as a motivation tool to promote mental health

You need to ensure your employees are not regularly feeling stressed, burned out, or depressed at work. Poor mental health directly correlates with reduced motivation and employee output. That’s why companies must take steps to recognize the important role that mental health plays in employee wellbeing. Create policies to take tangible actions to build an open and supportive workplace culture that drives the positive holistic well-being of your company staff.

How to motivate your team remotely?

What can a business leader do to boost their teams' morale and confidence? The key is resisting the temptation to create strict boundaries, including processes, rules, and procedures. Even though some boundaries are helpful, too many can lead to a vicious circle of demotivation in your employees.

That's why you should go through the below-mentioned steps to create a work culture that takes care of its employees' well-being.

Introduce and implement employee recognition programs

The first and foremost step you should take is introducing and implementing an employee recognition program. It is essential to make your remote workers feel like they are a part of your organization and that their contribution matters. After all, the people in your workforce are your organization's success factors that you can't simply ignore.

That's why you should acknowledge the employee's accomplishments and ensure it is out there for everyone to see. Motivate your remote engineers with recognition programs and team rewards and ensure they don't feel underappreciated in their roles.

However, keeping track of employee satisfaction and relationships is not an easy task.

"When was the last time you offered valuable recognition to your employees?"

The answer usually ranges from 2-3 months to even years without the right tool. That's why you should consider installing employee recognition software that can help you optimize your workplace culture. Take a look at the list of tools that you can choose from -

  • Kudos
  • Nectar
  • Bonusly
  • Fond
  • Vantage Circle and many more

Select a tool that suits your team, goals, and budget, and bring your coworkers together.

Provide your employees with the right tools

When you provide your employees with the proper tools, the effort and time required to complete a job without any blockage decreases. Some of the tools that remote teams usually need daily are time tracking tools, remote communication tools, video conferencing tools, project management tools, and a direct messaging platform like Slack. Employees with the right tools and equipment will be more motivated to do their best work.

However, many tools are designed precisely for specific purposes, so choosing the right one might be challenging. That's why you need to take time to effectively research before making any decision.

Offer a performance-based bonus

A well-planned, well-executed, and timely performance-based bonus system can stimulate employees to deliver quality work, reach set targets on time, and maintain motivation and productivity. You can consider establishing performance bonus criteria that align with the company goals and budget and motivates employees to put their best foot forward.

You can also consider random bonuses for team rewards. These bonuses are the most effective way to have a substantial positive impact in terms of imparting a sense of accomplishment to employees. However, you must plan it well to avoid miscalculating the budget and goals.

Organize team-building activities

Team building activities promote improved workplace culture that involves teamwork and cooperation. Many organizations usually run an annual event or retreat. However, it might not be possible if your team works globally. That's why organizing tried and tested concepts (and most fun!) virtual team-building activities is even more crucial. Make sure these activities help reinforce employee morale, strengthen team connections, and maximize productivity.

Take a look at a few ideas for virtual team-building activities that may help you -

  • Make use of the classic - icebreaker questions
  • A virtual team lunch date sounds extremely fun
  • Conduct photo contests (funny selfies or messy-desk photos)
  • What about GIF battles?
  • Musicians in the team? Create music together
  • DIY sessions with expert guidance
  • Conduct gift exchange events

Now you just pick ideas, schedule meetings, and bond!

Use transparent communication

Communicating transparently with your remote team is the key to avoiding all sorts of misunderstandings and ensuring that everyone is on the same page. You should not only communicate your project requirements but also ensure that communication channels are open both ways so that the remote employees can share any suggestions or issues that they might face.

Provide health benefits

Introducing employee benefits design and administration to remote employees can be challenging for some companies. After all, remote employees are not located in the same geographic region as the employer's office. One of the best ways to deliver health and wellness to your remote workforce is by setting aside an amount for their health and wellbeing. And the employee can set up health insurance in their region.

You can also conduct wellness sessions that assign various health-related tasks and keep your employees fit and active. When organizing such activities, ensure maximum participation to encourage productivity driven by better health.

Provide learning opportunities

Continuous growth in skills is a hallmark of a great place to work. That's why one way to reward your team is by offering various opportunities to learn. Provide them with the right platforms where they can access classes or resources for free to upskill themselves.

In addition to work-related courses, you can consider other options such as gardening, cooking, and meditation to support your employee's mental and physical wellbeing. You can try partnering with various eLearning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, etc., to sign your team up.

Trust your team members

Trust is the backbone of any successful collaboration with your team members. If you give your remote members accountability and responsibility of handling different projects then you should trust them to deliver expected results. The delegation of responsibilities shows that you trust them with handling project requirements and dealing with complexities that might arise from it. This trust is an important part of motivating your team members.

Online motivation sessions

You can organize regular, weekly or monthly, motivational meetings where you play upbeat music, prop up your team members, praise them, and indulge in all sorts of motivational activities to inspire them for the upcoming tasks. These virtual get-togethers can go a long way to ensure the remote workers remain enthusiastic and inspired to do some great work in the future.

Use employee feedback for productive results

Transparent communication with your employees and regular feedback from them is one of the most effective ways of keeping them happy. When you have that communication channel open with your employees, you ensure that you can tackle any challenges or issues your employees might face. Taking their feedback and then acting on that will make employees feel you care about their opinions and value their efforts and contributions to the company.

Wrapping up

In today's remote-first world, it is important to maintain a cohesive company culture that supports, rewards, and motivates your remote engineering team. When you invest in the well-being of your employees, your organization thrives. That's why now is the time for you to migrate to and enhance your remote work setup that recognizes its employee's achievements and promotes a healthy company culture.

Are you interested in hiring remote software engineers?

Recruiting and managing remote software engineers is often exhausting as it requires various components and variables to fall in place perfectly. You not only need a robust and impeccable hiring funnel, but you also need excellent proficiency in vetting as well as identifying the right candidates. The quality of your hiring process directly impacts the productivity and overall output of your company. What if we told you that there is an automated system that takes care of all the intricacies related to hiring so that you get access to the most qualified developers from across the globe?

Yes, Turing’s unique AI platform has transformed the hiring process for HR managers by bringing the best talent pool at their fingertips on a platter.

Turing is one of the best deep jobs platforms for assembling your dream engineering team. Our powerful vetting engine combined with the planetary reach ensures that companies get access to the most talented and brightest minds globally. Our AI-powered Intelligent Talent Cloud helps companies source, vet, match, and manage remote developers in a seamless process.

Join hundreds of companies that trust Turing to build their dream engineering team remotely!


  • Anupriya Singh

    Anupriya Singh

    Anupriya is a content writer well-versed in researching and writing on an array of topics. She works closely with businesses and helps them get rapid and organic growth through compelling digital marketing content. When not working, you can find her reading or sketching.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a remote team setup, motivating remote employees through different methods and strategies is crucial. It is particularly important because remote employees might get disinterested or lose the desire to contribute at a high level from time to time. The lack of a physical environment potentially can also impact their morale. That’s why constant motivation and energizing through different techniques is always beneficial.

There are different strategies and actions that can be implemented for the promotion of teamwork and team bonding in a remote setup. Some of the prominent strategies for promoting remote teamwork include supporting inclusive team culture, team building activities, transparency in communication, the reward for team milestones, and assigning group projects

There are several different ways to motivate your remote employees. Offering rewards, organizing contests, arranging fun activities, indulging in occasional games, providing growth opportunities, and team-building activities can help motivate and inspire the remote team.

Communication and verbal skills are an important part of motivating and inspiring your team members to meet the company objectives. It is important for the employees to feel valued to ensure that they give their absolute best to the work on hand. You must eloquently address your team members and make them the understand the value of their work plus how critical it is to the success of organization.

Rewards are a significant part of the strategy for motivating remote team employees. The employees are always looking for some sort of appreciation for their efforts. Rewarding them through an employee appreciation program or other benefits makes them feel fulfilled and valuable in their professional setup. Companies that reward their employees as a token of appreciation tend to perform better and have a more productive and happier workplace.

Team building activities are very important for building a sense of community, and togetherness within any organization. When there’s a good bond between the team members they tend to collaborate better, and thereby the performance improves. This directly leads to overall better productivity and higher efficiency.

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