With a quick and unexpected transition to remote work, teams that once worked side by side are now forced to work apart. Not only is this a challenging transition for the employees themselves, but it’s a challenge for leaders as well.  The basic principles of managing teams still apply, but these four ways to motivate employees will help remote teams thrive.

Enhance connections.

Teams need to feel connected to be able to perform their best. This sense of connection doesn’t just apply to the team members themselves, but to the manager or supervisor as well. The manager provides support, direction, and guidance to the entire team, and leads by example. If the leader actively builds relationships, the team members will do the same.

One way to build connections when teams are working remotely is to put a priority on face to face communication. Use video rather than phone calls, and encourage team members to participate in group chats rather than sending private messages.

Reward team performance.

Rewards can be great incentives for employees, but most often rewards are purely individual. Offer incentives and rewards for the team to earn as a whole. This gives all of the team members a common goal they can work towards and allow everyone’s performance to be recognized. Individual rewards can and should still be given out, but know that team rewards can be even better motivators.

By rewarding team performance, their collective effort is acknowledged. It builds a stronger bond for the team and adds further incentive for them to continue to perform as a unit.

Don’t micromanage.

Nothing frustrates employees more than micromanagement. If employees are frustrated, they’re likely also less engaged. Individually, that’s problematic. For teams, even more so, because all it takes is one employee to bring the whole group down.

Show your teams that you trust them to accomplish the tasks and projects they’ve been assigned to do. Provide guidancd, but be careful that your actions don’t cross the line into micromanagement. Encourage autonomy and actively monitor your teams so you can jump in with helpful feedback and critiques as needed to keep them on track.

Leverage technology.

Set your teams up for success by providing them with the right technology. Remote teams need platforms that allow them to easily collaborate, share files, and have conversations. Set clear guidelines for how they should use these platforms to communicate and work collaboratively. Since employees have their own individual work preferences, how they work and collaborate can be a source of contention within teams. If guidelines are set by managers, that’s one less potential source of conflict avoided.