Our Sales Director's guide to motivating your remote team

1 April 2020 - Reading time: 4 Minutes

Workforce Management

With so much uncertainty in the world, it’s good to keep a level head. We’re sharing tips and advice from the SD Worx team who are helping our customers during COVID-19. By sharing their experiences and challenges, we hope to inspire and help you through this time.

Oliver Mead is the Mid-Market Sales Director for SD Worx UK and Ireland. In the last week his team have transformed the way they operate and interact with colleagues and customers. Face to face meetings have switched to video conference calls, and instant messaging has become more important than ever before. Oliver shares his tips on how to motivate your team when they are working remotely.

Q: How are you motivating your team during this time?

I stay connected with my team through daily one-on-one video calls (with the camera on) to uncover collaboration opportunities that the team member and I can tackle and try and resolve. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to chat about the usual stuff; from family and pet updates… to COVID19!

We are processing together the future opportunity that the COVID19 pandemic will bring to us both personally for example, bringing families together more during the lockdown. And professionally by introducing new ways of working, new skills, leveraging tech more, for us to be more effective and efficient in our daily lives. The sales team hosts weekly ‘Celebration’ video calls to ensure that we are celebrating the successes we are achieving in these ‘paused’ times. This increases positivity and promotes a ‘can do’ attitude.

You need to have fun and laughter (and of course banter!) during virtual meetings (nothing new there for those that know me!) My current game is moving/removing items from my video view and asking people to guess what has moved since the last time we video called – a daily, interactive game of spot the difference!

Q: What tips can you give to managers who are struggling to engage the team?

It’s all about the regular contact and a balanced agenda.

Ensure your engagement is regular and that by the end of the call you have agreed what is to be achieved by the next time you speak. Make sure these actions aren’t exhaustive and are achievable in the time given.

Balance the meeting/conversation with a focused work agenda and everyday ‘chat’ so it’s not too intense. Face to face contact is important for a healthy and effective relationship, so don’t be shy and turn on that camera!

Q: How do you stay motivated working from home?

Plan your day and set a clear expectation of what you want or need to achieve, so you can celebrate your very own successes, however big or small.

Schedule none screen time with visits to the kettle, some fresh air and/or the biscuit tin! Try to balance your day with phone calls, video meetings and email to vary your communication channels. Most importantly, callout colleagues that are doing a great job!

Q: How do you keep up the social aspect of work when we the team is working from home?

We’ve just implemented a Wednesday evening drinks social for our Sales and Marketing teams, virtual video attendance of course, so as everyone has a regular point in the week to enjoy a beverage with colleagues and talk anything and everything.

Q: What do you want our customers to know?

We’re all in a similar boat right now, juggling personal life that has been forcefully blurred in to work life (that’s fun!!), whilst successfully meeting the expectations of those that rely on us. It’s now more important than ever that we harness a community spirit and change the way we work and engage with people for the better.

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