Today's guest post comes from Tim Grable, President of The Grable Agency. With over 30 years of experience, Tim Grable is a veteran of the speaker and entertainment industry. With a vast range of experience including pioneering the virtual events and online entertainment industry, concert promoter, marketing, merchandise development, career management, and development, agent (speaker, literary, entertainment, commercial, and film), it is hard to find a side of the business he has not worked.

One unfortunate result of the economic challenges faced in 2020 was the impact on employee morale and motivation. Job uncertainty and health anxiety made it difficult for people to set goals, both individually and as a company.

In 2021, managers have an opportunity to hit reset and find ways to encourage and inspire their workforce to be focused and engaged. Here are four tips for motivating your remote team so you can fight off video conferencing fatigue:

Tip #1: Find Ways to Celebrate Your People
Employers can use the beginning of the year as a way to reflect on all the achievements and milestones their employees hit in an unprecedented year. Team building activities, beginning of the year bonuses, and gifts are all ways for companies to show gratitude for their employees. Most importantly these out of the norm activities give workers the chance to start fresh after a grueling 12 months.

Due to health concerns, most companies are unable to partake in in-person activities like these. The pandemic, however, is not an excuse to ignore employee’s achievements. With enough creativity, you can still find ways to applaud everyone’s hard work and start your team on a positive path in 2021.

Depending on the size of your company, remote team and budget, you have several different options on how you can begin fresh. Whether it’s a BlueJeans meeting just to catch up or a happy hour, it’s important to try and find ways to celebrate their achievements. For example, you can surprise your employees by sending a drink or mixer set to their home for a live cocktail making class or participate in a virtual wine education class like the one hosted over BlueJeans by Burghundy LLC. People will appreciate the thoughtfulness of socializing again, not to mention it’s a lot easier to cheers your accomplishments when you have a glass of your favorite beverage in hand.

Tip #2: Focus On Your Team’s Wellbeing
Virtual meeting fatigue, social isolation, and work burnout are all outcomes of the large-scale adaptation of remote work. Companies and telecommuters have likely adjusted to this new normal and have eased some of the growing pains workers experienced over the past year. Moving forward, think of 2021 as an opportunity to help employees embrace the positives of the virtual office while minimizing the bad.

Hosting virtual wellness activities can be a great way to give your employees the tools they need to stay healthy and happy. For stress relief, you could organize monthly yoga or meditation sessions for people to participate in. Or if you want to encourage cardio, you could host a dance class. These activities not only have a physical and mental benefit but are also excellent team building activities.

Winter also brings about various illnesses, like the flu, that some employees will catch throughout the next several months. Make sure to have good policies in place for employees in the event they become sick. For example, providing ample sick leave and assisting them in utilizing telehealth can go a long way in minimizing the stress of being sick.

Tip #3: Set Goals for Your Remote Team
To motivate your staff in 2021, you need to set achievable goals. By setting strategic goals, you are able to generate both a long-term vision as well as short-term motivation. Just as individual goals can help people reach new heights, businesses also benefit from having objectives as it helps guide your company to succeed. This has a trickle-down effect, as your employees will feel the momentum and excitement affiliated with setting and reaching goals.

2020 clearly presented many hurdles and challenges for companies, likely preventing many businesses from reaching their set objectives. This makes setting new goals for 2021 key to rapid growth and development.

Tip #4: Maintain Positivity Going into 2021
After the trying year that was 2020, maintaining positivity isn’t the easiest thing to do for anyone. Positivity, however, is important for people’s overall wellness and stress, so finding ways to encourage it across your company is essential. It isn’t logical to think that everything will be perfect this coming year, but that shouldn’t dissuade your company from embracing the ability to start over in the new year.

This positive attitude should be something you encourage throughout your company culture. Be intentional in the feedback you give and be sure to tell your remote team when they do a good job. For example, utilize company-wide shoutouts during your all-hands meetings when you want to recognize an achievement or utilize tools like BlueJeans Meetings’ participant reactions to show your support for fellow co-workers. You can also bring in a virtual speaker to provide your employees with an outside perspective on topics, such as positivity.

Maintaining your staff’s motivation isn’t an easy task, especially when everyone is working remotely. There are several things you can do to help encourage people throughout the upcoming year and help them stay proud, healthy, goal-oriented, and positive. Your company culture and productivity will be better for it. Here’s to 2021!