As many parts of the world go back into lockdown we are seeing more and more people becoming affected by remote working “Zoom fatigue”.
Remote working can quickly lead to overwhelm as the usual water cooler moments and team lead on the job daily learning can fast disappear. Teams can become unmotivated which could affect how they deliver to their targets. Affiliate managers are used to the buzz and vibe of team working, and thrive on Face -to- Face networking at events. Without these events and going back into lockdown for remote working these issues could cause some problems with your program delivery as morale overall is naturally affected.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can ensure that your affiliate program managers remain motivated and keep up with their digital learnings as the COVID climate continues to change standard working conditions in the year ahead.
Use gamification to build team spirits
One of the first tools that you could use to build team engagement is simple gamification. People need to connect and especially where teams are working remotely - playing fun games together can really help keep up morale and encourage new learnings. A great option here might be to pit their skills in a simple portfolio performance race. Affiliate managers tend to be naturally competitive; they are sales and target driven and are focussed on making new connections and getting deals done to drive sales. Creating internal team challenges or even a digital scavenger hunt is a great way to encourage healthy competition whilst keeping your team engaged. Keeping your team motivated to reach their targets, to connect more regularly with one another is a great idea during these turbulent times.
Increase affiliate manager awareness around "Social Selling"
Lead Generation tactics are becoming more important and social media is the best place to make a start doing this to build new relationships. The art of online selling has evolved quite significantly over the past few months. We've all had to learn how to engage more and hard sell a little less, especially as events and networking have dropped off the radar. As a result, we are seeing new skills like “social selling” emerge as part of an affiliate manager's arsenal to drive new connections within affiliate recruitment which is an integral part of program performance and growth. Whilst being present and showing up in your chosen social channel can take a while for you to build momentum it’s still the best way to search and find new partners who share similar interests and it’s also FREE.
Invest in mini workshops and self development with team led coaching
Now is the perfect time to encourage your affiliate team to participate in workshops and other forms of executive coaching or training. Even simple things like understanding how to use excel for faster data analysis can help save time and provide insights that often get missed when you don’t know how to self manipulate reports and data.
Give your team the space to be able to grow as affiliate managers , to learn new digital skills and to work with experts who can teach strategy through these more turbulent times. Investing in growth and development may seem frivolous when facing economic downturns but it also helps overcome obstacles and could help your team bootstrap your budgets more effectively too. With just an hour a week you’d be surprised at what your team can learn and how much they will share when given the space to learn and grow.
Have regular one-on-one catch ups and create a buddy system
Now more than ever 1:1 personal catch ups are a good idea to schedule into your routine - but doing them with a purpose. Nobody wants to be sitting in endless rounds of online meetings getting more Zoom fatigue. Making sure everyone is on the right track and working to schedule is key to keeping up staff morale. Being cognisant that some affiliate managers might not want to be on extensive team meetings and keeping shorter 1:1 catch ups as an option could better suit the diversity in your group environment.
Consider setting up a “buddy” system to ensure every one of your affiliate managers can reach out to someone in their team when they need a bit of moral support or even a little demotivated. Offering a 1:1 buddy system also offers them the chance to get to know each other a little better too. You might also want to pair up managers that you think get along or have a diverse set of skills to enable better learning.
Focus on being mindful
In these times, it is very difficult to know what someone else is going through when you are spread out remotely. You might have to come up with some unusual changes to getting through a typical working day and you may create new rituals within your team that will last a lot longer than lockdowns. Staying in a positive mindset can really encourage your work motivations and team “hustle”. Whether you and your team are trying more flexible hours or looking into creating a new remote workspace to engage in, focus on supporting your affiliate managers to succeed and create opportunities for assistance if they need it.
With the right remote working culture and support firmly in place within your affiliate management team you’ll be truly surprised at what can be achieved.