My employer has been through a lot over the last year and a half -- corporate restructuring, merger, and resulting chaos (which we hope is temporary, but you never know). My team has lost about half of its people during that time, including previous managers. Reqs to hire replacements aren't being approved (tight budget). We've dropped some work that our team used to do; we're not being asked to work long hours to make up the difference.
The budget for raises was poor this year across the board, which is a hygiene issue as much as a financial one. I fear that this will aggravate an already-shaky situation. I'm a remote worker, not privy to the water-cooler chit-chat, and even I can tell that morale has taken a dive.
We had a very good team, and we still have enough of a good team to do great things, if people stay. I like the company (current issues aside), I like the product we're working on, and I like my teammates. I think these things are true for most of my remaining teammates too.
In terms of industry experience and job grade, I am one of the most senior individual contributors on the team and I have a great deal of autonomy. Most of my teammates have been there a little longer than I have. I'm not a manager, have no budget, and am remote to most of the team. Travel for internal meetings isn't currently being approved.
What steps can I take to improve morale, with the specific goal of preventing more attrition at least in the short term? Cheerleading is not my style; I'm more of a "model desired behavior" kind of person. I've also been told that I'm a pretty strong leader, at least on technical initiatives, but I don't know how to apply that to this problem.
I am aware of How can I as non-management improve morale and curb infectious pessimism?, but I think this question is different because the causes of the problems are different and because of the remote aspect.