Rise above the rest in times of turmoil, regardless of the challenges, how to motivate your team during the pandemic!13th May 2020
Many leaders have crossed the hurdles of moving their teams remote, the next critical question we must ask is: How do you keep your team motivated under much different circumstances? Employees can be distracted, with the challenges of balancing the working day alongside home life and the continued uncertainty during the covid-19 crisis.
Speaking to some of our fantastic clients we’ve put together some great tips and advice on how to motivate teams in the current climate and be in a better position coming out of the pandemic.
The good news is that the fundamental tools of effective communication still work. Although workers are having to work under stringent distancing measures from colleagues or at home the workplace is no longer the escape it once was, therefore much more effort should be given to checking in with employees. The camaraderie of the office can be recreated through instant messaging, social media groups and many other platforms. Organisations we work with have found that regular work meetings on Zoom or MS Teams have been great for productivity, but that virtual coffee breaks where employees can catch up and chat about more general topics have helped with overall team motivation.
2. Ensure flexibility
Allowing employees to flex their hours around children’s schedules and accepting work-from-home arrangements as necessary are key. If we are trusting our employees with company resources, access to files, and more, we also should trust them to manage their own time wisely. Employers who can show flexibility to their employees will help them work with a clear mind and ultimately strengthen their commitment to the organisation.
3. Instant appreciation
Appreciation is a great way to boost morale and bring energy levels up, it also provides a great opportunity for employees to celebrate in the success of their colleagues. This can be done through digital means over instant messenger or in a team meeting. Acknowledging company and employee achievements can also lead to more collaborative working by encouraging others to follow example.
4. Keep employees updated
Now more than ever, employees are looking for updates as they’re living with uncertainty. Employers need to be agile and responsive. As new information comes through from the government about easing of restrictions employees should be regularly kept up to date with any changes your organisation is making. Setting out information in a clear way will help understanding and ensure everyone understands their own role and how this will look in the short and long term. For example some of our clients have been sending daily or weekly news letters via email to keep all employees up to date with any changes to the way they will be working. It is important to make sure these updates are relevant, this will help avoid any misunderstanding. Regular, open communication is key. With so much uncertainty, it falls to leaders to be the calm voice of reason
Any leader who fails to acknowledge the psychological impact of being in lockdown or quarantined at home, will be letting their staff down. Working with a segmented workforce can often prevent the usual queues we rely on to help better understand someone’s demeanour, therefore extra care should be taken to understand employees and the challenges they are facing. Regularly asking questions such as ‘How are you finding work?’ and ‘Is there anything we/I can support you with?’ will help employees feel valued and ensure you are able to help support them through any issues they may be facing and preventing them from being productive at work.
It has been well documented that our demeanour and that of our employees has a direct reflection on productivity and in these challenging times it is more important than ever to create a sense of unity within the places we live, our families and our workplaces. Creating motivation within our teams will not only help us all now, but will provide a sense of loyalty and better connections which will provide positive results we will see far into the future.
The way organisations and leaders treat their employees during the pandemic will help shape their business in the future. Treat your employees well and they will help your business when the pandemic ends and the economy begins to grow.