Many business owners have passed the first hurdles of moving to a fully-remote setup: setting up remote working tools, creating routines, and communicating.
Others have moved to reopen in a way that is safe for everyone: wearing masks and requiring customers to do the same, only allowing a certain amount of customers inside at a time, following new cleaning and disinfecting guidelines.
But this is just the basic step towards creating a healthy work environment for team members. The next important question is: how do you keep your team motivated during these difficult times?
First, there are negative motivators that normally cause reduced work performance. And these negative motivators may have spiked considering the coronavirus pandemic. Economic and emotional pressures are rising as people worry about losing their jobs and homes.
The uncertainty and questions on how to make ends meet are deeply saddening. Inertia for work is definitely going to rise as people wonder if there’s a point in trying.
If team leaders don’t make an effort to change this, the change in people’s enthusiasm will eventually cause a decline in quality and creativity at a time when the economy will need productivity growth.
So what can business leaders do to keep their team motivated?
Encourage Your Team
Encouragement and praise always work like magic to motivate an employee, so use it to keep everyone going. When an employee completes a task or does something innovative, encourage them both privately and in front of other employees. It works as an excellent incentive for everyone around to put in more effort.
This can also be used for a team’s effort. When a team completes a task or makes an achievement, praise, and acknowledge their efforts. Whenever possible, reward them for it!
This can only come from your ability to relate to the struggles of your employees. Do they think you can understand their struggles and offer solutions?
Understanding has a powerful psychological impact on workers. It erases the gap between employer and employee and puts everyone on the same side of the line. Suddenly, employees start opening up about their struggles because they know you’ll understand.
Take time out to let your employees know that you not only understand their plight; you may also be going through the same. Working from home or in a changing environment is hard on everyone, and if they see that they aren’t the only ones struggling, they’ll find it easy to speak up.
Your team wants to know what you expect from them during this economic downturn. Most times, their tasks will change, particularly if you are trying to do more with less. Understandably, many will have to wear more than one hat.
Just make sure you establish realistic expectations and don’t let too much pressure fall on one particular person or department.
Encourage Work-life Balance
It is vital to stay flexible and allow your employees to take care of personal needs and attend other functions. A team that is burned out is not serving your company at all. A team that has plenty of time for family and rest will come in feeling more motivated, creative, and focused
Promoting work-life balance is a great motivator and creates a strong feeling of support and allegiance among your team.
Create an Inclusive Atmosphere
Another strategy you can use to motivate your employees is creating an inclusive atmosphere where every employee’s voice counts.
Include your employees in meaningful conversations that could improve the workspace. Listen to contributions from them and treat each contribution as important.
Your employees will feel appreciated when you do, and when they do, they feel more invested in their work. Too many employees feel like work machines and not integral parts of the company.
If you adopt a suggestion from an employee, acknowledge and credit the employee who made the suggestion. It’ll motivate them as well as other employees to bring more ideas to the table.
These actions can collectively help increase your teams’ trust in the company and keep them motivated as they try to adjust to difficult and uncertain times.
Tough times don’t last, tough entrepreneurs do!
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