The worldwide lockdowns have affected not only our social lives but our career routines as well. As employers, we need to catch up on the shifting trends and adapt to the current edgier environment. Employees are missing everyday in-person discussions and brainstorming sessions. They feel trapped within the limited space of their home. The monotony and isolation are taking a toll on work performance and motivation. Employers are pressed by the daunting question: “How can we enhance employee engagement and motivate and inspire staff in times of the pandemic?”
The answer is easy: you’ve got to do the work:
Feel the Obligation to Put a Smile on Their Face
You want your team to satisfy your clients – that’s impossible if your employees are feeling frustrated and down. As a good employer, you need to prioritize enhancing your staff’s mood and they will pay it forward when needed. However, the magic starts with finding the way to motivate your employees first.
So when you make it a habit to put a smile on your employee’s face you are actually investing in your team’s inspiration, increased motivation, work satisfaction, and overall performance. This will result in improved customer service and, respectfully, in increased ROI.
The pandemic is adding another layer of tension to all of our lives. Many are loaded with feelings of confusion, sadness, and depression. You could help your staff fight off such negative emotions by following a few simple tips:
Small gestures are always a good way to show that you care. You most probably dedicate time to drafting the company newsletter on a monthly basis, right? Don’t you think you should do the same for your team members as well? You’ll surely have a 100 percent open rate on this one, so it’s worthy of a try to convey a positive message. Spice your e-mail up with a sense of humor, at the same time, and be honest, down-to-earth, and straightforward.
Occasional gifts could be a nice gesture as well: coffee samples of distinct flavor or a fine selection of tea; maybe you could go a step further and send them a batch of scented candles or even chocolate. Sending out branded cups, hoodies, glass bottles, and other seasonal merchandise like umbrellas and frisbees is also a good idea.
You could also think of rewarding your staff from time to time: a surprise in the paycheck would always be received well, as long as you don’t make a habit of it. If you do you risk facing much frustration in the months when this monetary stimulus is missing.
Help Them Work towards Self-Actualization
Many of us are striving to improve themselves, whether by taking a language course, completing an industry training of sorts, attending a conference or seminars – we are curious creature, we feel the urge to explore the world around us and to become a better version of ourselves.
If you as an employer recognize this common human trait and facilitate your employees in their search for knowledge, most certainly they would be grateful and that will show in their work performance. Show them that you appreciate their inquisitiveness and you’ll not stand on their way, but would rather offer them the tools to embark on their path towards self-actualization.
Now is the time to do it anyway – with worldwide lockdowns people are having more time at their disposal that could use for a good cause, would you deny them the opportunity?
Remember that it is much more cost-efficient to build a talent in-house than to seek it outside the company.
Not every employee will have the enquiring mind, but for those who do – make sure you acknowledge their thirst for knowledge and present them with the opportunity to grow more experienced and to broaden their set of skills. Either hold a company training or provide your employees with free time and resources (if needed) to sign up for online training courses or to start up a self-education program.
Acknowledge Their Worth
Even if you are struggling to treat equally each member of your team, you should not overlook the importance of acknowledging the personal achievements or contributions of your employees. There is hardly a stronger motivator in any working environment than being appreciated and respected within your field of expertise.
And while a business community might not be restrained to the company team per se, the bond between your company and your employees would strengthen up if you show your appreciation to your employees’ dedication, active involvement, and hard work.
With social interactions being minimized in times of Covid threat, many are limiting their daily communication to work-related online meetings and family interactions.
People are missing the freedom they once had in their everyday social interactions, so it is important that the ones they actually have today are positive and rewarding.
A fine way to approach this is by offering relevant feedback to your employees on a daily basis. This will make them feel you are by their side. Making them feel that they’ve been heard and taken into account is the one thing that will make your employees satisfied and will create a sense of belonging to a tight-knit community.
By following this particular tip you’d be able to indirectly encourage persistent outstanding performance and that’s something that will strongly influence your bottom line in the long run.
Optimize Your Internal Communication Strategy
As already mentioned above, staying in touch with your employee’s aspirations and offering them feedback on the accomplished tasks on a regular basis is essential towards motivating them.
With Covid, most of us have adopted a remote working routine. Employers are often tempted to schedule more internal meetings in order to be certain that their employees’ morale does not suffer. Truth to be told this could have quite the adversary effect. In order to avoid that you’d better keep the meetings concise and following a preliminarily set plan. Avoid the fluff, stick to the point – thus both you and your employees will have spare time to invest in actual clients’ and/or projects’ work.
Take a Break and Play a Game
The psychological tension that a worldwide pandemic causes to us all is not something we should ignore. Stress is the one factor that can eventually break everyone. As a responsible employer, you should try to add a playful touch to your internal interactions. Organizing a company chat where you could dedicate an hour or so to playing a fun game is a good way to reinvent the company teambuilding activities.
With conferences, seminars, and sales meetings moving online, why not have a virtual teambuilding event? Think of having a Happy Hour every Friday, or have a virtual lunch on Wednesdays. Doing craft projects or steps competition is another good way to incorporate a game in your daily interactions with your employees. Take it a step further and watch movies together, discussing the screenplay in a real-life chat. Or cook together – that would be really fun, especially if your team members are not that master chefs. Trivia games, solving murder mysteries, or organizing a quiz are a few other ideas you could test out.
Remember your employee’s motivation is what gets everything going for your business, so make sure you nurture it accordingly.