During this time of self-isolation, no doubt you and your team are working, or attempting to, productively work from home. For some people, this might be an ideal situation for them to buckle down and power through. For others, the distractions of family, the uncertainty of the world’s current situation, or the lack of accountability might lead to difficulty focusing and being productive.
How can you motivate your staff to keep moving forward until we can get back to the office?
1. Be understanding and empathetic
Keep an “open-door” policy to encourage staff members to talk with you about their struggles. Be empathetic toward the desire to spend more time with family or take a much-needed break during this period of isolation. Sometimes a good listening ear is all someone needs to get back on track.
2. Plan fun for the future
Give them something to look forward to once the pandemic has passed. Plan a fun company or team events that employees can look forward to. Rather than scheduling them on the weekend when they want to spend time with family or friends, plan these occasions during a workday afternoon. If possible, include families and significant others for at least one event.
3. Offer flex time if possible
How important is it to the success of your business that your employees work from 9 to 5? A little flexibility in the workday can boost morale and motivate workers to perform better throughout times of uncertainty. Set reasonable parameters for flex time and give it a trial run. It may end up working out so well that you decide to incorporate it throughout the year.
4. Reward and acknowledge accomplishments
Give employees something to strive for by setting up an online rewards and recognition ceremony. This fulfills the need for quick gratification and can be the boost your team needs to push through the added stress these times have brought. Include certificates, and small to large tangible items as part of the recognition and reward.
5. Work as a team virtually
If you haven’t already, invest in a platform like Microsoft Teams. A virtual office where you can hop into chat rooms, share documents, video conference, and collaborate in real time will be crucial for those team members who thrive when engaged in group work and rely on social connections to stay motivated.