The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a massive change in the lives of people across the globe. With social distancing becoming the new norm of society, companies worldwide have made drastic changes in their work policies. Since this pandemic seems to be never-ending, businesses are now facing the challenge of keeping their distressed employees motivated. This article aims to explain some practical ways in which a company can keep its employees motivated during the present times.
Why are employees feeling demotivated?
The pandemic has impacted everyone in more ways than one. Employees working across all sectors are feeling the pinch too. Work from home is the new normal that many of them have accepted. However, they feel insecure about their careers due to the immense professional uncertainty in the corporate world. Working remotely from their homes is making them feel anxious and demotivated. As an employer, you must take suitable and timely actions to address this issue.
Employee motivation techniques
While most of your employees are working from home, you can adopt the following strategies to keep them motivated:
- Keep the doors of communication open and transparent: Effective communication is the key to employee engagement during these unprecedented times. With the advancement in technology, a plethora of communication tools is available to us. Use these tools to get in touch with them frequently. Have daily review calls, work discussions, weekly team meetings, or one-on-ones through phone calls, video calls, text messages, and emails to stay connected to your workforce.
Keep communication open and gauge their mental state and understand their viewpoints on the prevalent times. Motivate them to approach you in case they face any roadblocks. Furthermore, communicate transparently about strategic company matters like the company’s performance, strategic plans for the future, changes in employee-related policies, etc. Being transparent and honest with your employees will help alleviate their insecurities and stress levels. It will also restore their confidence and faith in the company and increase their motivation levels.
- Introduce flexible work policies: Your employees are getting accustomed to the new system of working. Introduce flexible work policies with flexible shifts to give them room to adjust to their home environment (remember they are at home and maybe taking care of their babies or managing other household work). Give them extensions in deadlines to reduce their work pressure. Your employees will feel motivated to work in a flexible work set-up.
- Encourage teamwork and team activities: Employees may be feeling alone and dissociated while working from home. Get them to work together as a team to solve problems and execute planned tasks. Host virtual team meetings and give them a platform to interact with each other. Periodic virtual social events such as team lunches and celebrations (birthdays, work anniversaries and/or promotions) will also boost their morale and keep them motivated.
- Show that you care: Employees may be facing psychological and emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak. A caring and empathetic support system is all they need from their employers. Show that you care for their physical and mental well-being. If feasible, assign a dedicated team to resolve their concerns and queries related to the coronavirus, new company policies, online tools, etc. Offer them a choice to continue working from home or come back to the office to work. Assure them that accurate safety measures (hand sanitizers, temperature checks, maintaining space between desks, sanitization of work areas, etc.) are in place at the office. These caring gestures will boost their morale and give them a sense of belonging.
- Recognize their work: Lastly, appreciate the work that your employees are doing for your company. Recognize their hard work, send appreciation emails, praise their efforts in team meetings, or reward them with gift cards or lunch coupons. Reassure them that their role is vital and the company values their contribution. A ‘pat on the back’ from the seniors will increase their motivation and loyalty to the company.
In a nutshell
Employee motivation levels are low in these unprecedented times. Companies must follow employee-centric techniques to boost the morale of their employees and earn their trust. They should devise methods to help them adjust to the new reality and focus on their mental well-being to keep them motivated.