How to Keep Your Team Motivated in the Age of Covid
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean
March marks one year since the U.S. first entered coronavirus-related lockdowns. While we’ve made great strides in overcoming the worst of the pandemic and have slowly started to return to pre-pandemic routines, remote working will be the norm for many employees for a bit longer. The long-term effects of working from home — without the daily interaction of colleagues and managers — can leave any employee feeling detached and unmotivated.
Motivation levels within the workplace have a direct impact on employee productivity. Workers who are motivated are committed and excited about their jobs, and therefore, are likely to make positive contributions to their organization.
To continue to foster ongoing engagement, consider these tips to maintain your team’s motivation and to create an environment where they feel like they’re an integral part of the team:
“When people talk listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
During this time of social distancing, connecting with your employees is essential. Through regular communication, you can assess how your employees are doing and whether they’re facing any roadblocks. There are many digital solutions available to facilitate your online collaboration efforts. Choose tools that are user-friendly and easily adaptable throughout the organization.
Consistently connecting with your team every week — whether it’s via Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Meet, Skype, or other video conferencing software — allows them the opportunity to ask questions, share feedback, and strategize next steps.
It’s also important to communicate to your team that you’re available for one-to-one video conferencing or phone calls to discuss productivity issues or concerns in a confidential setting.
Encourage Feedback and Suggestions
“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.” – Henry David Thoreau, American writer
A critical component to motivating employees is making them feel that they’re heard. Soliciting feedback demonstrates your willingness to listen. With the help of various online survey tools available, you can create your own questionnaire to gauge the motivation levels in your remote team. Ask questions that encourage them to answer what’s working out for them in their current setting and what they wish they could change.
This will help you gain an understanding of what might be needed most urgently in your organization in order to motivate your employees.
Build a Culture of Appreciation
“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” – William James, American philosopher
A reported 64 percent of employees feel that recognition and appreciation is more important while working remotely. When employees are recognized for their work, they feel a sense of accomplishment that makes them feel engaged and motivates them to do their best. This not only increases work effectiveness, it also increases engagement and employees’ overall well-being. Call out remote workers’ big wins, and empower the rest of the team to do the same.
Video Conference Social Events
Social interaction is critical for physical and mental health.
Loneliness is the top reason why so many who are currently working remotely want to return to an in-person setting after COVID-19 restrictions are fully lifted. Many miss the face-to-face social interactions and bonding time with their co-workers. Thanks to technology, you can help your employees stay connected to help diminish feelings of isolation. From hosting virtual team lunches and game nights to celebrating work anniversaries and birthdays, you can boost morale by giving your employees opportunities to motivate and interact with one another.
Good Leadership Skills Are Integral to the Success of Your Workplace
Employee motivation plays a key role in the success of any workplace setting. Yet, as employees and teams continue to work from home, keeping them motivated is more important than ever. Driven team members work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. As a result, they’ll want to take an active role in helping move the organization forward. You can learn about other struggles new leaders often face here.
If you’re trying to better understand what drives employee motivation, contact Copperbox. We’re an Austin-based leadership advisory and development firm focused on accelerating leadership wisdom for today and building leader capability for tomorrow.
Wayland K. Lum is the Founder and Managing Director of Copperbox. You can learn about Wayland’s work with leaders at www.copperbox.co, and connect with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.