In recent weeks we've discovered that it is possible to do a lot of jobs remotely. The 'working from home' debate has been raging the last few years with some employees believing employees will never be as productive outside the office.
Team managers and business owners are facing a 'new normal' with most of the workforce stuck at home. So, how do you motivate your team during a difficult period? There are numerous factors which contribute to a drop in productivity, including:
- Career stagnation or boredom
- Dissatisfaction with salaries or working hours
- Issues with management
- Heavy workload and unrealistic expectations
- Lack of appreciation or value
With the UK's lockdown in effect, we're also seeing employees struggling with their working from home setup. Your employees may be attempting to do a full day's work while sitting at a makeshift desk, with poor internet speeds and screaming children running amok. So, what can you do to help your employees?
Make them feel valued
This may seem like an obvious one but when you feel valued you're more likely to 'give it your all'. We know that in these difficult times showing your appreciation with monetary bonuses isn't an option but you would be amazed what a quick message of thanks will do. It doesn't take a long time, it's free but it can mean the world to a struggling and stressed employee.
While everyone is trying to do their hardest to keep their lives and careers on track your employees may need to create a new routine. If they are trying to work without any form of childcare you may want to be flexible with their hours. Parents of small children may not be able to do a standard 9-5 working day so let them break up their day or work in the evenings. That way they'll be able to give their work their full attention.
Check-in with video meetings
Some employees may be struggling mentally with the isolation that the lockdown has brought. Schedule a daily or weekly (dependent on time) video call to 'check-in' with your employees. You may find that, for some, this will be their only form of contact with the outside world. Host these meetings in a fun and informal manner, Zoom allows you to change your background so why not play around with it. Give your employees a laugh, you could even schedule a weekly virtual pub and allow them to let off some steam.
Make sure they have the equipment needed
We may expect everyone to have a smartphone. decent computer and high-speed internet but some of your employees may not. If you can, offer to supplement their salary to enable them to upgrade their internet. Allow them to take home their computer and maybe it's time to get that mobile phone allowance set up.
Keep your work 'community' spirit alive
We've all seen the social media challenges that have been circulating during this crisis. Use this within your company. From 5km run challenges to the 'toilet roll toss' you can keep your employees connected and what's more, you'll end up with some fun marketing content.
Find a new project
Keeping your workforce enthused about their work may be a little difficult now if business is slow. In this case, why not give them something new to do, ask them for ideas on what they think could help make business more efficient. There may be a long overdue data job or maybe they'd like to give writing a go? You never know you could discover a hidden talent.
If you have a sales-heavy team then maybe using team gamification software like the free ONEUP Lite could help to keep the competitive fire lit under your sales employees. Although ONEUP specialise in the recruitment industry, research what options are available in your industry.