"Now is the time for us to look after the people who work for us. When a company steps up at a time like this, it builds loyalty, commitment, and long-lasting teams".
Around the world WFH (work from home) has become the new normal. This changes everything. Most businesses today are employing a mixed model:
1. All staff working remotely
2. All staff working at home
3. A combination of A and B.
This brings new huge new challenges in managing a team, motivating then, engaging them, keeping them focused and feeling a part of something bigger than the four walls of their home-study. It’s not just a matter of “just a different physical place to work from”.
How you handle these troubling times will define your business for many years to come. In the absence of recognition tools such as physical events and appreciation weeks, recognizing employees in a remote workforce can leave managers stuck.
The good news is that with a bit of creativity and an understanding of what drives employee experience, managers can translate recognition culture to the virtual workplace. Top companies that are employers of choice have transcended outdated and traditional employee engagement theory. It is all about employee experience today.
Once your team see that their wellbeing comes first – or at the very least is a concern for management, this will also keep your staff motivation levels high.
If your team are still on-site the task is easier - ensure that safety is a priority and always make sure that your team are sticking to the social distancing guidelines. This will help with staff motivation as your team will see you care about their health, and will be encouraged to continue doing their job both well and safely.
It’s CRITICAL to firstly acknowledge that working from home is likely to reduce motivation. But some teams rise above the rest in times of turmoil, regardless of the challenges. They win market share. They earn life-long customer love. They keep their productivity high, or higher. In other words, they adapt.
Harvard Busines Reiview found that, in measuring motivation, those working remotely were less motivated, but those who had no choice were least motivated of all
They also identified three positive motivators that often lead to increased work performance which they believe are in danger of disappearing in easy-to-miss ways during the current situation. Play, the motive that most boosts performance, could decrease if it continues to becomes harder for people to get things done from home. For example, people may miss the joy of problem-solving with a colleague, or the ease of making a decision when everyone is in one room. Purpose could also decline with team’s decreasing visibility into their impact on clients or colleagues, especially if no one is there to remind them. Lastly, potential could decline if people can’t gain access to colleagues that teach and develop them. If you want your teams to be engaged in their work, you have to make their work engaging.
The most powerful way to do this is to give people the opportunity to experiment and solve problems that really matter. These problems won’t be the same for every team or organization. They may not even be easy to identify at first. Employees will need your help to do this. Ask them: Where can we deliver amazing service to our customers? What’s broken that our team can fix? What will drive growth even in a time of fear? Why are these problems critical, valuable, and interesting? Good managers are finding ways to make sure every single person on their teams feels like they have a challenge that they can help solve. In your own cases, this challenge can range from something as small as how to better greet customers or accommodate new schedules to something as big as moving your previously in-person business online.
If business leaders don’t move to change this, shifts in people’s motivation will ultimately lead to a decline in adaptability, quality, and creativity just at the time when the post-coronavirus recovery will require productivity growth
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
A heartfelt message to your employees, the heroes you depend on every day, can go a long way.. “Thank you for your hard work. This past year has brought many challenges and you have risen above them all. You are a valuable member of the team and we appreciate your efforts – it hasn’t gone unnoticed!”
CONCLUSION: The lockdown provided us with a reality check about the importance of people in and outside organisations. You now need your employees more than ever before to turn the organisation around. Your people are not only your most important resource, people ARE your business. Keep them motivated by providing for their needs with a comprehensive employee experience strategy as part of your overall business strategy. We now need to transform ourselves into creating a new workplace, and a new people-centred way of doing business.
Thoughtful gestures remind us that we’re not forgotten and are ultimately part of a wider team that’s working towards the same goal, even if we might be physically apart.
The future might be uncertain but keeping employees engaged and motivated through a good internal communications strategy will ensure that you and your workforce emerge from this pandemic stronger together.
Here's how we at Health Island can help: Health Island personalised healthy snack boxes are a great tool in your appreciation arsenal. Consider them for :
- team rewards on completion of projects,
- virtual events as well, or in bulk for "live" events,
- end of year gifts for clients and staff,
- 1 year anniversary gift for new hires in your company.
Every client we have serviced has responded with amazing feedback on the impact on staff morale, appreciation and connection!