Gallup research tells us engaged and motivated employees not only feel committed to their roles and organization, they also foster an environment of inclusiveness and initiative in times of need. Amid the current global crisis, leaders will play a key role in influencing employee morale by showcasing their culture, one that recognizes all employee’s contributions and makes them feel valued even during times of great stress.
Here are 5 ways you can relay this message:
1. Be flexible
A crisis tends to wreak havoc on our routines and forces us to remain flexible. It is important to understand the different myriad of both personal and professional disturbances each employee may face during this time. Be sure to listen to concerns which arise and be open to losing some of the procedural firmness of your normal operations. Some days will be more streamlined than others—Stay positive, be flexible and learn together as you go.
2. Encourage breaks
During times of crisis, it is increasingly important to stay on top of our physical, mental and emotional well-being. Encourage employees to take time for themselves away from work to virtually connect with coworkers and friends, enjoy a quick walk outside or engage in a personal hobby. Allowing employees to feel these activities are accepted and encouraged are great ways to help them ease the tension of highly stressful situations. Don’t forget to share any organizational or community resources you have available to further support employees in managing their well-being during this time.
3. Express Appreciation
Acknowledging a job well done can go a long way in building trust between employees and leaders. According to Stephen Covey—American educator, motivational speaker and author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”—trust is the highest form of human motivation and naturally brings out the best in people. During times of significant stress, it is important not to lose sight of acknowledging the hard work of your employees and sharing praises. It creates a ripple effect across your organization and a sense of unity which is most likely much needed.
4. Share Resources
Sharing reliable resources during a crisis can create a sense of normalcy and stability in a time of significant uncertainty. Keep your employees’ needs top of mind as you establish the appropriate procedures and resources to manage their ever-changing requirements during a crisis—whether it be sharing updated contact information, technology upgrades to enable seamless remote work, or a variety of community resources to assist employees both at work and at home. Having a trusted source of information will serve as a crutch during such a tumultuous time.
5. Communicate and create virtual connection opportunities
Social distancing does not need to mean disconnection. It is as important as ever to maintain open, honest and transparent communication across your organization. Let employees be a part of the solution to new problems being faced and leverage them as resources to developing new innovative ways to partner, support each other and get the job done. Encourage employees to maintain a positive attitude and engage with their coworkers in fun light-hearted virtual water cooler chats. Adding a dose of humor and fun is an important way to help everyone feel even more connected as they continue to navigate the waters of the crisis together.
Providing your employees with the physical, mental and emotional support they need can make all the difference in raising employee morale during such turbulent times. For more tips on how to manage remote employees or the business impact of COVID-19 pandemic, refer to our COVID-19 Resources page for more articles.