Due to the government’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, there has been an increase in the number of employees working from home. This has also resulted in the slowdown of trade, and many employers have been forced to let go of staff.
The change in routine and high level of uncertainty may cause employees to feel overwhelmed. They could find it difficult to keep morale high and therefore run the risk of underperforming in their role. As a manager, your job is to manage the level of uncertainty and boost morale in your team.
We have put together a few tips on how employers and team managers can boost team morale during times of uncertainty.
It is essential that employers keep in regular communication with their employees. During a time of uncertainty, employees can feel concerned about the stability of their role and the company as a whole. It is therefore important to offer as much reassurance where possible.
Usually, e-mail communication is a great way to interact with your team, however, during stressful times, it has been found that video calls can be more reassuring. Video calls allow you to keep everyone updated, whilst maintaining face to face interaction. By scheduling regular calls, you can uphold a high level of team engagement and interaction.
Set Clear KPIs and Targets
Ensure everyone knows what is expected of them and what they need to achieve to do a good job. Often the best process here is to discuss with the teams or individuals what they consider to be fair KPIs – let them set them for themselves. Then review in the regular communications and praise for a job well done when they’ve done them. The feeling of achievement is a key job satisfaction for most people.
Focus on Success
Employers should ensure that they acknowledge and celebrate all members of the team. No matter how big or small, highlight those who make positive contributions or go above and beyond for the team.
By recognising success, this can reassure employees that their work is still being valued which will boost their overall morale. We suggest that you hold a weekly video call, sharing success stories and highlighting those who have made any type of positive contribution to the business.
Include Employees in Decisions
While you are not physically around your team, the choices you make will still affect them. It is important to show them that they are valued by involving them in operational discussions. Before concluding decisions that could potentially affect the team or the company, it is good practice to gain feedback and suggestions from them.
This could be done through group chats or video calls. Set tasks for your team and ask them to present their ideas on a later date. This will give you the opportunity to gain new insights, whilst reassuring your employees that you appreciate their opinions.
Prioritise Health and Wellbeing
It is your responsibility to ensure that the physical and mental wellbeing of your employees is a priority. In this current environment, you have the added responsibility of ensuring that your employees are comfortable working from home. This means, preparing them with the necessary equipment needed to be productive and relaxed.
It is important to remember that your employees could be working in a lonely and isolated setting. We recommend that you create an open and honest environment by staying as involved as possible and making yourself available during the day. You may want to have regular check-ins with your team to find out how they are coping, whether it be work-related or not.
Be Flexible and Understanding
We are all in an unfamiliar situation, so it is imperative that your team know that you are aware of the difficulties and that you understand. This can be demonstrated by taking a flexible approach to home working.
An example of this is allowing some flexibility to their normal working hours. Within reason, we suggest that you allow your team to adjust their hours to best suit their current situation. By doing this, you will increase productivity and overall wellbeing. Also, be realistic on the KPIs for the team. We could be at home for weeks. Don’t demoralise your team in week 2 for not hitting a KPI when they’ve got another potential 10 weeks of it.