The world became unrecognizable in early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Long-held bastions of normalcy evaporated overnight. Nearly half the workforce now works from home with no real end in sight. Public schools are still trying to figure out when or if they can safely reopen for in-person education. All of this uncertainty puts a tremendous strain on employees, managers, and business owners that can crush morale. Yet, keeping morale up is essential for long-term survival and success. Here are a few tips to help you keep team morale up in these challenging times.
With economic uncertainty still running rampant, employees will fret about their job security. Will the business survive? Will their jobs survive if the business falters? While you shouldn’t sugarcoat things, you should be open with employees about the present and future of the company.
Let them in on how the business plans to weather the current uncertainties and thrive. Solicit feedback and ideas from them about non-workforce related ways to save or make money. Providing open communication and soliciting feedback helps restore your employees’ sense of control.
When everything gets harder, even wins can feel hollow if they happen in isolation. Take the time to publicize wins. Let everyone share in the sense of accomplishment and talk with each other about the win. Burdens shared are burdens lightened. Wins shared are morale heightened.
Celebrating wins also reinforces the idea that not everything goes wrong all the time. It’s easy for anyone to become cynical when just navigating your day requires a 110% effort. Sharing wins helps take the edge of that cynicism.
Your employees face unprecedented challenges as they must juggle remote-work, full-time childcare, and even caring for sick parents. Whenever possible, give them some flexibility to work asynchronously. After all, your remote workers are far better positioned to know when they can buckle down and get work done.
Adopt a result-first, schedule-second approach. As long as your employees keep meeting deadlines, does it really matter if they put in a few hours during the day and then put in five solid hours between 7 pm and midnight? Again, this gives employees a sense of control and lets them better manage their other responsibilities.
Don’t Let Morale Come Second
With the economy in such an uncertain place, low morale could well be the anchor that drags your business down. Make it a priority. Talk with employees about what you’re planning and ask them for ideas. Celebrate wins. Allow for asynchronous work. All of these things help restore a sense of control and improve overall morale.
Has the pandemic cost you key employees that could help support overall morale? Let Joynus help you find candidates who can lighten that load.