As the world is coming to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic, people are going through times that the past three generations have never had an experience of – national lockdowns of multiple countries having to be enforced due to a global crisis. This abrupt disruption from the normal does not come without consequences. There have been instances across the world that show that mental ailments are getting aggravated and triggered amongst the ones afflicted by the same. Also, another concern that people have is over the loss of jobs and having to take pay-cuts as business revenues shrink drastically due to the curtailed economic activity. Times are dark, but as a business owner, it is important to ensure that the darkness is the darkness before a new dawn and not the darkness of gloom that it threatens to be. And the key to doing this is to ensure that your workforce stays motivated throughout the lockdown. Here are few measures that you could implement to do the same.
One of the best ways to get employees to stay reassured of their place in the company is when you communicate to them the plans for the future. Companies therefore would do well to conduct town hall meetings with employees to explain to them what the plans for the future are, what is being deliberated upon to work through the crisis situation, and so on. When employees are cognizant of future plans and business goals, they will be able to identify a place for themselves within those plans and goals.
Depending on the company environment, employees are likely to miss out on meeting up with people that they are used to seeing regularly, having conversations, working in collaboration, having meals together, and after-office parties. While the last part might be difficult to have in the near future, individual teams can ensure that they do not miss out on the rest through regularly conducting online Scrum meetings, discussing project pipelines, getting into conference calls to work collectively on different tasks.
While business activity might have inevitably slowed down, this is an excellent opportunity to chalk out up-skilling plans for your employees. By conducting training sessions over the Learning Management System, you could build confidence among employees that they are being considered an asset under development. The assurance of job security will go a long way in ensuring greater commitment to their work, towards acquiring advanced skills, and to the company.
Nothing can be more morale-boosting for employees to be positively appreciated for the results that they have delivered. During team meetings, ensure to highlight such good performances with the rest of the team members. This would ensure that the other team members also feel the push to perform better. Do not cut back on the Employee of the Month awards, or the deserved bonuses (as far as the P&L permits)
Rigidity of work routine and micro-management of work are often common refrains that employees have, which at times brings down their motivation levels. With work from home being an absolute necessity, employers can look to explore granting a relaxation of attendance-hours rules, getting employees to chase performance goals more than clocking hours. Similarly, greater extent of decision-making could be devolved to individual employees, thus enabling them to identify with the company, and develop their managerial intuition.
Everyone’s work location might be far apart due to circumstances, but today, no one is really that far due to the internet. And therefore, you need not miss out on team-building activities. Creating common home work-out regimens, planning cooking competitions among employees, setting personal development goals, hosting different competitions that keep employees intellectually stimulated, and so on could go a long way to helping your employees beat the boredom of the lockdown.
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. And in the current scenario, it is important for companies to help their employees toughen up. By helping employees in building new skills, implementing futuristic plans that could bring about positive transformation of the company’s business model, and by conducting activities that boost team-chemistry, you can ensure that after the crisis ends, your workforce returns to office re-invigorated, re-assured, and resilient.