Another week, another lockdown. Indeed, it can be hard to know how to motivate a team who are weary from going in and out of lockdowns when you may be feeling worn out yourself.
Now that vaccines are being rolled out, we’re hopefully on the home stretch to normality. But until then, it’s important that you help your remote employees feel motivated and inspired, so that they can continue to work productively and feel engaged. Here’s how to do it:
How to motivate a team in lockdown
Encourage goal setting
Encourage your teams to set clear and measurable goals so that they have milestones to work towards. No matter how small the goal, the very act of setting targets will help your team members feel focussed and driven to accomplish their task.
Not only that, goal setting helps trigger positive behaviour, improves self-confidence, and sustains momentum to keep on achieving, according to data collated by Forbes.
Make time to listen
As a business leader, a simple yet powerful way to motivate and inspire your team is to just listen. If employee motivation is low, ensuring your staff have a safe space to voice their concerns and be listened to non-judgmentally can do wonders for their morale.
By making time to listen to your staff, you also have the opportunity to provide support, whether that’s to share some working from home tips, encourage a day off, or alleviate pressure by delegating tasks.
Create team building opportunities
A lot has been written about how to create a virtual company culture in our remote working world, and with good reason. Camaraderie plays an important part in how to motivate a team, and is the number one motivating factor in influencing staff to work beyond expectations, according to a survey by TinyPulse. Creating opportunities for team building and bonding is therefore crucial.
Get creative too. Traditional team building activities that require in-person attendance are out of the question right now, so you’ll need to think outside the box in order to boost team motivation from afar. Think virtual escape rooms, “Bake Off” style competitions over video call, and interactive quizzes hosted on your intranet software.
Celebrate successes, however small
Recognising your team members’ achievements and celebrating their successes are vital to employee engagement. Consider the alternative – a company culture where no one says “thank you” or acknowledges a helping hand. It would be a pretty toxic and demoralising place to work, and no one would stick around for long.
However seemingly small the achievement, it’s important to recognise it. Sharing genuine praise and messages of congrats will help raise staff spirits and positively impact motivation levels.
Digital workplace tools like ‘thank you’ widgets and intranet badges give your staff an easy way to hand out virtual high-fives to their coworkers, and social features such as @mentions and ‘likes’ encourage further engagement.
Encourage a healthy work environment
Do your staff work well beyond the 9 to 5? A survey by LogMeIn found that almost a quarter of people work longer hours, and over a third feel pressured to appear “more responsive” on email, to prove they’re pulling their weight when working from home.
This pressure to be available 24/7 makes for an unhealthy work environment, so it’s important that you set clear boundaries and reassure staff that this is unnecessary. Lead by example too, and refrain from sending those emails after hours or on weekends.
Ensure your staff have the optimal home office environment too. Not everyone has the luxury of space, but staff should – at the very least – be provided with an effective workstation that enables them to work productively.
Let staff personalise their learning
Allowing staff to personalise their learning program benefits more than just their career; it helps boost their intrinsic motivation too.
Intrinsic motivation describes the act of doing something purely for enjoyment or because it makes you happy – rather than doing so for external rewards like money – which drives your internal satisfaction and motivation levels.
By giving staff the autonomy to build their own learning and development program, they can choose training courses that pique their interest the most and will drive the most satisfaction.