As we move in and out of multiple lockdowns, team motivation is suffering.
People’s energies are being stretched to their limits, with many team members having to adapt their work environment to accommodate homeschooling or caring responsibilities, whilst others contend with poor mental health, loneliness, and increased anxiety. In some cases, people are having to juggle a combination of all of the above.
Helping staff feel motivated in the face of adversity is – unsurprisingly – a priority for senior managers right now. A recent survey by Harvard Business School asked 600 CEOs what was keeping them awake at night, and keeping team motivation and morale high during the stresses of Covid-19 came out on top. Business leaders are worried about how best to support their staff at work whilst they navigate the additional complexities brought about by the global crisis.
Usually, as a business leader, you would motivate your employees by ramping up face-to-face interactions and check-ins, as well as championing team bonding and company culture initiatives. But as everyone continues to work from home 100% of the time, how do you motivate and inspire your team from afar and via a screen?
A simple yet powerful way to improve team motivation levels is to build a recognition program, and this can be done as effectively online as it can in-person. Organisations with defined recognition programs have seen a 14% increase in employee engagement, 31% reduction in turnover, and savings of $500,000, according to data collated by Business2Community.
Genuine praise also helps 55% of staff feel cared for and valued at work, and 69% would work harder if they felt their efforts were appreciated. Recognition is clearly a compelling motivator.
Even better is recognition amongst peers. A survey of over 200,000 employees by TinyPulse found that peers are the best motivator for staff to work hard and go the extra mile. And the happier and more valued staff felt, the more likely they were to give praise to others, creating a positive and self fulfilling cycle of organic peer recognition.
Interestingly, in the same survey 44% of staff reported that they were ready and willing to regularly praise their coworkers if only they had the tools to do so. It’s therefore crucial that you provide staff with the right employee recognition tools, so that they have the means to easily share kudos.
Here are some more tips on how to motivate a team with a peer recognition program:
Provide the right tools
Make employee recognition tools easily available to your teams. Adding a thank you widget to your intranet homepage will allow staff to easily post a quick message of appreciation, and having it displayed publicly – rather than hidden away – will encourage people to use it.
Digital rewards like intranet badges enable employees to create custom badges and award them to their coworkers, which appear on their intranet profile like virtual trophy cabinets.
Intranet ‘thank you’ widgets and badges make peer recognition easy
Highly customisable features like this make peer recognition even more personal, and staff will have fun creating intranet badges that are meaningful and personalised to the recipient.
Encourage peer recognition, but don’t force it
Staff will be sceptical of any initiative that feels forced, and insisting that people share recognition will only have the opposite effect. Peer recognition is one example of an initiative where you shouldn’t set clear and measurable goals; rather, it should happen organically, spontaneously, and genuinely. Focus instead on encouraging your employees to share appreciation for one another, and make sure they can easily access the tools that enable them to do so – but leave the goal setting for another occasion.
Analyse the results of your recognition program
Whilst you shouldn’t make recognition a mandatory or box-ticking exercise, that doesn’t mean you should forego the opportunity to analyse the data it produces. Spend time looking at the type of praise your staff are receiving; does it align with your company values, vision, and mission? Your intranet’s employee recognition tools will give you valuable insights into which areas of your business are hitting the right notes and which need improvement.
Sharing the results of your analysis on your intranet news channels will provide ultimate transparency and clarity, and give team motivation an extra boost.