How to motivate your team and keep spirits high during a stressful time
With a high level of external stress being echoed around the world with the pandemic, it is becoming evident this distress is beginning to take its toll on workplaces.
Snap lockdowns, lowered revenues, uncertainty and fear of what’s to come could explain rising stress levels in your staff currently.
Even if your workplace hasn’t been affected by lockdowns and disruption, the likelihood of your staff being impacted is still great — through family members, spouses and friends copping the brunt of the changes.
During this time, your team may be feeling flat, disengaged, distracted or plagued by escalating mental health issues. You may have noticed even your top performers may have lost their spark and spring in their step.
As a leader, what can you do to keep your team spritely and engaged during this time? Here are my top three tips that are easy to implement, yet have lasting impacts.
1. Lead by example
As a business owner, how you show up is where your team can meet you.
It’s important to be authentic in how you feel and how the business is going, especially if you’ve been hit hard by the impacts of COVID, however how you lead during times of adversity, will directly correlate to how confident and equipped your team members will feel to drive objectives forward and remain positive.
Remember, your team will be a direct reflection of your level of enthusiasm, confidence and direction.
2. “Can I get you a coffee?”
Some days take a lot of grit, fortitude, resilience, and let’s be honest… lots of coffee.
Symbolically speaking, it’s not just the caffeine that fuels us, but the intention behind the action. A gesture of support, feeling valued and cared for can have a resounding impact, even through the smallest of actions.
What small actions can you take that show you care, you are in their corner and you’re a team? Take your team out to lunch to have an informal check-in and catch up, and look for opportunities to make small gestures that show you care.
3. Daily check-ins and positive affirmation huddles
Many teams are currently working from home, alongside many businesses trialling hybrid styles of working (part-time in the office, part-time from home).
Although anecdotally I’ve heard of this being highly successful and productive for some businesses, it has also challenged many when it comes to engagement and motivation.
If your team’s working remotely, arrange a regular time each day to catch up online as a group and check in with one another.
It’s not just the context and circumstance of this catch-up you need to consider, but the content of this conversation.
Keep it positive, with opportunities for your team members to share personal highlights of the day, gratitude practices, wins or milestones, and also provide opportunities to have an open conversation about how they’re feeling mentally, or to unpack any challenges or roadblocks they may be experiencing.
In conclusion, pool and table tennis tables are great, but the real key to motivating people when they feel flat or disengages is to ensure they:
● Are clear on what they need to do (they know what success looks like for their role), and that they have the skills, capabilities and tools to carry out what is expected of them;
● Understand where the company is heading and the role they play in the vision;
● Feel safe and comfortable in their environment – this also includes their wellbeing;
● Work with people who make them feel challenged in a good way – i.e. provide them with learning opportunities and show genuine care about their development;
● Celebrate small milestones, gratitude and recognition as well as the big wins;
● Feel empathy and flexibility around personal and family circumstances; and
● They feel like they really belong and are a valued member of the team.