The past year and a half have been tough on everyone. Is it any wonder that employees are feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, and demotivated? While you can’t solve all their problems, there are concrete steps you can take to help inspire motivation in your employees. Not every solution will work for every team member, but implementing a few of them can help boost motivation overall.
Things are changing rapidly in the COVID-19 era, from workplace safety recommendations to business processes. Employees need to know what’s happening and how it will affect them. Take advantage of every opportunity to communicate, from a quick email blast after each management meeting to one-on-one conversations with those who will be most affected by the changes. Also, set aside office hours, or at least one time during the week, that any employee can come to you with questions or concerns.
Build Bridges to Senior Management
Many employees are motivated by opportunities to interact directly with senior management. So find ways to facilitate those interactions. Perhaps a senior leader can host an AMA (Ask Me Anything) once a month, or maybe the CEO can start sending out a weekly newsletter. Open channels for employees to send feedback directly to these senior managers and encourage them to reply.
Offer Skill Development Opportunities
No one wants to do the same thing day in and day out forever. To keep your employees motivated and engaged, offer regular opportunities for them to learn new skills. This could take the form of job shadowing, in which an employee follows a senior leader for a day, or an invitation to an executive meeting, or even a cross-training class. Also, develop career pathways that give seasoned employees the chance to advance within the organization.
Micromanaging your employees can make them feel devalued and unmotivated. They want to know that you trust them to make smart decisions and to solve problems. When you assign new projects, provide a detailed description along with boundaries and guardrails, and then let them figure out how best to accomplish each task. Make yourself available for assistance and check in regularly, but resist the urge to keep tabs on them at all times.
Prioritize Employee Recognition
Make sure you’re paying enough attention to employee recognition programs and that you’re using methods that truly make your team members feel valued. Public praise, thank you notes, and small gifts such as a fruit basket or a gift card are excellent ways to recognize employees who don’t cost much. When the team accomplishes a major milestone, order a catered lunch or treat everyone to an offsite team bonding activity.
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