3 Tips to Motivate Employees in the Work From Home (WFH) Economy

3 Tips To Motivate Employees

A great way to maintain morale to ease the fear, anxiety, and stress employees are feeling.

In a matter of weeks, the state of the Nigerian workforce has radically changed. No industry, organization, team, or individual is immune to new challenges the Covid-19 outbreak has brought about.

In-person meetings are out-of-the-question for the foreseeable future. Many organizations have hastily transitioned to fully remote workforces. Conferences like our annual African Emotional Intelligence Conference (AEIC 2020) are canceled, stores and restaurants closed.

The Emotional State of the Workplace

An employee engagement measurement software firm, recently surveyed 1,000 employees and found that more than half (57.7%) report their emotional state as fearful, anxious and/or stressed.

Many leaders are facing new difficulties as they adapt. Survey found that “keeping employees motivated” and “maintaining employee morale” are among managers’ top challenges in light of COVID-19.

 “The way leaders act right now will either erode their team’s trust to record-lows or build it to new highs,” – Emplify CEO Santiago Jaramillo 

“How we lead today is how we will be remembered years from now.”

While the challenges facing managers are very real, this season of uncertainty also presents leaders with an opportunity to strengthen their teams.

What can managers do to motivate employees and maintain morale in this time of anxiety and uncertainty? Here are three steps that can help.

1. Be as communicative as possible.

Now is not the time to pretend things are “business as usual.” In times of uncertainty, employees need to know you have their backs and are in tune with the realities everyone is facing. Along with weekly team meetings and one-on-one’s, managers should consider implementing a daily cadence of communication to keep a pulse on how people are faring. Prioritizing positive feedback and being intentional about celebrating team “wins” — big or small — can have an outsized impact on morale. 

2. Encourage employees to establish a routine that works for them.

Survey found that “disruption to my routine” is the second most challenging issue employees are facing today, right behind “financial uncertainty.”

Be flexible as employees work around new distractions and schedule changes. Avoid canceling or rescheduling calls to maintain stability. Encourage employees to stick to working within work hours to avoid burnout, if they can. Be communicative about taking breaks and time to rest and recharge. Consider asking employees to take 30-60 minutes to do something they love every day (cooking, a favorite type of exercise, playing with pets, going for a walk outside), and then have everyone share with the group either on Whatsapp or Other medium. 

3. Create a (virtual) safe space for two-way feedback.

More than 60% of managers are only “slightly” or “moderately” confident in their understanding of how employees are handling the coronavirus outbreak.

While anxieties are running high, the well-being of your employees should take precedence over deadlines and results. Managers can use a color system — green to red — to gauge how their direct reports are doing professionally and personally. However, some employees may not feel comfortable going into detail about their emotional state. Along with regular check-ins, consider surveying your employees so they can respond to sensitive questions anonymously. Additionally, let employees know that you welcome feedback on how you can improve as well. 

Your employees are your organization’s greatest competitive advantage, now more than ever. By being communicative, flexible and inviting feedback, you can lead your team through this time of uncertainty with clarity and confidence.

Authored by MARCEL SCHWANTES and Edited by TESLIM FOLORUNSHO

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