How to Keep Your Employees Motivated During Challenging Times
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an employer or an employee; everyone can agree that staying motivated and focused during difficult times can be quite challenging, primarily when external, worldly issues affect multiple team members, leading them to feel stressed and overwhelmed.
Rather than turning a blind eye to what’s happening outside of the workplace, organizations should step up and build a positive environment for their employees and managers, helping them feel safe, engaged and motivated.
Toxic or poor workplace cultures tend to be the leading cause of high turnover rates, given that employees feel disengaged. This is a situation that no business wants to face, especially not during troubling times. Organizations must make a few changes to prevent this from happening and keep current employees feeling their best and producing high-quality work, no matter what’s happening outside of the office.
The following suggestions can not only increase employee morale, team connection, and work productivity, but they can also help to keep employees motivated. If you’re looking for ways to improve your team’s motivation, these are key tactics that can help
- Keep Communication Channels Open
One of the most effective ways to keep employees motivated during challenging times is to maintain open communication channels. Businesses should keep their employees informed about any changes or challenges the company faces, within reason, and the steps that are being taken to address these issues.
Though it may seem counterproductive, maintaining open communication helps establish trust and loyalty. It also allows employees to feel like they are part of the solution, which helps keep their motivation levels high.
Open communication should also work both ways. While the business should be transparent, there should also be space for employee communication. If a team member is going through a challenging situation or wants to speak up about a possible internal problem or solution, they should be able to do so.
- Show Appreciation and Recognition
It’s important to recognize and appreciate employees’ efforts during difficult times. This recognition can be shown through verbal recognition, bonuses, or other incentives such as team outings, lunch perks or additional vacation time.
During troubling times, employees tend to feel burnt out or overwhelmed more frequently. These small but effective tactics will not only help your team feel appreciated, but they will also keep them motivated, energized, and productive.
- Provide Opportunities for Growth and Learning
Providing employees with opportunities for growth and learning can be a great way to keep your team motivated and engaged. As many have experienced, feeling stagnant in a position or career is exhausting and severely hinders our productivity and overall performance.
On the contrary, employees who feel they are developing or learning new skills or are advancing in their careers are more likely to be engaged and motivated. Businesses can provide training programs or access to online conferences and webinars, mentorship opportunities, or other professional development opportunities to help their employees grow and develop.
This is especially important during times of layoffs within organizations. For the employees who are left to help handle the transition and workload, it’s essential to make them understand and feel that this change in direction is positive, especially for their career growth.
- Create a Positive Work Environment
Work environments can significantly affect and impact employee morale, motivation and overall well-being. During troubling times, no employee will feel motivated to take on extra work, stay late, or see through their roles and responsibilities if the workplace culture is toxic.
Instead, by cultivating a positive work environment, employees will feel supported, appreciated and valued, which will help them feel more motivated to work together and get the job done well. Some ways an organization can create a positive work environment include getting the team together for events or casual outings outside of the office, promoting diversity, creating strong lines of communication, providing room for growth, and recognizing achievements for all.
- Encourage Collaboration and Teamwork
Employees who feel part of a team working towards a common goal are more likely to be engaged and motivated. Businesses can promote teamwork by organizing team-building activities, creating cross-functional teams, or providing opportunities for employees to work on projects together.
Teamwork can also be established through out-of-office activities that aim to increase collaboration. A great example of this could be an office sports team. These activities are entertaining and simultaneously increase motivation within the workplace and team morale.
Keeping employees motivated during difficult times can be challenging, especially when external issues catch their attention or make them feel burnt out or depleted. However, by focusing on your workplace culture and using these tactics to create a positive and safe workplace environment, you can help your employees feel more motivated. This will increase productivity, job satisfaction, overall culture and performance of your team, which can contribute to the business’s long-term success now and in the future.