BLOG | 3 MIN READ
5 Ways to Increase Staff Morale during the Covid-19
The unfolding coronavirus crisis is bringing an upheaval across industries, and its heavy ripple effects can be felt in many organisations. In these times of heightening uncertainty and fear, it’s imperative that we remain calm to navigate through the unpredictable challenges that come our way.
Keeping the morale high within our work environments is critical, now more than ever. Worries about personal safety and health are unavoidable and understandable, and yet they can also plague your staff’s minds and productivity levels. Ensuring that your employees feel supported during this pandemic, and quelling their fears are your new critical responsibilities.
Here are 5 ways that you can do so:
1) Communicate frequently
In times of high uncertainty and stress, a lapse in sending frequent updates and communicating with your employees will only serve to add on to their fears and panic.
You need to make sure that a constant communication channel is established in place with your employees. This helps with two things.
Firstly, it ensures that any updates resulting from the coronavirus situation can be transmitted to your employees as quickly and as efficient as possible. This also facilitates any swift actions that needs to be taken, helping to minimise any further disruptions in your employees’ work schedules.
Secondly, it helps to provide more assurance to your employees and let them feel more at ease. Communicating frequently with your employees shows that you are aware of the changing circumstances surrounding the situation and are prepared to face them. Communicating frequently also helps to keep all your employees on the same page regarding the organisation’s approach towards handling the pandemic.
Keep your employees in the loop with how the organisation is managing, and what they can and should be doing.
2) Be accommodating and flexible
With unprecedented circumstances arising from the pandemic, you need to be prepared for alternative measures to accommodate your employees’ needs. This is the time when you have to be flexible about the organisation’s internal operations.
With the contagious nature of the coronavirus, it is recommended to encourage your employees to work-from-home. If this is not possible, you should ensure social distancing methods are still being adopted in your physical working spaces. They can include having a distance of at least a metre apart between personal working desks, and staggering the timings for different departments to be present for work.
Regardless of the methods adopted, ensure that your employees’ health and well-being are prioritised. Be more flexible to accept alternative working styles that your employees can feel safe working in.
3) Strengthen the human element
With all the social distancing measures being set in place, it can start to feel a little lonely and isolated at times for your employees. Put in the effort to retain the human element in your interactions with them. Be personal in your conversations with them. Let them feel and know that even with their work interactions being physically distanced by virtual meeting calls, you are spiritually and mentally with them in this situation together.
Let your employees know that their concerns and voice matter. Take the time to gather feedback from them. Hear them out on how they have been affected by the pandemic. Let them tell you how supportive your organisation’s measures have been in alleviating their worries, or how these measures have not been helpful. Ask them how you can do better.
Being personal in your communication with your employees helps to keep the human element present and strong even in these trying times. Regularly check up on them to find out how they’re doing and managing with the situation, and take this period of time to show appreciation to your employees. Small gifts and tokens can go a long way in encouraging them to continue working hard and hold out this period. These can include giving chocolates, snacks, and even tokens like small decorative plants and terrarium kits.
Not all your online meetings have to be work-related, too. You can consider holding online team building activities for your employees for them to rejuvenate and bond closer with one another. These activities can vary from their nature – is it competitive or just a friendly match? – to the way they are conducted – over a mass group video call, or just over text discussion? —and more, depending on what you’re looking to achieve from your team-building activities. What’s more than motivating your employees by having these activities held virtually in pockets of their break time?
4) Have a system of accountability and a goal system
Working in different environments as a result of the implementation of social distancing measures can be a source of distress and productivity drain for your employees.
To keep your employees’ drive up in being productive and completing their tasks, have in place a system of accountability. Mark out checkpoints to be completed within specified periods of times for different departments, and check with them on their progress in intervals.
You can also outline a goal system to help strengthen the sense of purpose and meaning that your employees feel towards their work. Doing so will keep them motivated and their spirits up in spite of the circumstances.
5) Give hope
Wherever the pandemic situation is headed towards in the near future and whatever inconvenience and distress that it has caused, one thing to remember is that it will not remain permanent.
The end of the pandemic may be unknown to us and it may not be anytime soon, but that does not mean that it will never come.
Remind your employees of this. Give them a reason and hope to believe that pulling it through will be worth it. You can suggest an outing or even a company retreat after the whole situation completely clears to boost your employees’ spirits and morale. Let them believe in the light at the end of the tunnel, and that you will all reach there together.
Businesses around the world are facing an enormous threat as the COVID-19 pandemic has a growing impact on the global economy. While we are progressively shifting our business to focus on digital platforms and getting our employees to work remotely, employers need to be mindful of the wellbeing of their employees as they are the fundamental backbone of every companies’ structures. As we are adapting to the new normal, we should also make use of this time to reflect and strengthen ourselves to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.