Four Tips to Retaining & Sustaining Your Team’s Motivation During COVID-19

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It’s no surprise the novel COVID-19 pandemic is upending the lives of employees who are struggling to focus and stay engaged at work as fears of becoming unemployed or ill loom. As partners grapple with staff changes, juggling client and colleagues’ expectations and adjusting to a new work environment, now more than ever, they’ll need to step in and navigate the new reality of the workplace during this crisis in order to maintain their employees’ morale. Here are a few ways to keep your team motivated and engaged during these unprecedented times:

  1. Celebrate the big and small wins: No small effort goes unnoticed. Try celebrating small wins, such as a successful call with a potential client, a project being finalized ahead of schedule, or brainstorming a creative idea that piques the client’s interest. Notify other team members as well so everyone can share in the celebration. The big wins almost always receive recognition but getting into the habit of showing appreciation for the small victories will keep staff optimistic and productive.
  1. Proactively assist with other projects: Being buried in projects makes employees feel overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. If you notice an assignment is taking them longer than usual, offer to support certain elements of the project or provide suggestions on how to streamline the process. Another helpful solution is extending deadlines and pulling in other team members that can contribute in a meaningful way. This not only fosters a sense of collaboration, but it creates a healthy manager-employee relationship that survives trying times.
  1. Conduct regular check-ins: With the simple touch of a button, you can connect with people in an instant via FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype. By scheduling and consistently checking-in with your colleagues every week, you allow them the opportunity to voice their concerns and strategize next steps without back and forth emails and text. It also allocates time for human interactions and closeness to help diminish feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  1. Laughter is the best medicine: Who says work must be boring? If you see an article that relates to your industry and it has an interesting or humorous angle, share it. Laughter is the best medicine in hard times and can serve as a stress reliever. Every time you come across something positive, routinely send it around as a “thought you might like this!” to solicit a laugh or two.

Every day presents new opportunities and new challenges. While there’s no clear answer as to when things will return to normal, here’s one thing employers should never forget: a community-driven experience always enables individuals to go the extra mile.

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