It can be hard to always stay positive, especially when it seems like there’s so much bad news going on at the moment.
Between COVID-19, isolation, economic recession, and general uncertainty, it’s little wonder that employee morale is down across the board, even in industries that haven’t been hit as hard by the pandemic.
Sure, you may be lucky enough to not have to worry about having to cut hours or cancel contracts, but in truth, your staff may not be able to help feeling just a little bit down – a feeling that’s completely understandable given the circumstances.
While we may be an employment recruitment agency first and foremost, we also understand that finding the right candidate is only the beginning.
You’ll also need to keep them motivated and in good spirits – something that’s proving hard at the moment.
Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do to keep morale high… even during these tough times.
1) Ensure you keep up with communications
Work isn’t just about getting things done – for a lot of people (especially the more extroverted members of your team), it’s also a way to collaborate and bond with others.
The problem is that when setting up their work from home systems, a lot of businesses only focused on finding ways to keep business processes running remotely.
A lot of them completely overlooked finding solutions that would allow their team members to stay in touch.
While it’s no substitute for face-to-face interactions or office culture, modern technology does allow businesses to cover some of the social elements of work.
It’s not quite the same, but at least it’s an option – one that can help your team members stay in touch and keep spirits high.
Instead of doing all your communication over the phone, email or instant messaging, try to use teleconferencing as much as possible – it’s the closet you’ll get to face-to-face while maintaining your distance.
2) Give them something worth celebrating
It’s no secret that there isn’t much worth celebrating at the moment, with many businesses having to cut back in order to stay afloat.
That’s why it’s so important to give your team something to celebrate – even the small wins.
Let everyone know about your successes – this assures your team that there are still opportunities to be enjoyed, and that work is still coming in to keep their schedules filled up.
It isn’t just your wins, either – it’s even more important nowadays to recognise your employees’ successes as well.
Not only does this give the person you’re recognising a morale boost, but it can also foster a sense of togetherness that can be sorely lacking when working remotely.
3) Make sure everyone’s up-to-speed
A little bit of certainty in these trying times can go a long way towards improving morale.
While some of it is anxiety about the bigger picture, many are also worried about things in the short and medium term, such as whether or not your business is still turning over enough money to keep them in a job.
You don’t have to sit them down with your profit-loss statement and walk them through everything. At the same time however, you can’t just keep them in the dark or lie to them!
Giving your team a general (and honest) idea of how your business is doing behind the scenes and telling them what you have cooking can help give staff reassurance.
And importantly, they’ll respect you for it.
4) Don’t force them to come in if they don’t want to
While most office positions can be performed remotely, there are some positions that may require members of your team to come into the office.
The thing is, some of your staff may not be comfortable with this.
Perhaps they have commitments at home like kids who they need to take care of, or maybe they just don’t feel comfortable yet.
For businesses and organisations that can’t do everything remotely, it’s important that you allow for flexibility. If an employee doesn’t feel comfortable coming in, they shouldn’t be forced to.
It sounds simple, but you might be surprised by how many office-based workplaces aren’t doing this, instead forcing their workers to keep coming in regardless.
Whatever you do, don’t do what this business did by trying to compel employees in after a confirmed outbreak!
And it isn’t just in-person roles, either…
5) Relax policies and be more flexible with deadlines
It isn’t just workplaces that are going remote – many schools are as well. For employees with kids, that means distractions and other commitments that may affect their ability to focus solely on their work.
On the other hand, some workers may even perform better from home than in the office!
It’s important that employers like you understand that your team may not perform the same as they do in-person, and to accommodate for that.
Talk to your employees and find out how you can become more flexible to suit their needs.
Perhaps they’d like to try starting earlier in the day so that they can finish by the time homeschooling is over, and they can spend time in the afternoon with their kids?
Or, they might want to have a wider “window” of work, where they can complete their hours during a longer period of the day, to accommodate for more frequent breaks throughout.
It’s a small sacrifice to make – so have the discussion and find out what your employees may be looking for. They’ll feel valued, heard, and respected.
Keep things in perspective – remember that the pandemic won’t last forever
While it may feel like it, the pandemic isn’t permanent. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.
It will end one day, and things will eventually return to normal – and while we can dream about the end, we have to focus realistically on the “now”.
Maintaining high morale is key to getting through these trying times.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can forget about the importance of maintaining team morale once things return to normal.
If you ask our recruitment specialists in Melbourne, it all starts by making sure that your team “clicks” in the first place.
Our recruitment agency in Melbourne specialises in connecting you with temporary staff that perfectly fit your business
These are challenging times for everyone.
… well, almost everyone.
Not all businesses are struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, some are actually seeing a spike in business, with some even requiring temporary staff to keep up with the surge in demand.
The wrong hire can leave a large dent in your team’s morale – that’s why it’s so important to get the right hire the first time.
Get in touch with an employment recruitment agency in Melbourne that looks beyond technical skills and experience.