The epidemic caused by COVID-19 has caught many organizations unprepared for teleworking in order to continue their activity. Still, beyond the technical challenges that the new situation may pose, the greatest challenge for a team leader is to maintain cohesion and motivate employees in abnormal conditions. That’s why we offer you a series of tips and solutions that can help you to keep the machinery running as smoothly as possible during isolation.
How to motivate employees in times of crisis
Fear of the unknown is a feeling that interferes with personal growth and the development of our daily activities. In the face of uncertainty, some of the advice given by experts is related to accepting the new situation and taking action, never standing still. With this in mind, the best thing you can do is to activate your team as soon as possible so they can get going and adapt to the new scenario. In order to do so, we recommend that you consider the following aspects:
If communication is a vital asset for the operation of a company, at a time that generates so many doubts as the present one, it must be enhanced as never before. Whether things are going well or badly (or are expected to get worse), it is best to be clear and honest with your workers. You will avoid rumors that can lead to a spiral of negativity that, right now, you don’t need nor want.
Take care of the details
Although video conferences will make it easier for all of us to deal personally with our subordinates and colleagues, never forget that you are working with people (and not with screens). In a moment of tension like the one caused by Coronavirus, we recommend you to do a personal communication, in positive. Showing lack of interest in a worker, a sentence said in a not very pleasant tone or an email that may lead to a misunderstanding, due to the stressing situation, can make the other person feel bad, offended, etc. Watch every detail when communicating with your colleagues to prevent tension in the team.
Praise the achievements
The times when it seemed that fear was an effective tool to achieve goals are long gone. Although many organizations still practice it (so they will have an extra challenge at this time), it is much more productive to recognize work well done and be very cautious in dealing with mistakes. Many workers are afraid for their jobs and you don’t want your employees to think unnecessarily about their job being in danger. Concern is fought with motivation.
Having a pleasant working atmosphere is always a valuable asset. The atmosphere that is created in the workplace, where employees can talk, laugh together, show support and convey encouragement, is going to be one of the things your team misses the most as everyone works from home. Don’t lose sight of this fact and encourage group video calls (which don’t have to be 100% about work), put humor into the situation or use different team building techniques that help you maintain group cohesion despite the distance.
Use proven techniques
Among many options, you can use coaching to maintain the collective morale of your team. If you have knowledge in this area, this is your chance to bring out your full arsenal. Coaching has benefits such as helping to plan realistic goals and objectives, breaking down self-imposed barriers, being more creative and flexible, improving self-confidence, etc.
Another great ally in this exceptional situation is gamification. In the age of the Internet and social networks, you can keep your team on top of their game through virtual challenges and rewards. Gamification can help you to put the results obtained into perspective despite the difficulty of the situation, to recognize the achievements of the team, to give a more informal dimension to the working hours or to enhance competitiveness and, at the same time, companionship. Now is a great time to discover what is “gamification for companies”.
Adaptation of the workplace
When health must take precedence over anything else, the workplace may have to be adapted with different safety systems, special equipment, etc. But how to adapt each employee’s home so that he or she can carry out their work in optimal conditions during isolation? Having a suitable place for your employees to work remotely will be an important tool to make them comfortable and avoid frustration. Here are some tips and resources you can give them to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Benefits of teleworking
The main advantage of teleworking in the current situation generated by COVID-19 is that it allows some companies to stay in business despite the state of alarm and mobility limitations that have been imposed, but it is not the only one. In fact, some key aspects have led many organizations to adapt (even partially) this modality of work in recent years. Shall we take a quick look at some of them?
- Avoid travel (which, in a normal situation, also helps to save time).
- It offers more autonomy and organisational freedom to the employees, which often results in better performance and more productivity.
- Reduces infrastructure costs.
- Helps employees to reconcile their work and improves their opinion of the company.
- Attracts more talent, as it is an attractive incentive.
How to work from home
If it’s not something you’re used to, teleworking has some nooks and crannies that need to be smoothed out for an optimal work experience:
- Space. It is recommended to have an exclusive workplace for this purpose. If it can’t be a room, it can be a corner, a desk, a table… a place that you only use for work. In this way, it will be easier for you to connect with your activity at the beginning of the working day and, once it is over, let it there to avoid being available 24 hours a day.
- Adequacy. We recommend that you make sure you have everything you will need to work in the place you have chosen. Is the Internet signal good? Do you have everything you use every day at hand? Is it well lit throughout the day? Does it make video calls easier or will it force you to move every time you have to make one because you can see the bathroom in the background? These small details will make your day-to-day life organic or a constant struggle.
- Team. Whether you work with a device provided by the company or with your own computer, make sure it has all the programs, resources and access you will need during these weeks.
- Assistance. If you are the leader of your team, make sure that your subordinates have a direct line with the technical or computer service of the company so that they can help them quickly with any incident. Nothing undermines morale more than having to deal with a misconfigured connection or an email that doesn’t get sent.
Useful resources for teleworking
Here’s a look at some tools that can help you manage and organize your team while working from home:
- Project management: if you haven’t tried them before, you can use tools like Trello or Asana, which allow you to organize workflows, assign tasks or see what each team member is working on. There are many alternatives: if you work with Microsoft Office, it includes Teams; or there are tools like Slack that replaces the endless chains of emails with channels that centralize all the information about a project. These types of applications are a great ally.
- Video calls: nowadays, there are many applications to make them and surely you have already adapted some of them in your organization, such as Skype, FaceTime or Hangouts. But, if you have not opted for any or do not have the necessary infrastructure, you should know that we all carry tools to make these types of contacts in our pockets. For example, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger both have a video call function.
- File sharing: Luckily, the cloud and saving and managing files virtually has become an everyday occurrence in recent years. Everyone has used (at least a little), services such as Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive. Use them so that your whole team has the latest versions of the documents they need. Their work will flow and you will make their lives more comfortable.
How to motivate employees through game dynamics
As we have seen in the 2020 trends in gamification for companies, gamification is based on the combination of aspects such as points, missions, events, levels… to generate collaboration and competition between the members of a team while seeking to surprise the workers, generate a feeling of belonging to a community or a greater identification with the organization.
You will surely be interested in: Some examples of motivational games for companies.
At Playmotiv we are experts in using gamification to increase the motivation and performance of your teams. Now more than ever we offer you our virtual adventures to help you overcome the situation caused by COVID-19. In the face of adversity, it is better not to face it as a problem, but to turn it into an opportunity for improvement.