Team motivation is significantly influenced by the workplace, work and co-workers. The sudden shift to remote work has disrupted all our work lives! Familiar things like the office commute, the morning coffee with the team, 1:1s with the manager and simple hallway conversations, These every day experiences have disappeared from our lives in an instant, leaving us struggling to find our rhythm and motivation. This situation is further exacerbated with the impact on our businesses- leading to pay cuts and job losses. The all too familiar feeling of insecurity exists, without the support systems that we are used to. In the past when we faced these situations, we could always talk to our manager, colleagues and friends to figure things out. But now we are having to figure this out all on our own- and this is causing extreme stress that is impacting our motivation and mental health!
Fortunately, there are things that leaders and managers can do to make things better for their teams.
What leaders and managers can do to help their teams stay motivated
Transparency, openness, compassion and accessibility, are more important today than ever before! Our team needs us now! Here are things we can do to help our teams stay motivated-
- Reach out to them individually- to understand how they are doing, what is working for them and what’s not. Offer and follow through on help and support.
- Check-in with your teams to answer their questions and concerns regarding what is happening in the company. Be as open and transparent as possible regarding pay cuts and job cuts.
- Make extra effort to communicate more- run team AMAs (ask me anything sessions) where people can ask questions openly and encourage people to ping you directly if they have questions.
- Enable your team to socialize virtually- through BYOD (Bring your own Drink), daily team breaks and other means.
- Don’t forget to publicly recognize performance and contributions regularly.
- Talk about the company- celebrate wins, share updates, be open about challenges and what you are doing to address them.
Most importantly, remember to be more compassionate. Go the extra mile to help team members who have lost their jobs to find new ones- by connecting them to people you know and helping them polish their resumes to reflect their true worth. What we do for people who are impacted- helps them as well as assures people who remain, that you care and will do the right thing for them.
As leaders and managers, we must always remember that we cannot “just motivate” someone. What we can do is to create an environment where people feel motivated and connected and do their best work, willingly. And we can do this only by treating them as people, not just as resources!