Business owners and managers have acquired several new skill sets in the last couple of months. The novel coronavirus has forced many companies to move their daily operations to a remote workplace entirely, causing necessary changes to the normal course of business and lots of undue stress for everyone.
But part of being a good manager is finding creative ways to boost your employees’ morale without intruding too much on their personal space. Remote work provides an excellent environment for this because it allows you and your employees to manage your work schedules and engagement with coworkers as needed.
So if you’re unsure of how to boost morale for your at-home employees during the COVID-19 crisis, check out our list below!
5 Tips to Boost Morale for Your At-Home Employees
- Communicate with employees often – Without seeing your enthusiastic face every day, your employees could start to feel a little disconnected from the business. So make sure you’re checking in with them regularly to see how they’re faring emotionally and if they’re on task. Set up daily or weekly low-stakes meetings where they can discuss whatever is on their minds and how the transition process has been for them. The more they feel like they’re part of the team, the better work they’ll produce–trust us.
- Recognize exceptional work – Everyone is stressed because of the public health and economic impacts that COVID-19 will have on our country. This means that small compliments or recognitions will go a long way during this time. Everybody is looking for some good news these days, and being the bearer of this news will only help your employee relations down the line. Maybe send out a weekly newsletter that highlights some of the great work that your staff is doing, or you could make sure to call out a couple of employees for their successes during every meeting.
- Develop new incentives for hitting goals – Like the previous piece of advice, this one is all about rewarding exceptional work. But instead of a simple recognition, this time, provide some material gains for your employees. Think of certain goals you want to hit in the coming weeks, and then brainstorm what kinds of incentives your employees would appreciate. A gift card to a local restaurant? Some delicious bottles of wine? Kitchen items and electronics are always winners. You know your people best, so get creative with it.
- Collect employee feedback – Don’t assume that you know what everyone is going through during this time. You might have a reasonable idea, but struggles that you’re currently facing might not be shared with everyone and vice versa. There are several strategies for collecting employee feedback, but a good tip comes from Forbes who suggests that employers ask their workers three questions. “What are you getting from me that you want more of? What are you getting from me that you want less of? What are you not getting from me that you want?” This shows your employees that you are considering your management style and how best you can help them in the face of this crisis.
- Schedule virtual happy hours – Your employees want to blow off steam just as much as anyone else. Many of them are not only dealing with remote transition for their work, but they’ve also had to transition their childcare to their homes and learn how to teach their children remotely. So send around a survey to see what day or two per month is best for your team, then pencil in a happy hour around their schedules. You could even open a tab for your employees at a local liquor store if you’re feeling generous.