how to maintain employee morale during hard times

Improving staff morale during these difficult times can be challenging, as a lot of people still feel anxious and concerned about the recent pandemic and could be worried about a second wave. Connect employees to the community. For those who have worked throughout, we have given additional leave to be used for long weekends in order to recharge batteries and to be a token of appreciation of efforts. It’s vital that each employee knows the business strategy and mission and how they and their job can contribute. “I do know it’s going to be tumultuous, difficult, and uncertain. We have also been sure to maintain communications and 1:1s on an individual level to ensure that everyone, including those staff that are furloughed – feel included and part of the team. There has been a lot of talk recently of how productive staff are with home working versus office, but not as much surrounding their mental health of being isolated at home – this is some of the feedback I have received from my clients. Companies, of course, can set the stage for community service by modeling good civic spirit. Even in the worst of times, recognizing the hard work employees do with a simple "thanks" now and then can keep morale up, while strengthening the … Talk with them. High employee #morale results in increased teamwork, higher #retention, improved #productivity, and more! The company crowdsourced 260,000 employees, asking them to “name one process that stops you from getting things done fast.” (At Pepsi, it turned out to be the performance management process.) All decisions have been based on business needs rather than the perceived financial savings. In the vein of making work life more manageable and elevating employee morale, PepsiCo introduced the Process Shredder. The fluidity of the current situation — social distancing, WFH, shelter in place, essential/nonessential work — demands flexibility from both companies and employees. Many factors can affect morale, including leadership, manager and peer support, work environment, trust, culture and how valued employees feel. They will tell you how they feel and any concerns they might have. And focus on what’s important. We have a range of different needs and family situations amongst our staff and whilst work is important, it’s not everything. They’ve found this to be an excellent way for employees to unwind between intense coding sessions. Such knowledge can increase employee pride and trust in the company they work for and gives them a bigger picture idea of their purpose, which can boost morale and engagement. At the end of this article, you’ll find more excellent workforce morale advice from local business leaders. No company can simply make adjustments on the factory floor and start producing strong employee morale. The smartest business strategies in the world only have limited effectiveness if employee morale is low. The main thing we have done is to set up two WhatsApp groups. It may only need to be half a day, but it’s essential to organise specific sessions for team discussions about business changes and updates, team bonding activities and social time. Employees want to hear from their organizations, but they also want to stay connected with their colleagues. investment in staff. All staff except 2 are now back at work, either full or part time. We even have a daily 15-minute online staff quiz. I am satisfied with my employer's response to the COVID-19 situation. “Whether it’s scheduling time for exercise or just giving yourself a short coffee break to step away and unplug.”, Stewart Butterfield, the CEO of Slack, is on the same page as Justin and Erica. . In times where the job market is so uncertain, a move like this is bound to boost employee morale by leaps and bounds. For instance, Google offers its employees ping pong and foosball tables and video games. Keeping employee morale up can be difficult in the best of times. And Facebook did that one better by giving every employee an “exceeds expectations” review for the first six months of the year. “People just appreciate being heard,” Justin says. Organise an activity day and arrange some light-hearted (socially distanced) challenges to open the communication channels again and reignite the buzz created when working as part of a team. There’s an adverse risk to morale if employees give feedback, and the results are left unactioned. Take the time to share new ideas and best practices you’ve gleaned over the last several months. Currently, with so much change in the way employees are working, businesses must update their people about the potential return to work options, health and safety measures in the workplace and other business-related issues that affect employees. View increased flexibility as a positive investment in employees. People still need to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. Supporting staff during difficult times is par for the course — now more than ever. It is fine to work irregular or reduced hours. It’s no easy feat to achieve high employee morale. Some companies may send small gifts to an individual’s home to show thanks for a job well done, or there may be company ‘Shout out’ initiatives to recognise performance or attitude. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. It’s hard to quantify. The difficulty has been balancing the morale of staff who continue to work (all our staff continue to work from home)and those who have been placed on furlough. So, it’s not just OK, it’s advisable to step aside to gain perspective. Embrace Zoom and other technology to make sure your people see you every day (or more when warranted). “I think as individuals we can take ownership of our schedules, and HR can encourage individuals to just take ownership of their own calendar and be able to block everyone away.”, Employees should let their teammates know when they’re on and they’re off. However, the events of 2020 have made that job for retailers more difficult than ever before. The good news is that after the first six weeks of lockdown, one in three HR professionals believed that employee morale was higher than it was before COVID-19. As many employees continue to work from home, and some gradually return to the workplace, it may become more challenging to maintain morale. Then try to reassure them and keep them informed. Employees need to relate to one another to stay unified during turbulent times of change, and these exercises are perfect for facilitating that connection. Don’t Overwhelm Employees. It doesn’t matter if you are the MD, HR Manager or a general employee, encouraging staff to be aware of others, applauding each other’s efforts and acknowledging your teams successes, will give them that much needed boost during these difficult times. The less your employees know about what’s going on, the more likely they are to... Tell stories about the great things you and your employees are doing. Managers who have a challenge of managing teams virtually can build team morale, but they need support too. Companies that can sustain employee morale while coronavirus disrupts their business will be better off than those who watch it vanish. So, things like taking time to reflect on what’s important is especially critical right now.”. Maintaining high employee morale is certainly challenging during a global crisis, but it’s not impossible to achieve. Ask people how they’re doing. While it can be difficult to achieve employee morale during difficult times, businesses that make a committed effort to create a culture of trust and togetherness can successfully motivate staff for success. Spirits distilleries from the Bay Area to the United Kingdom have also turned their focus to hand sanitizers. More Tips From Toronto Recruiters to Boost Employee Engagement. Free employees from nonessential work. We have a lot of experience helping our teams work remotely and wanted to share five ways we’re keeping our employees engaged and socialized while we adjust to our new normal. Set short-term goals with increased communication to staff and clients. Silence is not golden; even small updates matter, particularly during a crisis. Managers can organise a specific day for team building and put it in the diary just as it would be if the team were all meeting in person. “We can’t predict where the 2020 economy is going to go,” writes industry analyst Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloitte. To receive blog posts like this one straight in your inbox, subscribe to the blog newsletter. Upon enrolling in the workshop, participants will be contacted by PD&T staff with additional details how to attend using either format. Take control of an ever-changing situation and adapt fast. Probably for the best. Before we look at the 10 tips, a quick thank you . “It’s the same concept in combat,” Justin says, “where soldiers will take a knee so they can catch their breath and reconsider their situation.”, Another way to get more focused on what’s important is to let unimportant tasks and assignments go. The old adage of ‘No surprises’ is relevant when looking to keep morale high. U-Haul offered 30 days of free storage to college students who may have been kicked out of their dorms. Recognition helps employees to feel more secure and encourages good behavior. With an increased number of the UK workforce working from home during COVID-19, it has created the challenge of ensuring morale from a distance. If employees are engaged and invested in their roles and the company they work for, it can impact productivity, efficiency and loyalty. . It’s the little things – like strong communication, increased flexibility, and good access to resources – that show that you care. The good news is that after the first six weeks of lockdown. Thank you to all the contributors for sharing your very helpful insights! Again, this is only beneficial if the feedback is reviewed, and solutions are offered. Consider sending out a pulse survey with just a few questions to get a read on how your workforce is faring. Help employees fulfill career goals. I have the resources I need to do my job. They might also be an opportunity for employees to introduce the team to their pet or home office, which can be a light-hearted way to build a team and encourage bonding. Right now, that’s your people. Strong morale is never a luxury item; it’s always an essential. This can be unsettling and a review with staff to redefine their position and reassure them that it is secure and gain feedback from them to ensure they are comfortable with the changes can help to lift morale and establish a new focus. Here are examples of survey statements you might ask your employees to rate on a scale that runs from strongly disagree to strongly agree: It's also important to include an open-ended question for employees to provide additional details, such as: "What would make you feel more supported right now?”, “The secret here,” Justin says, “is not a perfect set of survey questions. Before a company looks to improve morale, it firstly needs to consider the current state of... 2. Yes, we do have cake on employee’s birthday. “How do we help people connect when they’re socially distanced?”, Connection starts with communication, and communication starts with listening. Gather employee feedback. COVID-19 has shown us that homeworking can be productive in many different circumstances. While it’s crucial for managers to focus on their teams during difficult times, they also need support to boost their morale and prevent stress or burn out. And now is no different.”. A team lunch or drinks may not be possible in person but can be carried out together virtually. Identify what the main priority is — and cut back on nonessential projects. As Justin says: “The fundamentals are still applicable.”. And many companies are encouraging work teams to use a chat tool like Slack, Twist, or Teams to talk, to check in, and to share anything that keeps them feeling connected — photos (pets and kids particularly welcome), recipes, playlists, Netflix recommendations. Company volunteer programs are a powerful engagement and retention tool. During this time, administrators need to be relaxed, pay attention, encourage staff, and include them as frequently as possible in the conversations. The biggest thing that I have noticed within our sector is business leaders have been keen to bring their staff back into the office environment for their mental well being as many have found it difficult to work remotely from their colleagues and missing the team support. Ask your employees about what you can do for them to make things easier for them to do their job. The other is just for general banter and jokes. Right there in the middle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is the need for belonging — our strong desire for social connection through family and friendships. Once the company has the staff input, it should be reviewed and communicated to employees. Huge, another creative agency, has transformed its Wednesday lunchtime runs into virtual events at which colleagues share selfies and videos of their neighborhoods. We have also been making personal phone calls to all on furlough each month to update them on our situation. One way to facilitate this and maintain employee morale is to give your employees a chance to “play” during their breaks. “Blocking off time on your calendar daily to do the things that you need to do to stay happy and healthy is more important now than ever,” writes Erica Lockheimer, the VP of engineering for LinkedIn Learning. 5 Ways to Keep Morale High During Difficult Times at Work | ProSource Staffing - Prosource Staffing. Regular team meetings allow all the team to come together regardless of location. As lockdown eases, face-to-face offsite team building is becoming a closer reality, however in larger groups, or teams where not all members can meet in person, virtual team building can build morale and engagement. Low morale can result in increased business costs due to the high turnover of staff and potentially increased employee absence. Company changes or messages must be delivered to all employees at the same time to ensure trust and transparency. We have continued these throughout lockdown with innovative ideas, such as an 80s Quiz Night and a Murder Mystery – complete with fancy dress! So, now is actually the ideal time to consider what work is nonessential — and let it go. Given that now is not the ideal time for large-group gatherings, companies can make sure their employees feel the agency to take time to, say, run errands for elderly or immunocompromised neighbors. After the turmoil of furlough and the changing face of many businesses we are all having to adapt which inevitably leads to changes in roles and responsibilities. . Start by talking to your staff. A scheme could be introduced where team members praise each other once a week or month so that morale comes from teammates as well as management. How to maintain strong employee morale during COVID-19. Giving employees the freedom to structure their lives in a way that works for them right now will help to keep morale high. 10 Tips To Help You To Boost Employee Morale During Difficult Times 1. Essentially, Stewart is cutting his employees some . Encourage employees to take time for themselves throughout the day and introduce a … Equally, little things can adversely affect it too. Show a real human side to staff by engaging personally and asking about. 3 Ways to Keep Employees Engaged After Downsizing Another way for leaders to take the temperature of their teams is to open their doors. 2. I feel well supported by my employer at this time. LVHM and Ford have been able to take their existing manufacturing facilities and convert them to produce hand sanitizers in one case and respirators in the other. 1. Ok, let’s dive into the ten tips now . With a service-oriented mindset, HR can help preserve employee morale and productivity during this unprecedented period. Before a company looks to improve morale, it firstly needs to consider the current state of morale and how much change is required. If you’d like a little help or just an independent outside perspective on how to put these 10 tips into action. Recognize Hard Work. Team socials have always been essential to our team cohesiveness and sense of fun and unity. Also making sure people are thanked for a job well done. Cultivate an Entrepreneurial Spirit Keep your door open--literally and figuratively- … Employees having worked from home or on furlough for several months may be feeling a little isolated especially if they are used to working as part of a team. Return to the United Kingdom have also been making personal phone calls to all the contributors for sharing your helpful. Receive blog posts like this one straight in your inbox, subscribe the. Business strategy and mission and how they feel and any concerns they might have for themselves throughout day. 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