3 tips on maintaining team motivation during COVID-19
Feeling motivated is one of the most important states of mind for us all, be it in pursuing personal, professional, familial or just about any type of endeavour.
Specifically in the workplace, motivated employees are more productive, producing better quality outputs and can often push far beyond their own limits. As a collective, a motivated team is more likely to deliver against targets, support one another and provide better psychological safety than one which isn’t.
We tend to feel most motivated when we have a clear focus, clear goals and a clear state of mind. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has significantly impacted all of these factors and has certainly reduced some individual and team motivation. People have prioritised surviving rather than thriving.
At Veldhoen + Company, our interactions with teams across the globe have allowed us to observe some excellent examples of teams which remain motivated during COVID-19 and learn from them. The following are a few tips if you’re struggling to maintain your team’s motivation:
1. Focus on your team’s safety, and communicate your commitment to this
It’s important to feel safe, be it physically or psychologically. This allows your staff to transition away from survival mode.
As a leader, provide as many reassurances as you can to let your team know their wellbeing comes first. Importantly, ensure you communicate this to your team. Team-wide communication should be initiated with individual check-ins to cement that each team member’s safety is considered too.
2. Invest in your team professionally and personally
Your team’s motivation level will depend significantly on how valued they feel as a member of your organisation. As such, it is important to continue to invest in them despite a crisis unfolding around them:
- Offer training relevant to their roles as well as in developing skills to support navigating the crisis situation we’re all facing. You may consider investing in trainings on how to manage their own wellbeing during this difficult time
- Organise social events much like you would pre-crisis. If your events typically involve eating or drinking together, make sure you send supplies ahead of time. Your teammates will feel grateful for the consideration!
- Invest time and effort in creating your own wellbeing programme. Something that is created by your team to be meaningful to your team. Such as our V+C Kindness Exchange
3. Encourage your team to experiment and take risks
Managing to succeed in times of crisis often require innovative strategies and generally won’t have been considered pre-crisis. As such, to find techniques and approaches that work for oneself or one’s team, experimentation is important.
It is important that leaders encourage their teams to try new things as they navigate COVID-19. That may mean:
- Make an explicit team agreement to define new ways of working remotely and iterate if necessary (e.g. ‘blackout hours’, working asynchronously)
- Creating regular team social events via videoconference
- Use different virtual tools to perform functions which were historically performed in-person
Aside from allowing your team to find approaches which work for them, employees empowered to experiment are shown to be significantly more productive.
If you or your teams are finding it hard to maintain motivation, don’t fret. You and your teams can overcome this challenge and come out more resilient and resourced than ever before.