In times of uncertainty and stress it is important for leaders to be there for their team. This is a unique moment in our lifetime, with distinct challenges and unchartered waters. Now more than ever we are called to support, guide and equip our team to enhance productivity and position them individually and collectively for successful outcomes.
This has been the first time for many to work remotely. Some have already successfully accomplished working from home while balancing both personal and professional life, while others still have an opportunity to strike a better balance. We as leaders have a special role to play in not only keeping our team safe but highly connected, inspired and productive.
Here are some ways to keep your team motivated during COVID19.
Focus on their well-being
Global economist Thierry Malleret claims, “Leading a well life boosts our immune system and is, therefore, one of the possible antidotes to the virus.” We all have a responsibility to keep ourselves fine-tuned – mind, body & spirit. You can also help your team members boost their immunity and cope with stress by encouraging healthy sleep habits.
Also, support their need to be active and physically move throughout the day. You can support mental health as well. Ask them how often they check Coronavirus media, remind them to consciously breath when worries arise, engage in ways to practice gratitude, stay connected with others, maintain a healthy diet, and take time off. Working from home, does not mean work non-stop. To be at your best, you need to take mental breaks to refresh and gain perspective.
Encourage your team
Ensure your team understands their significance and make every member feel important. Show them how their role is directly connected to the success of the organization. Connect with your team on a daily basis. Guide them on the tasks they are doing and appreciate their efforts and contributions. Encourage them to continue positive behaviours and coach them individually on opportunities that can enhance their performance results.
Communication is the Key
COVID-19 is reorganizing the way many organizations think about how they communicate at work. Organizations are heavily engaged in Work from Home temporary stopgaps. These social-distancing strategies make sense for flattening the growth of the virus. Social-distancing is changing not only the way we work but how we conduct meetings, coach team members and offer support to others. With many working from home, making sure each team member has the technology needed to communicate effectively has leaders finding new and innovative ways to stay connected with their team.
Without intentional daily touch points, leaders can unwittingly cause employees to experience loneliness, a loss of “team” comradery and company culture. It’s important to communicate regularly with your team members by any and all means possible to ensure that all their concerns are heard and needs are met. Sponsoring online meetings and 1-1 coaching can keep team members feeling connected and part of your team, company and culture.
It’s time for Training & Skill Development
As a leader, you must also continue to play the role of coach by helping your team continuously enhance their skills. Get on a joint call with everyone once a week. Decide on a topic and discuss it with the team. Take questions from them, provide suggestions, and ask their views to enhance outcomes. Role play can be a great tool to role model successful behaviours. As you continue to meet with intention, your entire team can remain informed and connected while supporting each other to work towards individual and team goals.
Rewards and Recognition are a Must
Even at home your team is still serving your organization in the best possible manner. Be sure to let your team know that you haven’t forgotten them and that you appreciate all that they’re doing. Get your entire team together as much as possible. Show appreciation by offering rewards tied to behaviours and achievement of business objectives. Keep your recognition timely, consistent and visible.
Rewards and Recognition shouldn’t stop because of COVID19. Be creative in the mediums you use, including phone, conference call, virtual team/company meetings, newsletters, and email are just a few of the mediums possible. Mix it up and have fun with it! At Etech we even had a Unique Boutique drive thru celebration where team members were able to pick up prizes in recognition of their success complete with no contact delivery to their vehicle.
Work with Collaboration
Innovation happens with joint collaborations, and now is perfect moment for innovation. Work together with your team to solve problems. When available, allow your team to work in groups to foster creativity. This also helps build a sense of community and keeps your team connected to you, the team, the organization and your vision.
When collaborating with your team, respect their feedback. As leaders, we must have excellent listening skills, take feedback and demonstrate how to make our team’s suggestions actionable. Not everyone thinks alike. Hearing different perspectives gives everyone on the team an opportunity to be engaged, have input, and elevate each other’s ideas. Nothing will motivate your team more than finding ways to use their feedback.
Trust your Team Members
Especially during this time when you’re away from your team members it is difficult to control what you cannot see. You must show your team they can trust you and in turn you must demonstrate that you trust them to get the job done.
Provide clear expectations timely feedback, guidance, and directions to do their job effectively. Let them try to work things out on their own when they can while also being there to be supportive when they need help. Being trusted will not only motivate your team members but also serve to empower them.
At Etech, we may look different, talk different, have different beliefs, and live in different parts of the world, but we are all in this together. We encourage each one of you out there to not count the days of COVID19, but instead strive to make each day count for each other, your customers and the communities who depend on you.
Until next time, may you make a remarkable difference in the lives of the people you touch each day.