COVID-19 and your Business: Top Tips for Motivating Your Team Through a Crisis

As people, we all want to feel motivated and find meaning in the things that we do, both at work and in our personal lives. This is only natural, and interestingly is built into our biology! There is a part of our brains called the ‘seeking system’ and it creates those natural impulses we feel to take on new challenges and learn new skills. By achieving new skills, we receive a boost of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in our brains that is linked to pleasure and motivation, resulting in us wanting to repeat the cycle all over again. By activating our seeking systems, we feel more motivated and purposeful. And as we all know: a motivated team is a happy and productive team

However, with the world in lockdown and riding the rollercoaster of these strange times that we’re living in, how do you keep your team engaged and motivated? Especially as these uncertain times look to continue well into the spring of 2021 and working remotely can make it harder to connect with your team. 

Here at The Business Centre (Cardiff), we have a variety of interesting businesses in our business community and we spoke to some of our business owners (over Zoom in some cases!) to find out how they’re keeping their teams motivated.  

Keeping your team motivated through a crisis 

Finding a sense of purpose

Have you reminded your team recently that their work matters? Feeling purposeful (or like your contribution matters) doesn’t only come from creating vaccines or solving world hunger, there are little ways that a feeling or sense of purpose is lit up when we see the impact of the input our work has to our team’s progress. Check in with your team and ensure their contribution is feeling valued, especially if you haven’t seen them in person in a little (or a long!) while. 

Can you relate?

It has been said before (and it’ll be said again!) but these really are unprecedented times, you might be busy focusing on what you need to do to get through right now, but make sure to make the time to ensure your employees and your team feel cared for. Make some time to listen to their perspectives and check in with them to let them know that you are here for them, that you hear them and they’re a valued member of your team or organisation. 

You can do this in a number of ways, for example: 

  • Acknowledge your employees’ feelings as well as their reactions: It’s difficult to stay focused right now, there’s so much going on and working from home isn’t perfect, but we’ll figure it out. 
  • Seek out anyone that you haven’t really heard from in a little while and acknowledge everyone’s achievements and contributions. 
  • When problems or friction does arise, get feedback from everyone involved. This helps you identify any communication issues for next time and strengthens your team’s connection. 
  • Make sure everyone feels like their contributions matter, don’t let good work go unacknowledged or unappreciated. 
  • Ensure that everyone knows that you are here for them and that you care about their wellbeing as much as you care about your productivity. 

You’ve got this!

We all work best when we feel motivated and effective, ignite your teams ‘seeking systems’ by encouraging them to grow in their roles. Plus, research has shown that holding employees accountable for achievable, measurable goals can improve their performance –sparking our internal desire to take on new challenges! 

You could try encouraging competence through these approaches: 

  • Get your team involved with decisions where their input could be valuable, for example ask for suggestions on optimising internal processes. This can help nurture a sense of empowerment and like their contribution matters. 
  • Host a regular ‘show and tell’, where your employees take turns to explain to their colleagues what they do or what they’re working on. 
  • Annual reviews and performance reviews probably aren’t at the top of your list with everything that’s going on, but make sure you’re maintaining regular meetings to check in with your employees and discuss progress and individual goals. 

Look mum, no hands!

We all like to feel like we’re in control of our actions and encouraging autonomy will help to empower your employees, allowing them to feel as though they have the power to make decisions in their roles. 

To help your team feel a sense of autonomy and to nurture some accountability, why not:

  • Encourage your team to take the initiative, instead of asking someone to take on a role within a project, why not ask your team what part of a project they’d like to take ownership over? 
  • Avoid controlling or demanding language and unrealistic deadlines such as: ‘have this on my desk by this afternoon’ and instead phrase it: ‘We’re on a tight deadline, but I know you’ll pull it out the bag. When do you think you can get this done?’
  • Offering the reasoning behind requests will give your team an overview of how their contribution will impact the business, plus people are more willing to put in their full effort when they understand why something matters. 

Our working environment is so important, especially when you consider that most of us spend 40+ hours at work a week. So, thanks to the rollercoaster that this pandemic is taking us on, it’s no surprise that motivation might wobble. But by following some of the tips above, we’re sure you’ll be able to give your team a motivation boost to help them to feel valued at work leading them to be more productive and happier in their roles. 

If you’re trying to get back to running your business but you’re not yet ready to return to the office, why not take a look at The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd’s Virtual Office packages? A virtual office has all the benefits of a serviced office such as a call answering service, mail and parcel reception, mail forwarding as well as a business address and access to a wide range of business support services. Email our team to find out more: enquiries@thebusinesscentreonline.co.uk 

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