When you’re no longer seeing colleagues face to face on a daily basis, how can you make sure that their spirits aren’t suffering? As leaders, it is important to check that your staff can cope with the changes imposed on them and ensure morale remains as high as it can.
These are certainly challenging times, but there have been challenges throughout history which have been met and overcome. Optimism is your friend and optimism needs to spread now. Think about all of the courageous people carrying on with their jobs like NHS staff, the police, food supply chain workers. Morale needs to stay high.
Not having daily office contact with other people can be lonely. It is important to check in with everybody and make sure you listen to them. If you have a large organisation may be consider buddying people up for daily calls to check in on each other.
People are all different and don’t assume that everybody will respond in the same way to a sudden shift to remote working. Think about what motivates the individual and where possible use a bespoke approach to lifting their spirits. If you’ve ever done any 4D colour profiling you’ll know a bit about what makes people tick. If you haven’t maybe this is a good time to introduce it and learn more about each other.
Praise can go a long way. If somebody has produced a great piece of work make sure you acknowledge their efforts and reward them with your thanks and positive feedback. According to OfficeVibe, 82% of employees said they’d rather receive praise than a gift at work.
When you’re in the office is every single conversation about work? No. Remember how valuable non-work related communications are amongst the team. We love to chat about each other’s lives. How about starting a “guess whose front door” competition? Or a daily challenge or riddle to solve? How about a Through The Keyhole style peek at where everybody has chosen in their house to work from? Remote working is a pet’s dream come true… can you organise a virtual pet show? How about virtual after work drinks where you Skype in with a beer and catch up.
Now is the time to exercise trust in your employees. Remember why you chose them at interview stage and trust that they will deliver what you need them to. You also need to show flexibility and understanding, there will be challenges as people adapt and you need to give them time and space to do their best. You don’t want to cause them unnecessary stress.
Can you take this time to offer your team the chance to upskill through any online courses? A new skill and a welcome distraction would be a good morale boost. Get them to share their learnings amongst the team and offer to do a Q&A.
Share positive stories. If something lifts your own spirits it may have that effect on your team too. If you’ve discovered a great new film or programme share it with your team. If you’ve heard a positive or funny story pass it on. If you’ve received some inspirational words elsewhere make sure you let everyone know.
As Change Management experts we know that bringing people along with any change is crucial to your business’s success. This is even more true if it is a change that nobody requested! So motivate, cherish and support your team over the coming weeks. The WHO have issued this guide to supporting mental health which may be a useful resource.
If you have any questions about Nine Feet Tall and our ways of working, please contact Esther McMorris (firstname.lastname@example.org).