In times of crisis our leadership skills need to be on point to make sure that our employees stay motivated. In this blog we are going to zoom in on a few tips and tricks that we use or have used in daily practice. I hope this will inspire you and give you the tools to motivate your employees as well. Are you ready? Let's go!
One of the things that is always very useful when it comes to motivation, is a recognition program. Of course, employees want to have recognition for their efforts in terms of payment, but there are many other ways to give them recognition. Especially in times of uncertainty, this is so important. In a recognition program you work with a systematic approach where all managers and supervisors make a plan for their teams. What do they need? Consider what is important to them and make an action plan to execute this. What we noticed here was that recognition doesn't need to be huge or expensive, what we have noticed is that is it's all about giving attention and really “see” your employees. For example, send them a handwritten card for their birthday or for a special event. Just a small gesture, but I experienced that it really means the world and many happy employees have called me afterwards.
Work that is challenging (enough)
Make sure that people feel comfortable in their job and that they are not slacking but challenged enough to have to step it up. In uncertain times it's also important to have regular meetings with all employees to have personal contact and to make sure that you are on the same page with them. It's important to know what is going on, what you are dealing with. Give them the opportunity to have a voice and be heard. In past we worked with this and what we saw after we implemented those meetings on a regular basis, we saw the lay-off numbers decreased. Because the connection they had with the organization was much stronger.
Let people work with the organization instead of for the organization
Another program that we encourage organizations to introduce is about input from all employees in decision making. Make sure that you encourage employees from all layers of the organization participate in the projects where you are working on. In my experience some of those employees will raise their hand themselves, but there are also the people who are not standing in the front of the crowd, so you should invite them and tell them that their voice is important to you. It is good to have a right balance in this teams between people because of their dissatisfaction, or because you know that these people have a key role in their group. In times of dissatisfaction, you increasingly see that people are connecting with like-minded people and therefore, if you take a person from that “group” it could influence the whole group in a positive way if this person feels more appreciated due to their role in decision making. Besides that, this will also positively influence the employee satisfaction. And don't forget, this information is also incredibility valuable for your department! As we call it, a win-win 😉
And then the last one. It may sound like common sense, but unfortunately in practice we still see that communication it not always on point. When people are in crisis and therefore feeling insecure, people will gossip more and more. It's just natural! Therefore, sometimes a small decision can lead to a huge rumor in het organization. The ultimate solution for this? Communication! Be as transparent as possible and be brutally honest. Of course, as a manager you can't tell anything but try to be as transparent as possible. Communicate in all kinds of ways to make sure that everyone feels connected with the message and take people by the hand as to what's happening next. By not knowing, it will make people feel less important and more dissatisfied.
This is it! Do you already have tools in place to motivate your team? With implementing these tools on a regular basis, I'm sure you can keep your staff motivated in any times! Will you share your experiences with me?