Article by Ruth Kudzi
As a leader and manager with a newly virtual team some of whom may be furloughed, others who are juggling home schooling and many who are fearful of the future you can feel like you are being pulled in many directions.
At the moment we are living in very unpredictable times, but there are ways that you can help keep your team to feel motivated and supported.
- Be present and communicate
Right now, it is vital that you show up for your team and be as present as you are today, as you are when you are in the office. This may mean still have those regular team meetings and briefings which can be help using Zoom. You may also look at bringing in the open door policy you may normally have by allocating times when team members can book in or pop in virtually and catch up with you.
If you are modelling leadership skills and are showing up with a positive energy this will impact the whole team. Remember that there is lots of fear and address this as honestly as you can, if your team trust you, they are likely to be more motivated.
What I would really say is that communication is key: make it clear when there are important messages about what they need to do and why you are doing it. The less ambiguity the better as this will mean people keep the trust in leadership, and in you.
- Listen to everyone
Make sure that you are listening to what is going on, check in with your managers and team leaders and get a really good grasp of what is going on. The more you are aware of issues, the more you can address them before they become amplified and get out of hand.
Create a culture where people are not afraid of speaking out if they are struggling or if they have things going on for them personally, the more that people feel valued and listened to the more motivated they will be.
Consider what the processes are to support those who are struggling or who aren’t performing in a way that is sensitive and fair and deals with the individual in a consistent way.
It is hard to offer financial incentives at this time however small incentives can help with your teams external motivation short term, this could be prizes such as cook vouchers or a wellbeing box for people who have performed well that week / month (in terms of targets or these can be nominated by other members).
In the current climate the incentives need to be relatively low in cost as you want your employees to feel that they are valued in a way that is sensitive to the economy.
- Go back to your values
Revisit the company value and mission statement in the light of COVID-19 and consider what needs to be changed. Work alongside members of your team to get buy in and communicate with the wider organisation.
Re-aligning with common values and building a strong culture will help your staff to stay motivated.
The more that you are able to lead through performance and transparency you can help your team members to stay motivated.
About the author
Ruth is a business mentor, mindset coach and best-selling author who has worked with 1000s of clients worldwide. She combines practical business skills with a MA in Psychology and numerous coaching qualifications including NLP to help her clients build businesses they love.
Ruth works with coaches, consultants and service providers to help them build and scale their businesses and has been seen in The Metro, Women & Home, The Guardian, Psychologies, Thrive Global, Huffington Post and Business Insider.
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