As England enters a new lockdown period for the second time, it is important that managers ensure that employees are motivated to work to their full potential through a period of change. Although each employee will react differently to the upheaval, there are a few key steps that can be undertaken to improve engagement and keep workers motivated.
Communicate in the right way
It is important that workers feel like they are still in contact with their colleagues, even if they are working remotely. Encouraging video calls to go through key meetings is an obvious way to ensure employees are having regular face to face conversation, however, using a mix of communication methods will help combat ‘zoom fatigue’. Take the time to understand the best way to provide feedback, whether that is through a phone call, video call or email will help to keep engagement levels up and ensure messages aren’t misconstrued. It is also important to keep employees up to date with business updates and internal news, so they don’t feel out of the loop or forgotten about.
Recognise good work
Working remotely can be a lonely time for many workers, and if they feel like they aren’t getting the recognition it can lead to demotivation. Keeping all members of the team updated on what each person is working on, as well as providing positive feedback on work undertaken in group situations, as well as in 121s, will help workers feel included and engaged with their workload. If you have a culture of praise within the office or work environment, make sure this is extended to home or distanced working to help workers feel like their input is meaningful and important.
Encourage independent decision making
Homeworking is a great opportunity to take workers out of their comfort zone and encourage them to work more independently. Employees are going to be more motivated to work to their best potential if you can show that you trust them and their decisions, so allow them to take more of a leadership role, while still instilling the support and direction available to them. Allowing them to work outside of their structured hours is also another way to increase engagement, by giving them the freedom to work in the settings and timeframes that best suit their personal needs.
No matter what sector your organisation, collaboration and creativity is key to growth and improvement. Scheduling in regular brainstorming sessions will not only help with increasing communication among the team, but it will also allow people space and time to think outside the box and feel like they are inputting to the company. As part of this, it is also important to give employees channels to provide feedback and collaborate with the management team on the best approach to the new ways of working.
Manage work-life balance
When your home and working environment blend into one, it can be difficult to switch off and it is likely that many workers will work longer hours without a break, compared to if they were in the place. To stop burnout, it is important to encourage employees to schedule regular breaks throughout the day and not to continue work or checking emails after the working day. As the daylight hours shorten, it could be advantageous to encourage workers to go for their daily exercise when it is light outside and adapt their working hours to accommodate this. This will ensure that employees are getting fresh air each day as well as a break from the screen – both key parts of managing a work-life balance.