Team morale refers to the excitement, enthusiasm, and satisfaction that your employees feel when working as a group to attain common business goals. High team morale is crucial for the success of any business as it translates into high employee engagement. This results in increased productivity and performance. On the other hand, low team morale can result in a lack of motivation and poor performance. This can lead to conflicts within the team and loss of revenue.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, business organizations across the world are facing the challenging task of keeping team morale high. With many organizations taking the recourse of pay cuts, layoffs, and tight budgets, the scenario is a glim one when it comes to team morale.
Here are a few tips for keeping team morale high during a slowdown.
Tips for keeping team morale high during a slowdown
Restore the team’s faith in the organization
It is important to restore your team’s belief in the organization, more so when working during COVID-19. You must emphasize what you are doing as a team and what goals you are pursuing in the long term. A mismatch in the understanding of goals can cause a feeling of resentment and dissatisfaction within the team. By encouraging your team to view the larger picture and have faith in the organization, you can motivate them to be more involved in their tasks.
Acknowledge the team’s contribution
One of the effective tips for keeping morale high during COVID19 is to acknowledge the efforts put in by your team. More than position or money, what motivates your team is the work they do and how they feel about it. By appreciating their hard work, you can make them feel like they are a valued entity of the organization. Be careful not to acknowledge a non-performer as it will prove to be counterproductive.
It is a common practice for many companies to do away with recognition events and team rewards during a slowdown. But by continuing such rewards and acknowledgment programs, you can make a huge difference in your team’s morale.
Allow flexibility in your team’s functionality
Incorporating flexibility at the work front can go a long way in keeping your team’s morale high. There are several ways in which you can introduce flexibility while ensuring that your team performs optimally.
For instance, you can allow your team to work remotely from coworking spaces located near their residences i.e., #WalkToWork. This will enable your employees to work out of a relaxed yet professional environment. You can even go for flexible work hours. The idea is to keep the team motivated to give their best without compromising on your business goals.
Break a big goal into smaller achievable goals
Small actionable steps are the secret to achieving big success, even more so when your business is going through a slowdown. Setting goals at a high level might make it difficult to accomplish them. This, in turn, will adversely impact the morale of your employees. Instead, you need to break your big goals down into smaller and actionable goals (and creating excitement around them).
After establishing the goals, the next step is to create some milestones for your long-term, medium-term, and short-term goals. While long-term goals can have a longer time frame (a few months or years), medium and short-term goals should have immediate timelines. It is also a good practice to establish multiple short-term goals for a quarter as it helps create a sense of accomplishment among your team members.
Keep communications transparent
It is important to maintain clear and transparent communication with your team, regardless of whether they are working during COVID-19 or in normal times. A lack of clarity in communication can create confusion among your team members, which can hamper work. By being transparent in communication, you can help your team to stay calm even in the face of a crisis like the ongoing pandemic.
When you provide timely information to your team, they can have an idea of what to expect and plan accordingly. This can create a feeling of trust and respect for the management, which is essential for team productivity.
Listen to the team’s voice
An easy way to reduce dissatisfaction within your team and increase morale is to listen to them. It is important to provide your team members with the scope to voice their opinions. By listening to them and making them feel heard, you can help in developing a confident team for your organization.
It may take some amount of time and patience on your part to listen to what your team has to say. But in the long run, it can reduce stress and dissatisfaction within the team to a large extent.
Lastly, never forget to celebrate success, no matter how small it is. When going through challenging times, businesses often tend to focus more on problems and targets than achievements. However, always remember that success begets success, so celebrating it will help create momentum among your team and push them to achieve more.
That’s not all! Celebrations also make your employees feel that the hard times they have been through and the efforts they have put in were worth it. From a hand-written note, a meeting to express your gratitude and a company-wide email to a shout-out on your social media platforms and a team lunch, there are many ways to celebrate success at work even when your business is going through a slowdown.
Keeping team morale high is important for organizations of all sizes and nature. This can lead to low turnover rates. Additionally, it can help attract top talent into the company’s fold.
Have you noticed a sudden decrease in enthusiasm or energy among your team? It may have something to do with team morale. By following the above-mentioned tips, you can motivate your team members and encourage them to remain productive on the work front.