Here we are, five months into our “new normal” amidst the global Covid-19 pandemic. For many industries, working from home has become routine out of necessity. Gone are the days of donning a shirt and tie during peak productive hours, instead most are opting for relaxed fits day-to-day.
As the first month of remote work brought the need for rapid changes in the way many offices and workplaces operate, and how to best align teams to remain productive, we now have to ask: are our teams remaining motivated?
Three positive motivators for inspired work performance that may suffer with remote work include:
- Play: This is the top dog in employee motivation and can reduce the most rapidly when working from home. Play might include collaborative problem-solving with colleagues through engaging brainstorming meetings or working a client event and seeing the fruits of your labour in action.
- Purpose: Work, for many, gives a clear sense of purpose to our days. Of the three P’s this one is the easiest to see decline in the Covid era, as team members working remote have decreased visibility of their impact on clients and each other.
- Potential: Finally, career potential becomes particularly challenging for team members who rely on having access to colleagues that teach and help them develop in their roles. These team members may feel stagnant in their ability to contribute meaningfully and further develop their craftsmanship in their given positions.
How as employers can we shift the motivation mindset for our employees and inspire creativity, adaptability, and quality of work contribution?
Keep in mind that for many, work is both a place of play and purpose and with reductions in work, or changes in work location, many may suddenly feel they are lacking in both. Covid-19 brought with it a strong pivot by many employers to move towards tactical work that is procedural and ticket-based, which inherently eliminates a sense of creativity and play for team members.
So, how do we keep work engaging enough to keep our teams excited about it?
Experimentation & Problem Solving
Consider what areas of your business might benefit from some creative problem solving. Where can you improve your internal practices? How can you provide even more outstanding service for your clients and customers? Where can you find growth in a time full of fear?
Have your team help create the questions to solve and empower them to come together to find solutions on the things that truly matter to the collective. By allowing your employees to work collaboratively and giving each employee a challenge to solve for the greater good of the company you will be amazed at the potential for improved motivation! Consider challenges both big and small.
Engage With Your Team
Team members may not have a clear concept of where they can add value or how they can bring up challenges or questions to pursue. Be sure to take the time to connect with your team members and ask them how their current situation might be affecting them, or what tips they might have to share on how they have been motivating themselves remotely, and take the time to listen.
Shake Up Your Weekly Routine
Take time each week to move away from your tactical operation methods and focus instead on internal adaptability; no plans, no tickets to complete, just experimentation and problem solving within the business. Your week could look something like this:
Monday: Collaborative team meeting including a reflection on the previous week’s impact and learnings, present week’s commitments and who is responsible for them, how the team can work together to help each other reach these goals, and what new problem solving experiments you might run and who is responsible for them.
Mid-Week: Take the time to connect with each of your team members individually to help them tackle their unique challenges or help to coordinate small group meetings where collaborative efforts can take on bigger problems.
Friday: Close the week out with some reflection. Showcase your team’s findings from your problem-solving initiatives that week and check in on everyone’s motivation levels and progress. Ask your team where they struggled with motivation and where they thrived!
Determining what your measures for success are in your business is the strongest indication to your staff of what you value as their employer. By working to create an environment where all voices can be heard, your employees can collaborate to both determine problems and find the solutions; an invaluable practice in these new times to keep engagement and motivation high.
How can Fraser & Hoyt help you to create a more motivated and adaptable team during these unprecedented times? Connect with us to find out!