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Lottie Mayland12 Jan 2021
  • Advice
  • COVID-19
  • Work Advice

How To Motivate Your Employees Through A Third Lockdown

At the beginning of the pandemic we focussed on successful ways of transitioning to working from home and offered support and advice as we all navigated to teams working remotely and employees getting used to new systems and processes. Almost a year on and the vast majority of us now not only feel completely comfortable with remote working, but would rather work this way, or at least more flexibly, for the foreseeable future.

However, as we find ourselves in the midst of a third lockdown, during some especially dark January days, it can be hard to stay optimistic. In this blog post we are looking at ways to keep your employees motivated and engaged to ensure they feel supported and successfully able to navigate the next few months while working from home. Scroll down for some of our top tips on motivating your employees through a third lockdown.

New Employees

Starting a new job remotely can be extremely challenging and many employers are providing new joiners with an extended and enhanced induction period to ensure that they feel well supported in a new role. A full home office kit sent to a new employee before they start, frequent manager contact, remote buddying and virtual daily meetings can all make a huge difference. In general, it’s really important to ensure that new joiners get the practical and emotional support they need to ensure they feel as though they are fully supported and part of the team.

Work/Life Balance

Remind your employees that they should not be working any more hours than they would in an office, this includes taking an hour for lunch and leaving their desk at the end of the working day. You should also ensure that the social side of work still exists and your employees communicate with each other informally as well as professionally. A culture of trust is exceptionally important and your employees should not feel as though they need to prove how hard they are working or how much they have done. You could:

• Host Friday pub meetings with no work chat allowed. These could be held at the end of the day during office hours over Zoom. • Organise lunchtime webinars from influential speakers. Invite all your employees to bring their lunch to a webinar where you host a talk from someone influential or motivational. You could also send all your employees some letterbox brownies in the post for them to enjoy while watching – in the same way that treats would probably have been on offer had the talk been happening IRL. • Organise a group workout challenge or perhaps a 30 days step count competition. You could give a prize to the winner or reward anyone that completes the challenge. • Give employees with children the flexibility to take time off in the day if they need to organise home schooling. • Tell all employees that they can fit exercise into their day and if they want to take a longer lunch break to go for a walk or run that is absolutely fine.

Say Thank You and Celebrate Successes

It sounds simple but nothing beats talking to your employees one-on-one and saying thank you for their work or making the effort to say well done if something they have done has gone especially well. Drop it in at the end of a Zoom meeting or put a 10 minute catch up in the diary where you can check in and see how an employee is doing. These conversations would often happen ad hoc in an office and they can make a huge difference to how an employee feels.

Give Your Employees Opportunities To Grow

Work shadowing, training, or taking on new responsibilities can all make a big difference to ensuring employees feel as though they are still progressing and growing in their career while working from home. All of this can be done remotely so make sure you are still providing the opportunities for progression that you would be if you were still in the office and the pandemic wasn’t happening.

Encourage Long Term Thinking

As the news seems to change almost by the hour right now it’s very easy to focus on the short term and forget about the overall long-term picture. To help avoid your employees feeling overwhelmed and stressed about the immediate situation it’s important to remind your teams that this is just what is happening right now, and that things will change. When you are working from home, isolated from your colleagues, and surrounded by bad news in the media, a bad or unproductive day can feel a lot worse than if everything was normal. Remind your employees to go easy on themselves and reassure them that is doesn’t matter if they don’t feel like they have achieved their best every day; they are working through unprecedented times and the overall picture of generally how well they are coping and where they are aiming in their career is the important one.