If you have the opportunity to be working right now, you probably know that “business as usual” hasn’t been very usual. Whether you are working from home or safely enough in an office, morale is a little low. So how do you increase the morale of your workforce in a pandemic and economic crisis? The answer is with a little bit of effort.
Take A Look At Your Own Challenges & Then At Others
Everyone is currently experiencing different challenges. While this isn’t unusual, feelings have been amplified in this pandemic. What are you experiencing? Do you have children running around and you’re tired? Are you lonely? Are you feeling cagey? If you are having some of these feelings, others probably are too. When talking to your colleagues or subordinates try to see their challenges and work on your compassion towards them. If you see a co-worker on a zoom call, you could be the only person they see or talk to that day! We may not have the same experiences, but we can see people and the challenges they face, and sometimes that’s all people want. To be seen.
Communication Is Key
Specifically from a work perspective, things are different. You aren’t walking around an office talking to people, and there isn’t an opportunity to have a brief team meeting. As much as we’d like to think that people can read our minds, they will have no clue if you are on a conference
call or working on an important project. They might not even know you’re “out of the office”. It’s important to find thorough ways to communicate and sometimes whether we like it or not, we need to broadcast what we are up to. Help your staff find ways to easily communicate. Many platforms like Slack can let you put up a status letting people know your current situation. Overall, exercise patience, as people don’t exactly want to put on blast when they need to go use the restroom.
Your schedule might be very different now, and so might someone else’s. For you, it could be easy to get wrapped up in work, but for others, it might not be so convenient. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself about timelines. Deadlines are important, but maybe starting and ending work doesn’t proceed like it used to. Technical issues, intermittent internet service, and children can cause many interruptions. As they say “go with the flow”.
Be The Leader You Want To Have
If you are a leader, no matter what position you have, think about how you’d like to be led. Think about how you’d want a leader to treat you if you were going through some particularly tough challenges. This outside perspective helps us reorient ourselves and get out of our own narrow view. It’s not bad that we have our own experiences, it’s just easy to forget that others aren’t living the same things. Take a few moments to see what that might look like and you’ll be able to understand others a little bit better.
Realize That Social Time Might Not Really Help
If you’d like to give your staff some social time, don’t forget that some of them may have been on zoom calls all day and the last thing they might want to do is get on one for fun. It can be difficult to talk to multiple people at once and maybe people just want to get out of their chairs and go for a walk. Offering social time might work great for some employees and really help them relax and unwind, but for others, it might not be at all. Consider that if some folks want to opt-out of a social zoom meeting, it should be ok.
Working on upping the morale of your staff will look different for every place of work and frankly for every person. Working on your compassion, perspective and consideration is going to make you an amazing leader regardless if there is a pandemic or not. Do your best to communicate and help others do the same while being flexible and understanding. By no means will anything be perfect, but putting in the effort will make a huge difference not only for those you work with but for yourself.
Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash