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Motivate a Team During Challenging Times

Regardless of the line of work you are in, there will come a time in which your business will experience some sort of challenge: anything from losing a big account, computer crashes, or data breaches, to global pandemics. Regardless of the challenge, employees will continue to be the most important resource an organization will have, therefore, companies must ensure that their staff remain motivated to aid in the continued success of an organization. The following are three ways to motivate a team during challenging times.

Every challenge represents an opportunity and the best way to overcome them is to understand the issues your staff is facing. Do not ignore the fact that a problem exists. Address the issue, ask your staff how they feel, and listen. As they speak, show interest, demonstrate compassion, patience, and your desire to help. Ask your staff for new ideas and show your support. Together, work on ways to create efficient and effective solutions to help them reach their goals. While the company’s overall mission and goals may not change, your staff’s goals and expectations might. You must be willing to adapt to the new environment by determining expectations and clearly communicating those with the team. 

Studies show that employees who feel appreciated will work harder and are less likely to look for new jobs. Therefore, it is always important to show appreciation for your staff, but especially during challenging times when employee morale may dip. Check in with your staff and ask how they are doing. Express gratitude for their work and efforts, and demonstrate that you have their back during good times and bad. Show your appreciation frequently, verbally, and in writing (think end-of-week genuine “thank you” emails to the team, etc.) This will create an overall sense of loyalty that will increase engagement, motivation, and productivity. Recognizing and respecting your employees is one of the biggest compliments you can give them.

While we know that a decrease in business, loss in revenue, and furloughs/layoffs are nothing to celebrate, your staff must remain positive and motivated to persist. This is a time when every small victory means a new obstacle has been overcome, and it creates an overall sense of achievement. By celebrating small successes your team may feel a sense of meaning, pride, and motivation for their hard work. Accomplishment makes people feel good. Employees who feel good tend to be happier. Happy employees work harder. Celebrate the wins, no matter how small, by thanking your staff individually and as a team, and by offering small rewards, such as a paid lunch or extra time off (employees love paid time off!).

Remember, your staff is your most important resource. If they succeed, you succeed. 

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