Work from Home Diary: How to Keep Employees Motivated During Uncertain Times

By Hani Khan
It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these. Work from Home is here to stay and Simpplr hit Day 100 of Work from Home last week. It’s surreal to think that the way we work has changed so dramatically over the course of the past few months. 

With no end in sight and many companies such as Google announcing that work from home has been extended to Summer 2021, employees are struggling to accept this new reality. Feelings of isolation, lack of motivation and moments of unproductivity have been hitting employees hard during this time. 

Impact of COVID-19 on Employee Motivation

As the days then weeks then months pass, it can feel increasingly difficult to stay motivated during a pandemic and social justice movement. But remote work is here to stay. 

Remote work has its positives and negatives but organizations need to figure out methods to keep their remote workforce motivated and productivity high.  

What is gained by reduction of commute times and flexibility in work hours is counteracted by loss of social interaction and collaboration which can turn into employee isolation. Now more than ever, employers need to ensure that their employees feel connected and engaged to their fellow coworkers and what is happening inside an organization. 

How to Drive Employee Motivation in the Workplace

Here are some actions your organization can take for improving employee motivation during these times: 

1.Build a culture of trust

The pandemic has taught organizations that leaders need to stay authentic to the company’s mission and value. Strong leaders need to be transparent in their communications whether it’s sharing good or bad news. Organizations that create transparency with their words and actions through their internal communication platforms improve trust among their employees

2. Engage leaders

Employees want and need to hear from leadership. As we navigate the ‘new normal’, effective leaders should energize employees through their words and actions to align employees with the organization’s mission. Direct communication from executives has proven to be an important factor in driving employee motivation.  

3. Communicate clearly

As many organizations rushed to shift to work from home, they had to update working policies and procedures. Not only was there pressure to ensure business continuity but leaders had to ensure that employees were receiving and consuming all pertinent information in a timely manner. By ensuring that important news is updated in a centralized location, employees are kept informed, engaged and motivated. 

4. Create Social Outlets for employees

Working from home can easily turn into hours of meeting after meeting or uninterrupted screen time for employees. Typically it may seem like productivity but often times is mindless activity with a drain of creativity and energy. 

Instead, encourage employees with a planned social activity whether its a daily prompt on your intranet that people can look forward to or a team bonding activity to add some fun to the isolated work experience.  

5. Provide employees with proper technology

Most organizations are shifting to digitizing their workplace and providing employees with the proper digital tools to keep them connected. Whether it’s implementing video conferencing, instant messaging or an internal communications platform – employers need to consider new technology which will keep employees aligned and motivated. 

6. Encourage employee feedback

Welcome feedback. Employees want to know that their voices are being heard and that their input is being taken. Survey employees on whether actions are working and ingrain it into company culture. During this time, it’s important to connect with employees and address any concerns that they may have. Find out what they need from you. 

7. Enable teamwork and collaboration

Connect your employees through collaboration. Find creative ways to connect employees together to problem-solve their way to the best solutions. Employees will feel more engaged and motivated when they feel like they’re part of a team.

8. Recognize Good Work

Rewarding employees for their hard work is instrumental in motivating them to work hard and smart during this time. Employee recognition can take many different forms such as public acknowledgement through email, team meetings, or intranet or it can be a gift card to a local restaurant. A simple message can make a huge difference in making employees feel valued as they work from home.

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