How companies can boost employee morale upon workplace resumption

It goes without saying that the current COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for all, be it the first-line responders such as our health professional to manufacturers and small businesses who depend on the daily transactions to keep themselves afloat. While employees were forced to adopt remote working options, many struggled with maintaining a healthy work-life balance and keep their spirits up. With the lockdown slowly easing and most of the employees gearing up to get back to work, there is a good chance that your employees would need an extra dose of motivation and positive vibe to help them adapt to the ‘new normal’.

A recent Gallup survey has shown that low morale can cost companies anywhere between $483 to $605 billion loss each year due to low productivity. It is a huge figure, one that cannot be ignored. Low morale has a direct effect on an employee’s productivity leading to low turnover, high rate of absenteeism, and general negativity. There is nothing wrong if a person feeling low sometimes, however, the management should indulge in a ‘pulse check’ with various departments and teams before it becomes an organisation-wide issue. With most employees struggling to find a balance and manage their anxieties, all employers must consider employee engagement programs to keep the employees focussed and in sync with the organisational goals.

Here are some ways to boost employee morale and improve business productivity in the long run:

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1. Low Hanging Goals

Employees need a target as part of their daily motivation to work. Setting achievable low hanging fruits can improve their focus and help them boost their confidence once the said objectives are achieved. It puts them in a better mental frame, improves positivity, and gives a sense of accomplishment. Start from small and work their way to more challenging tasks. As managers, you will need to help them out of their low morale.

2. Encourage Employees to invest time in skill-building

Another method to boost employee morale is encouraging employees to take up a course and focus on skill-building. Taking a course just for half an hour a day in their spare time can help employees feel focussed and motivated. Such online courses need not necessarily interfere with their daily tasks. Most companies such as Google, Twitter, Unsplash encourage their employees to get some time off their daily routine and focus on skill-building workshops, courses, and projects.

3. Increase Lunch Time For Relaxed Team Building

Businesses have not stopped working, it has just slowed down in this current pandemic. Therefore, to beat any type of blues within your employees, consider extending the lunch break hour. For fear of being in the bad books of their bosses, 20% of employees skip lunch. This is not only bad to boost morale, it will also affect those employees with low energy, making them more stressed, cranky, and tired. Managers should take their teams for coffee and tea breaks as part of a healthy team-building exercise which has proven to have a significant impact on the team’s morale and positive outlook.

4. Celebrate Milestones

It is important to celebrate even the small milestones, appreciating the good never goes out of fashion. Employees need to be told that they are doing well and are on the right track. When an employee overperforms, let them know, as it helps to boost their morale and the recognition motivates them to go above and beyond their call of duty.

5. Crowdsource Ideas Within the Company

Instead of hiring an external agency for developing cost-cutting strategies or coming up with marketing plans, allocate an hour a week to crowdsource ideas from employees within the company. As the employees are aligned with the organisation’s goals and objectives, they will be able to ideate and come up with innovative ideas for the existing knots and problems. This will help keep the employees motivated, engaged, and valued.

These are some of the actionable strategies that can be implemented by any type of company in the current situation to keep the employees engaged and motivated. In these uncertain times, when people around the world are struggling to find their balance, focusing on team-building exercises while creating transparent workflows can help both employees and businesses to weather this storm together.

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