In this guest post, Rumzz Bajwa of SMB Compass, a small business financing company, offers tips to employers who want to maintain employee morale in a virtual workplace.
Among the many challenges of navigating remote work is maintaining employee morale. Working from home eliminates the benefits of morale-boosting office activities like catching up with co-workers in the breakroom, having team lunches, or going out for drinks to relieve stress after work. As a result, many of those working remotely may feel lonely, isolated, and at times underappreciated, which could lead to a significant drop in team morale.
Morale is known to be the primary driver of a company’s productivity. If your employees are happy and satisfied with their working arrangements, they’re more likely to produce higher quality output and contribute significantly to the company’s bottom line. Here are five ways to maintain morale while working remotely.
Keep a Constant Line of Communication
Effective and consistent communication is the key to a successful business. Beyond productivity, communication benefits your employees’ well-being. Your staff should know you have their back and are available for them if and whenever they have a work-related question or concern. Even if employees aren’t all working physically in the same space right now, that doesn’t mean communication has to be hindered.
Leaders and managers should hold virtual staff check-in meetings to touch base and ensure that all members are aligned with progress and tasks. Conduct these on a regular basis. Weekly or even daily is preferential. Meetings of this nature are an opportunity to answer staff questions and give employees a chance to see one another. To hold the meeting, Google Hangouts and Zoom are two of the most popular videoconferencing apps.
Make the time to schedule one-on-one meetings with employees individually to see how they are doing. If an employee is struggling, they may feel more comfortable discussing this with a manager or team lead in private. Employees want to know they are being heard.
Recognize Hard Work
When employees are working remotely and powering through tasks with little social interaction, they may feel at times like their hard work is being overlooked. Now more than ever, bosses, managers, and team leads should make it a point to acknowledge good work and celebrate achievements. Research shows that 69% of employees are more likely to work harder if they’re appreciated.
There are plenty of ways to show appreciation for your staff during this time. If you feel that someone has been performing particularly well or he or she recently accomplished something noteworthy, give that person a shout out during a virtual team meeting. A small act like this could easily boost that person’s confidence. You could also send out a weekly or monthly email to highlight different employee successes. If able, incentivize and reward good work with things like a day off or salary bonus.
Hold a Virtual Team Building Activity
Building and maintaining employee morale and team spirit can be challenging when everyone is working from a different place. So, try setting up virtual team-building activities to provide opportunities to get that facetime in. For instance, a virtual happy hour is a fun way for the team to connect on a more personal level outside the scope of work. Other virtual activities could include a cooking class, group meditation session, or workout class.
For something more tangible, you could set-up a care package program where you and the team send packages to each other. This is a fun, outside the box way for co-workers to show they care about one another.
Encourage Growth and Learning in Your Team
Continued opportunities for growth and learning is probably the most effective way to boost your employees’ morale, especially if they’re working remotely. Many companies have taken a hit due to COVID, so there’s a good chance that work has slowed down a bit. This, compounded by the fact that people are literally stuck in their homes, can cause a feeling of stagnation when it comes to working.
Combat this by providing training sessions, webinars, online classes, and other learning opportunities for staff members to expand their skills. Platforms like Udemy and Coursera offer free courses in different career paths like coding, marketing, and many more. You could either select a class and invite your staff
to attend, or pay for them to select one of their choosing. Allow them to allocate time during the workday to take the class. Show employees that the company is willing to invest in their growth.
Trust Your Employees
Lastly, learn to trust your employees. When you have employees working remotely, it can be tempting to micromanage their every move. We strongly urge you to fight the urge to do that. Your employees don’t want to feel like you are breathing down their necks, or that you don’t trust them to do a good job. This
unnecessary pressure could certainly deflate morale, but even more, affect their mental health.
Understand that your employees will each have different times in the day that they are the most productive. For example, someone with children may have to monitor their children’s online learning for a portion of the day. For that person, early mornings or evenings may work best for them to get work done. Give your employees the space to create a work schedule that fits their needs. This will ensure that they are able to submit a high-quality output.
Final Thoughts on Maintaining Employee Morale
Your employees’ morale directly affects your company’s productivity. If you think of your company as an engine, your employees are the fuel that keeps it running. The happier they are at what they do, the better their productivity levels will be. Implementing the suggestions above, as simple as they may seem, can help create a culture of positivity and appreciation. In turn, this will foster contentment and happiness for all your remote staff during this difficult and unprecedented time.
Rumzz is a writer and content marketer at SMB Compass. She enjoys spending time with her family. She loves to go out and experience new moments whenever they came to light. Rumzz discovers satisfaction in investigating new subjects that help to extend her points of view. You can frequently locate her immersed in a good book or out searching for a new experience.
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