With the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies were forced to transition into a remote work environment quickly. With many teams having little experience operating from home, team morale may be at risk. New protocols, team structures, and communication strategies are needed to ensure your employees feel motivated and comfortable to do their job from home successfully. Being thrown into remote work can cause employees to feel isolated, worried, and confused about the new way of working. This state can produce low morale within your workforce and a declining attitude for achievement and growth.
Team morale drives productivity, promotes personal growth, and emphasizes innovation within a company. A team with high morale enjoys going to work and tends to perform higher. Needless to say, keeping your team happy and motivated as they are navigating through this crisis personally and professionally is imperative to survive through these challenging times. To help you and your team strive for greatness, here are some quick ways to boost team morale remotely.
Be in constant and consistent contact with your team. By using tools like Zoom and Slack, team members can communicate face-to-face, understand the responsibilities of team projects, and continue building trust with their peers and leaders. Team members can even maintain small, personal conversations as well. Having the capability to talk outside of work-related conversations develops a sense of community and can combat loneliness, some may begin to feel. A great way to encourage a bit of office socializing is to set up a communal virtual meeting room for people to join when they’re taking a break or need to chat. It may take a while for people to feel comfortable at first, but offering this digital space to talk and connect can boost team confidence, cohesiveness, and community.
Another big part of building high morale is connecting cross-departmental. Hosting a weekly virtual cocktail hour, morning coffee, or game night can help build and maintain a healthy company culture. Allowing your team to develop and adjust to a new normal is necessary for success.
When it comes to discussing breaks and schedules, it can be hard to manage. A lot of employees find it difficult to put down their work for the day. Some may begin working too much when stuck at home. This lack of structure can cause team members to become exhausted and unmotivated, lowering overall morale. An effective way to address this problem is by encouraging frequent breaks. It’s a great time to utilize those open meeting rooms! Having a remote team is vastly different than in office work. As a manager, the focus shouldn’t be on exactly how your team is doing their work, but rather, the efficiency and success of their projects and responsibilities. That said, encouraging your team to create flexibility within their schedule when needed must come with reciprocal trust. Leaders must trust their employees to continue to produce quality work on time. Most importantly, to feel comfortable taking time for mental and physical health, employees must know, without a doubt, their leaders trust them.
Success in Recognition
If this is your first time managing a remote team or being a part of one, you might be finding that recognition for success isn’t always prioritized. Everyone wants to feel accomplished. When individuals are recognized for their growth and success, team morale is boosted. Having a system of recognition in place is a great way to support team morale. A nice way to do this is to celebrate the small wins in your day to day communication channels. If a member of your team was able to complete a tough project, congratulate them within your team communication channel. For bigger accomplishments, celebrate those wins in larger communication channels that reach more parts of the company or even over video conferencing.
Transparency Goes Both Ways
An effective and successful remote team runs on feedback and transparency. Employees need to feel confident in where the company stands and know that what they’re doing matters. On the other hand, management needs to know the same about their teams. Constant, mutual feedback can allow you to adapt and pivot, avoiding future complications or kinks in communication that could slow your productivity or distract from growth. Holding one-on-one sessions can allow you to gather data on how individuals on your team are doing. Such banter can also enable employees to ask questions, seek guidance, and understand leadership better. Having an informed team is having an effective team.
It can be difficult to transition to remote work when you’re used to seeing your colleagues every day. The pandemic has proved the power in community. We can overcome challenges when we come together. On the other side of this crisis, you can implement things learned as a team and become even better than before. Until then, effectively implementing these tactics can help you boost your team morale and, in turn, boost productivity and growth. HeadsUp is committed to your growth and strategy for the future. If you would like to see more advice on remote work, visit our COVID Resource Page.