State governments have issued lockdown orders to stop the spread of COVD-19. That means that your employees can have no other option, but to work from home. It’s going to be a bit difficult to run things remotely especially if you’ve never done it before. However, it’s not impossible. The following strategies highlight ways that you can use to engage with employees and encourage them to work harder during this tough period.
- Set Up Short-Term Objectives
As COVID-19 cases rise, we don’t know when things will get back to normal. It’s also highly unlikely that we’ll return to the old ways in a few months. Medical professionals and scientists say that it could take more than a year to develop an effective corona vaccine. As a manager, you have to set goals and expectations for your team. However, given the sudden and unexpected nature of the situation, you should involve your employees in decision making. Discuss what they think is important for the short term. When you consider their opinions and suggestions, it motivates them.
- Endorse Open Communication
During these uncertain times, your colleagues look up to you for guidance. Be bold and ask your employees what they want from you. What do they need from the company? How will those actions make them better? Let them know that your lines of communication are always open to hearing their concerns. After your employees have given you suggestions on what they think the company should be focusing on, analyze the responses and come up with clear goals and objectives. Assign specific tasks to your employees and tell them what you expect from them. Give them a deadline. Let them speak if they want an extension or if they have an obstacle that may stop them from achieving those goals. Help them solve that problem so that things can remain on track.
- Daily Check-Ups
It’s not impossible to supervise remote workers. You can check-up on the employees every day during normal working hours. Send them a message to ask how things are. Ask them about the progress of the team project. Are they experiencing any connectivity issues that you should know about? Are they collaborating with other members of the team? Do they have questions? When you check-up on employees, you minimize time wastage and increase their productivity.
- Show Them you Appreciate their Efforts
Your employees need recognition and appreciation. Since the pandemic has everybody worried, your employees need something to look forward to. Invest in a cloud-based employee recognition application to let your workers know how much you value them. The software will allow you to share employee accomplishments with the rest of the staff remotely. It also enables employees to vote for a colleague that they think deserves the prize. The system will give employees hope and make them more excited to work with their colleagues online.
- Build an Online Office Community
Working from home can have its toll on your employees. They will be tired of being in the same environment all the time. As a result, depression could kick in. To protect your employees, move the office environment and culture online. You can do so by creating an online community. Create an informal office group where employees can chat with one another about different topics. It will remind them of the freedom they had in the office environment.
- Hold Them Accountable
Despite the changes, your employees should know that things remain the same. During office hours, you expect them to focus on company tasks. To make things more interesting, every morning during a workday, ask employees to give you their office to-do list for the day. By the close of office hours, ask them for a progress email. Tell them to send you the message before they shut down the work computer. At the end of the week, ask every worker for an individual report on the progress of their weekly duties. Talk to them if you notice inconsistencies.
Business activity has slowed down because people are scared. However, if you take care of your employees, you can shield your business from cash flow problems. Your workers have the power to persuade people to buy from you. Engage them using the above strategies, and they’ll be more motivated to make sales.