Coronavirus Diaries: How to Motivate your Employees during a Lockdown

The coronavirus is spreading its tentacles throughout the world at breakneck speed. This invisible enemy, an unexpected equalizer, is attacking people on every continent; and in every age group, race and economic strata, disrupting the status quo of life as we know it.

Remote Working Challenges

As the toll of coronavirus cases steadily increases, many countries have enforced a lockdown as social distancing is likely the only way to flatten the curve. To support this measure, many organizations have asked their employees to work remotely.

More remote workers and remote teams imply more challenges. The most common challenge is in establishing clear policies for remote work. An even bigger test is enforcing these policies across teams. Clarity on remote working policies will be helpful in the long run, since it may become a norm AC (after corona).

Some key issues faced by a workforce in a large scale remote working situation are as follows:

Real-time supervision

Managers have to use employee engagement tools to talk to their workforce. Without real time supervision, managers might find it harder to garner accountability and productivity.

Mental Health

Being cooped up within four walls poses challenges of a more personal kind. In these cases, mental health becomes a priority. Unless one is accustomed to being alone, loneliness can creep in and wreak havoc on one’s psyche. With the quarantine extending to millions across the globe, loneliness will reach epidemic proportions almost as much as the virus itself.

Moreover, the uncertainty surrounding this crisis makes people question their future. When will the crisis end? How will it impact my family and finances? Is my job safe? These are few doubts running in employees’ minds during these testing times. In these cases, the onus of helping employees maintain mental balance is on the company and is the key to keeping the productivity graph on a steady trajectory till the situation subsides.

Staying Motivated

In a quarantine like situation, staying motivated on the job is a daunting task. Working from home comes with distractions. Multi-tasking between household chores, catering to family, kids and pets, and so on, is inevitable. Being solely focussed on professional tasks becomes harder as days go by. Also, the lack of face-to-face interactions with peers and managers makes it harder to receive outside motivation and can result in losing crucial momentum and focus on the job. Creative ways to motivate a predominantly remote workforce becomes a key challenge in times like these.

Fake News

Anxiety around the COVID19 outbreak is growing day by day. A lot of conspiracy theories and fake news around the coronavirus, treatment and cures are doing the rounds on social media and other online channels. It is important for companies to collate credible information and communicate it effectively to employees on a periodic basis.

Coordination

Working together in an office helps co-workers build meaningful relationships that enhance team work and overall output. Remote working scenarios create a barrier between colleagues, and makes it all the more difficult to coordinate tasks, or communicate crucial information required for the job.

Tips to Motivate Your Employees during a Lockdown

Engagement through Virtual Contests and Activities

Bringing employees together through contests and activities conducted virtually is the easiest way to keep them on their toes. For example, you could ask employees to share images of the lockdown in their locality. Conducting a companywide or team wise workout challenge is possible using the Ideabox tool on Groupe.io. Doing a 30 day squat challenge is a good place to start. Let employees post their results on the Groupe.io activity feed at the end of the challenge. Groupe.io also has tools that let you create announcements for various events and activities, and broadcast it to the whole organization or specific groups.

Right Information

Educate and equip your workforce with the right information on COVID-19, safety tips, nutrition information and so on. Communicate measures taken by your company during this situation. You can post this on the activity feed or send documents on the subject through the file exchange function on Groupe.io. You can also create interesting posts about escalating events and topics around this issue on the activity feed and feed groups on Groupe.io.

Working out helps people stay fit and sane during a crisis. It also gives one the endorphins needed to fight off stress. Design fun workout charts and post it on your feed. Send out healthy recipes, or tips to pacify toddlers.

Self-care is really important in maintaining mental balance during these times. Draw out charts and tips for self-care, share cute videos of cute puppies to ease anxiety and stress or just post a notice about a new step your company has taken to combat the situation. All this is possible using Groupe.io feed groups. You can also share DIY activities to do together as a group to engage people and ease stress.

Counselling and collaboration

Offer online counselling sessions with employees to help them off load their isolation anxiety, vent their fears or just de-stress. This will go a long way in maintaining their morale and lighten their load until the situation gets better. The one-on-one chat option on Groupe.io allows you to engage with employees on sensitive issues. Group chats are also possible for team collaboration to share deliverables and other details regarding workflow.

Critical Communication

The current pandemic is akin to a war like situation, where measures are being taken on a daily and weekly basis to combat the crisis. To ensure that your employees stay on top of on-going events, and are informed on time about any new developments being made both politically and at an organizational level, push notifications are an ideal tool to use on the Groupe.io platform.

Frontline

Your frontline workforce is most affected by this pandemic as a result of being at the forefront of the company and engaging with customers on a daily basis. Apart from finding ways to motivate employees you need to stay on top of operations with a fraction of your frontline workforce with constant engagement and communication measures using Groupe.io. The platform is designed specifically for frontline workers. On-boarding is easy and no official email is required for the process.  For frontline workers who are on a downtime due to the coronavirus crisis, continue to engage with them by conducting activities and constant interaction, and enquire about their well-being, so as to keep them at the forefront of developments in the company. This also creates in them a feeling of inclusivity and a sense of belonging.

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