According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, American companies spend $300 billion every year on stress-related work issues like reduced productivity, absenteeism, health insurance costs, direct medical expenses and employee turnover.
Add in a pandemic with shelter-in-place orders and employees wearing multiple hats, like teaching their children while working from home and it can become a challenge keeping employees motivated while working remotely.
You can keep employees engaged and motivated with these simple ideas:
1. Ask for Help in Solving Problems.
Strong leaders engage employees by asking their help in generating ideas for improving the business. When business owners create an environment where employees are part of a solution, there is increased buy in.
For example, a manufacturing company avoided having to layoff manufacturing employees by asking employees for their ideas on how the company could generate business. One employee’s idea resulted in the company creating a new revenue stream and entering a new market with their product. This approach prevented the company from having to lay off employees from their jobs. The people closest to the product or service can often help develop creative solutions; and, in this case, a new revenue stream that kept everyone employed.
2. Celebrate the Small Things.
Too often considerable energy is spent on how badly the company is performing. Employees hear nothing but negative news creating an even more stressful work environment and focusing on what’s wrong, which crushes creative solutions. Even in down times, there are small things to celebrate, such as the company anniversary or birthdays.
Get everyone to start off with the right mindset in your meetings. Ask everyone to verbalize one thing they are grateful for or that they accomplished that forwarded their goals. Over time, you’ll start to notice how employees hold each other accountable for using this thought-shifter helping to change the focus on what you do want to celebrate rather than focusing on the negative circumstances.
3. Focus on the Top 3 Things Each Day.
Focus is interrupted by the latest email chain and keeps employees reading off-strategy news.
One business owner received complaints from her staff on how they were interrupted frequently which impeded productivity. During the morning team calls, she had everyone communicate their three priority tasks. Each employee then set time on their calendars for these priorities. If you needed to talk with someone, you set an appointment time on their calendar avoiding the time they were working on the priority tasks. In the end, employees accomplished what they set out to and worked more efficiently together.
These simple processes invite employees to be part of the solution, celebrate the small stuff, and manage their energy and time. In the end, everyone benefits from a healthy, forward-focused work environment.
Want fresh, new processes and systems to build a resilient business?
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