Don’t let one of the impacts of this long-term pandemic be your employees’ motivation. A recent Harvard Business Review article says there are three things you can do energize your people, identify and diagnose struggles and address problems.
1) Make sure your employees feel like they belong and are cared for. Take time to listen to their perspectives and let them know they are heard and valued. These simple practices may help:
- Acknowledge and validate their emotions and reactions.
- When problems arise, get full feedback from those involved to identify the biggest issues and obstacles. This also strengthens connection and communication.
- Emphasize that people’s contributions are unique and necessary.
- Communicate that you care about their wellbeing, not just their productivity.
2) Hold employees accountable for achievable goals. Empowerment, ownership and progress can improve performance and motivation (because trust begets trust, right?). These approaches are worth a try:
- Involve employees in decisions about things like developing or optimizing processes.
- Ask them to demonstrate their mastery of a task or skill, for example, to explain to the team why they chose a strategy.
- Set up check-ins to regularly discuss progress on individual goals and create strategies to meet them.
3) Encourage autonomy while also recognizing that each employee carries responsibilities for achieving team objectives. These actions can foster a sense of autonomy:
- Encourage self-initiation and participation. Ask, “What part of this project can you see yourself leading?”
- Motivate through encouragement and positive feedback. Say, “I know it’s a tight deadline, but having your skills on this team will be so helpful to our client.”
- Be transparent by providing the rationale behind requests. People are more willing to put in their full effort when they understand why a task is important.
The bottom line is this: No matter the circumstances, people are most energized and committed when they are internally motivated by their own values, sense of enjoyment and growth!