Boost motivation amongst your employees during the pandemic
Boost motivation amongst your employees during the pandemic
The pandemic has brought about a lack of motivation for some employees – especially amongst younger staff. The pandemic has created drastic changes in an employees working environment. This change could be a reduced office capacity, remote working or flexible working. Lack of motivation can directly impact productivity and performance. Because of this, managers need to confront this issue and adapt to improve the motivation levels of their staff. Otherwise, this drop in motivation is likely to lead to a decline in quality, adaptability and creativity within the business.
Research by management consultancy Lane4 has identified that a drop in motivation has been most prevalent amongst younger staff. The study of 1000 UK workers, carried out by YouGov found that 44% of employees under 35 years old have said a lack of motivation has been hindering their workplace performance since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, the performance of a younger worker is significantly more likely to be impacted by a lack of motivation than the average for all ages (28%). It is important for employers to acknowledge this trend, but also understand that any of their staff can suffer from a lack of motivation.
Factors impacting motivation and performance
- Growing health and wellbeing concerns
- Constraints and distractions of working from home.
Distractions at home are most likely to impact those between the ages of 35 and 44 years old. This could be down to a number of reasons, a main one being child care.
- Lack of connection or communication within and outside of their teams (including their employer)
We are speaking to fewer colleagues, especially when working remotely or flexibly. There are less face-to-face or virtual conversations taking place amongst colleagues. Lack of connection is most likely to impact those under the age of 35.
- Lost sense of purpose
Employees may have a decreased visibility into their impact on clients and colleagues. Additionally, there is no one there to remind them of their impact when they are working from home or remotely.
- Loss of development
If they are unable to gain access to colleagues who teach and develop them.
- Job Insecurity
All employees want to feel a sense of security and longevity within their job. Lack of communication around a redundancy process your business is conducting could result in employees becoming demotivated as they may suspect they are leaving.
You could measure your employees’ motivation using online tools or your own preferred survey tool. This will help you to better understand how your staff are feeling and what factors are affecting their motivation. Even just discussing this topic with your employees will provide insight on how they are feeling.
How can HR keep staff motivated and engaged?
- Maintain the social element of work.
Recreate the social office experience through video calls. Set up a virtual drink or quiz with your team so that your colleagues are able to speak to each other and catch up informally. Encourage everyone to participate in these.
- Check in with staff
There are lots of platforms which you can used to keep in touch with your staff when they are not in the office. Take the time to have regular chats with your employees to ensure that they are happy and healthy. This also gives them the opportunity to voice any concerns that they may have.
Moreover, employers should arrange team meetings throughout the week. Initially discuss the tasks and goals for the week. Then throughout the week use the meetings to check up on them, motivate further and tackle any challenges that anyone is having. Then towards the end of the week use the meetings as a point of reflection of how the week has gone.
- Promote collaboration
To minimise the feeling of isolation, promote engagement in and between teams. Create platforms for social communication such as Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp or group emails. Employees can air views, ideas and concerns responsibly this way when working separately. They are also able to ask for clarity when unsure about something easily. Informal conversations can be misleading and kill motivation.
- Challenging but achievable workload
Some may think it would be wise to drop their employee’s workload to help them cope. But this may not work for all employees. Work can deliver a boost for employees and act as a distraction for other things going on in their life. Therefore if you are considering lowering workload it should be a discussed with each individual employee to understand their preference. Their high workload may be the driver of their motivation. On the contrary do not set them an unrealistic workload. They will soon become stressed, and as a result become demotivated.
- Make employees work engaging
Find ways to ensure that all employees feel like they have a challenge that they can help solve. By feeling involved in an important problem solving process will increase motivation.
- Provide opportunities
Offer opportunities for employees to improve their skills and further their knowledge on topics. This could involve in-house training or virtual training. In you are in the position where you are able to, you could offer to pay for training. Furthermore, it is important to nurture those who may have fallen behind to reach the level of others. Support them by celebrating their willingness to learn and progress.
- Establish a good reward system
Appreciate employees’ efforts to meet goals by creating a reward system. An example of this is an employee of the month incentive. It boosts motivation and gives employees something to strive for.
- Reassurance in job security
Those who remain during a redundancy process should be considered. They need reassurance and good communication throughout this process so that they feel secure in their job and thus stay motivated.
HR should understand that it takes time for employees to adapt to changes in their working environment. Due to this, the motivation and therefore productivity of your staff may be lower than what it was before Covid19 to begin with. Allow time for your workforce to acclimatise to their new environment. Employers will need to ensure that they are offering the support and incentives to keep motivation high.
We understand this turbulent time is unlike anything any employer has had to deal with and therefore boosting motivation can be difficult. At HPC we can assist employers in creating a diligent and successful atmosphere for your employees to thrive in. We can offer expert advice on how to implement practices into your business which will help to boost employee motivation.
If you have any concerns or would like to discuss motivation further, please get in contact with the HPC team today.
T: 0844 800 5932