Give each employee the space they need to contribute to their fullest potential. Be a role model for self-care, suggests Shalini Bhattacharya.
The world is currently in the midst of unprecedented and one of the most challenging times in history.
The global outbreak of the novel coronavirus has turned out to be a disaster for the global economy with losses amounting to billions of dollars per day.
In a bid to contain the virus cases which have crossed 20,00,000 globally, several governments have placed their countries under complete or partial lockdown.
Due to the pandemic and the lockdown, our routines and livelihoods seem to have been upended and most of us are still trying to adjust to our new routines.
Most businesses, aside from those dealing in essential services, have asked employees to work from home.
While becoming accustomed to the new state of normalcy, leaders of companies might witness low morale and motivation, and subsequently low productivity amongst employees.
Here are some ways to inspire and encourage your team to perform better during the lockdown.
1. Accept their emotions
The lockdown is a challenging time that we are collectively facing. However, for some people, it may be more challenging to deal with than the rest of us owing to various reasons such as familial commitments, mental health matters such as anxiety or loneliness, etc.
As a leader of the organisation/team, learn to accept and acknowledge the emotions of your team members.
This will not only put you in the good books of your team members but also bring out your leadership skills/abilities.
2. Regular conversations matter
Apart from acknowledging your team members’ emotions, it is important to regularly communicate with them.
Technology has advanced to the extent such that you can virtually connect with anyone with a single click on your computer/smartphone.
Ensure that you regularly catch up with your team and engage in light conversations with them outside of work.
Get to know them while simultaneously maintaining your boundaries and respecting their personal space.
3. Engaging activities are necessary
With the nationwide lockdown going on for a month, monotony begins to set in.
To break this monotony, keep your employees engaged with different activities that they can participate in online.
You can organise interesting sessions and workshops either pertaining to work or as an additional fun activity.
Keeping them engaged will be a refreshing break and help them be more productive during working hours.
4. Lead by example
Being a leader, your team would look up to you for guidance and support to help them weather the storm.
Demonstrating resilience and motivation will set a commendable example for your team and inspire them to do better and pitch in as a team to achieve your collective goals.
5. Acknowledge efforts
Each and every member of the team would be contributing to the business in their own ways.
It is important to acknowledge their efforts and contributions to the organisation.
When they feel heard they will be motivated to perform even better.
Acknowledgement is a form of reward which drives people to increase their efforts and contribute further.
6. Be approachable
A leader must always practice being approachable.
When your team feels that they are welcome to discuss matters of work and any challenges they may be facing, it makes it easier to relieve any work pressure/stress that he/she might be under.
Encourage them to seek help when they need it and avoid belittling them for any questions or doubts, they ask.
Offering them the required support will be a boost to their confidence and productivity levels.
7. Bring in a sense of unity
Let your team know that they are not alone.
The lockdown and the pandemic are problems the entire world is facing. Giving them the assurance and sense of togetherness will help them do away with any unwanted panic/fear.
8. Give space
Understanding that working from home is not the same as working out of office is crucial.
While working from home, one may have familial commitments such as children.
Allow some space for such matters.
Give each employee the space they need to contribute to their fullest potential.
In case one is not being able to give their best on some days, give them some room rather than chastising them.
9. Transparency is key
Any organisation requires transparent communication and business processes.
Make sure that transparency is maintained. This will make employees trust the organization and its management and help them cooperate with you, especially during such arduous times.
10. Take time out for yourself
Last but not least, it is important to take some time out for yourself.
Be a role model for self-care.
Remember that you would not be able to support or inspire your team members if you are not at the peak of your mental health.
Ensure you de-stress yourself and indulge in leisurely activities to relax and de-clutter your mind.
The current scenario is sure to pass in the near future but it is certainly teaching us some valuable lessons.
Staying united, creating a good work culture and building strong relationships will act as a boost to employee productivity and help you in the longer run.
Shalini Bhattacharya is founder and executive leadership coach, White Ray coaching. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.