Four New Methods To Reenergize Employees At Residence
With your people working at home, you can’t motivate them like you did before the pandemic. After all, by collaborating with people, an empathetic business leader can tell whether they are engaged and motivated.
When people work from home, a business leader needs to find new ways to capitalize on people’s feelings. Here are the four options:
1. Just listen to people in skip-level meetings.
Before the pandemic, executives could walk around the office and see people’s faces and the level of interaction with others. When workers are at home, leaders need to find a new way to feel their emotions.
One way to do this is to have skip-level meetings – ex. B. with people reporting your direct reports. If you do this, it is important that you tell your direct reps why – to get an unfiltered sense of how people are feeling (rather than to assess the management skills of your direct reps).
In these skip-level meetings, allow people to share their feelings. You can start the conversation by explaining some family challenges – such as taking care of your children who go to school at home or staying with your parents.
This will help people feel more comfortable sharing how they feel about their family challenges and how the work fits in with them.
2. Use technology to track how people are feeling and to remind them who to help and how.
You should assume that each of your employees has unique personal and professional needs. If you keep these needs in mind, the more likely you will be able to meet them effectively and in a timely manner
This could be facilitated by a systematic approach. Think about how Kara McKeage, the executive director of Peppers Personal Assistants in Seattle, approached the problem.
According to the Wall Street Journal, she used the Trello project management tool to determine which of her employees needed the most attention. She coded those employees – who were struggling with a sick parent or who lost focus on their work – with a red label. Those who were doing well were marked in green and those at risk of deterioration were marked in yellow.
McKeage keeps each employee’s color confidential and uses the system to check-in at least twice a week with company employees marked in red, while “the colors are updated as employees’ personal and professional circumstances change,” according to the Journal.
3. As difficult decisions emerge, explain why, what, who, when, and how is open to questions.
In the current economic climate, your employees are even more interested than usual in knowing how your company is doing. They are very alert to signs that the company may be suffering and trust that its leaders are transparent – especially when a painful decision is about to be made.
It is of course reluctant to share the details of decisions that are costing people their jobs. However, your company is better off being transparent than delaying and dribbling out the truth. That’s because fear of the unknown distracts people from the work you hired them to do. It can even cause your best employees to leave the company.
So when tough decisions emerge, get your people together and explain why the decision is critical to the company’s survival, especially what will change, who will stay and who will go, and when the decision will be carried out. Then ask questions, listen carefully, and share as much as you can.
4. Replace fear and insecurity with a new challenge that inspires enthusiasm.
As mentioned above, people who stay with your company are more motivated than ever to be part of the solution. As a leader, you should steer the fear and insecurity you feel into enthusiasm for a new challenge.
One way to do this is to redirect your product or service to a need that is particularly pronounced due to the pandemic. This is exactly what Eden Park did – a manufacturer of ultraviolet lights that are used to distinguish fake diamonds from real diamonds.
As I wrote in August, within weeks of the pandemic began, Eden Park was able to retrofit and launch a product that used UV light to kill the novel coronavirus that is causing Covid-19 in crowded spaces, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Not only did Eden Park see a 10X increase in sales – which made it profitable – but it also serves as a lesson for other business leaders looking for a highly motivating new business challenge to keep their employees motivated.
The opinions expressed by Inc.com columnists here are their own, not those of Inc.com.