Today's world is unstable with periods of crisis following one another, leaving managers wondering how to stay in business.
Faced with rising global competition, the need to respect increasingly more demanding production standards, the arrival of new competitors who play by their own rules, new technologies and information that are difficult to control, as well as a recent global health crisis, leaders can feel overwhelmed and helpless in such situations.
How can you motivate your employees when the economic and social context does not allow you to do so? How can you find the resources adapted to strengthen your team in such an uncertain context? How can you act with precision in the present, while keeping in mind a clear vision of the objectives?
Here are a few ideas on how you can keep your team engaged.
Acknowledge the uncertainty and be transparent
Even though most people are uncomfortable with uncertainty, it’s essential to acknowledge uncertainty in front of your team to be able to better manage the situation. As a leader, the more transparent you are, the more your employees will be able to find the information they need to carry out their work efficiently, and thus, contribute to the sustainability of your company. Being straight-forward, honest, transparent, and open will also improve your leadership credibility. By keeping your employees informed and adopting open communication, your team members will also feel more secure and you will build trust. So keep communicating openly on the difficulties your company is facing, the new organization, newfound solutions, the decision-making process, etc.
Always be available for your team
In order for a team member to do their job properly and achieve what is expected of them during these hard times, it is essential to create and maintain strong relationships - the concepts of leadership and trust being intimately linked. Knowing that you’re available for them if they need you will definitely strengthen the well-being of your team and the confidence your co-workers have in you. They can come to talk to you directly if they feel like it, but if they don’t, let them know that you can provide a sort of well-being support program or something similar.
Delegate and give responsibilities to your co-workers
In order to gain the trust of your employees, you must first trust them. Learn how to entrust them with responsibilities. Letting them work independently the way they need to in order to be more efficient, without micromanaging everything, will motivate and empower your team while allowing you to better manage your time and focus on your priorities.
Accept changes and quickly adapt
You need to be able to quickly adapt to new situations and implement required changes to better navigate through uncertain times. Share your plans with your team to make them understand your approach to the ever-changing conditions your business is facing. You could for instance use an employee scheduling software to create a schedule that is more suited to the situation. Give them a clearer view of the priorities and ask for their inputs.
Focus on what you can control and show empathy
Avoid wasting time on things you cannot control. Stay focused and positive on what you do have control over - mostly your behavior and your inputs. Be there for your co-workers, encourage them to freely express what they fear and what they need. Show them that you do understand their worries and that they can rely on you to always be honest about the situation and keep them up-to-date.
Encourage teamwork and creativity
A leader isn’t only leading. A leader must be the center of the team, keeping it together and united. In times of crisis, it’s fundamental to strengthen the team spirit in the workplace. Try to become a guide for your team, while showing them you’re walking beside them. Value teamwork and develop a collaborative workforce to help your team to go through hard situations. Encourage creative thinking, enable collaboration, make time for new ideas, and reward your team for the work accomplished.
Celebrate the small wins
Celebrating small wins in challenging times has a great impact on your team’s motivation and well-being. Foster enthusiasm, motivation, and optimism by recognizing your employees’ achievements and showing gratitude. Value short-term victories to push your team towards longer-term goals and future achievements.
These are just a few tips on how you can better manage and motivate your team during these unprecedented times, as well as strengthen your relationship with your co-workers, but there are many other things you can do to improve their productivity. If you want your team to be strong and efficient, you need to start with yourself first.