How Can You Motivate Your Employees After A Difficult Time? [Contributed Blog]

September 5, 2019 - 13 minutes read - Business Growth, Business Management, Contributed Posts

There comes a point during the development of any business where things feel shaky beneath our feet. Things change, employees leave, and the future looks bleak. And throughout all of these changes, there have been people that stuck by you through thick and thin. And they may very well feel those niggling doubts and have even considered leaving themselves, but they have stuck by you. It’s not just about providing them with reassurance; you have to motivate them, not only to keep the morale up, but to ensure that productivity is at an all-time high. How can we achieve these things? 

Focus On The Current Mission

We can get stuck in the past, and this is doubly true for employees who have seen their friends come and go, finances peak and trough, and all of the smaller issues that have threatened to derail an entire organization. As such, instead of focusing on the past, we’ve got to stay in the present. Communication is a two-way conversation. It’s not just about you putting forward the new objectives, but it’s about listening to them if they have any concerns. As such, business meetings can be a tense few hours, or it can be the perfect opportunity for you to put forward your vision for a better company. We have to remember that this is a very emotional time, and the one way for you to reinvigorate employees and bring back a sense of morale is to communicate what you stand for right now. 

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Focus On Well-being

As such, if you are going through a difficult time, you may need to ensure that the well-being of your employees is a priority. There are so many ways that we can do this, from employee well-being and wellness programs to a general culture of nourishment within the organization. Well-being is a mainstay of the modern business, and this means that we need to figure out how our employees cope with difficult situations. This is not a one-size-fits-all approach. And in fact, as our business navigates these difficult times, this can result in a severe dent in our employees’ pride. 

But what we have to focus on is the reason why our employees feel that their well-being is suffering. We can look at it from one perspective and think that because we’re going through a difficult time, this results in a lack of morale. As well as this, it could result from a lack of perks or lack of stability. Our employees will feel unstable because of the recent issues surrounding the company, but if we want to provide them with that emotional foundation, we have got to invest back into our employees in so many different ways. Well-being is one of them.

Investing In Our Employees’ Futures

Investment isn’t just a financial component, it’s a way to instill a sense of trust in our employees, and as a result, they can trust us. But when we look at the long-term development of a business, we’ve got to look at the long-term development of our employees alongside it. This is all down to a handful of goals. Employee development is about their education, as well as their long-term goals, as well as providing them with the tools to do their job successfully. We feel bound by cuts and various problems that threaten to derail a business, especially during tough times, but this doesn’t mean we should avoid investing back in our employees’ success. Employee development programs are one area that can provide your business with a solid foundation, but also show the employee that you care about their development. Employee development programs provide you with that ability to chart the progression of an employee, from the very start of their time with the business, through all the troubles, and allowing them to see how far they have come. 

As well as this, there are other ways, such as e-learning, putting them on courses, and just listening to them. Listening to them to see what they want out of their experience with the company is a great way to show them that you care, but also give them that motivation to keep working. When a business suffers a problematic time, morale is low, and by having sheer belief in their abilities, as well as the business, by getting them your undivided attention, but also allowing them that space to develop professionally, this benefits everyone.

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Implementing Productivity Tools

After a difficult time, morale is low, as such, productivity suffers. And while you can slave drive, and focus on deadlines and the like, it’s all about the processes you implement. As well as this, it’s all about the tools. The fact of the matter is when a business is suffering nobody really wants to work hard. In fact, they want to hedge their bets should something go wrong. But it’s a combination of you providing them with the cold hard fact that the harder they work that the business will improve. At the same time, you need to give them the things they need in order to work better. When we go through an audit, and we start to cut corners, employees can feel like they are operating without the bare essentials. Productivity tools work wonders because this is what will help keep the company on course. It all depends on the nature of the job. 

There are plenty of productivity tools that can increase the speed of work, improve communication, as well as have a hand in bumping up morale. For employees that work remotely, and feel they are out of the loop, keeping in contact with them is crucial, and this is where tools like Slack work wonders. As well as this, you should think about free tools. Something like Google Docs is great for voice typing, for example. It all depends on the tasks your employees need to do, but if you can cut corners, increase productivity, and use tools for free, they may very well help you in the short-term, but for the foreseeable future.

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Providing A Sense Of Identity

Often overlooked; when our employees struggle during a difficult time, they may not find their own place within the business. If you had to get rid of people, they might feel survivor’s guilt, as well as this, the understandably fearful about the future. What you can do at this stage is to show them how they fit into the new structure. By doing this, you provide them with their identity within the company framework, which in turn, inspires motivation and focus. That bigger picture thinking comes into its own at this point. After all, it’s you that’s had to oversee the recent troubles, and perhaps you’re still going through it. As such, your employees may not know where they stand. But if you can show them their individual duties, have it contribute to the well-being of the organization, and how your long-term plan directly involves them, this is how your employees can feel a sense of allegiance and identity within the business. 

Unwavering Optimism

It can appear somewhat disingenuous, but if you have plenty of hopes for the future, doing it with a smile on your face can inspire others to feel the same. We have to remember that emotions in a workplace environment are infectious. You don’t feel good, your employees will feel worse. If you do things with a smile on your face, there may be a few people that raise their eyebrows to the fact that you could very well be putting on a brave face. But if you have positivity in abundance, you must remember that after a difficult time, you need this unwavering optimism. And you need your employees to feel it as well. We have to remember that it comes from us. Everything we do sets a precedent. If we have the world on our shoulders, we automatically transfer this to our employees. We struggle during a difficult time, and this is why we’ve got to work doubly hard at putting the smiles back on their faces. 

Motivation encompasses so many different things that we also have to remember that productivity still remains a priority. Struggling through a difficult time has an impact on our ability to lead, based on how emotionally taxing it is. But at the same time, we have a business to run so we need to motivate people, but we can’t slave drive. Everybody is going through a lot of emotions, and this has a direct impact on productivity and morale. As such, it’s not about motivating in the classic sense, but about providing a more holistic approach to inspiring confidence, giving your workers belief in their own abilities, as well as pushing the business further into the future. As we learn after a difficult time, this is when people grow together, and a new dawn begins. A lot of people have a renewed sense of morale, especially after a difficult time. But to get to this point, we have got to motivate them in the right ways.

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