During a time where we all feel uncertain of what the future looks like, one thing we have to do is support one another. Due to the coronavirus, business operations are being upended and causing workers to work from home, or in the case of the hospitality industry, not at all. Regardless of the industry you’re in, as a manger it’s your responsibility to guide, inform, and encourage your team during these challenging times.
With concerns surrounding health and employment, maintaining employee morale is difficult, but can make your team feel supported and alleviate a little stress. In this post we’ll provide tips for maintaining a good company morale until operations are back to normal.
Be transparent and honest with your team
In some cases, you may have just as much (or as little) information regarding the state of your business as your employees. You may feel like it’s necessary to sugarcoat the reality of what’s going on, but your workers will appreciate openness and honesty from you and the rest of the management staff. Prioritize communication to keep everyone up to date on necessary information by starting an email thread, group chat, Facebook group, etc.
When you’re not all together, keeping everyone engaged can be hard – especially in the hospitality industry where many have been asked to stay home indefinitely. Posting updates on your social media accounts or sending out email newsletters are effective ways to stay connect. If possible, reach out individually to your employees to check on them or ask if they need anything. They’ll feel appreciated and it’ll show you think of them as people rather than a group of workers.
Keep a comfortable environment
For companies operating as usual, encourages your teams to dress casually (if possible) so they’re comfortable throughout the day. Be open to answering and addressing any questions or concerns by keeping your door open. Create some levity by playing a game at the end of the day.
Host virtual get togethers
Choose a free video conferencing software and ask your team to download it. Host virtual coffee meetings, happy hours, or lunches. Try to keep the conversation light – this should be a time to decompress, so ask employees to share a funny story or ask about movies, music, or sports.
Above all, be understanding when your team comes to you with fears or concerns. As all businesses should be, encourage employees to stay home if they don’t feel well or have come into contact with someone who’s sick. For businesses who are experiencing a surge in sales, your first inclination when someone calls off work may be to get upset; right now, it’s better to be understaffed than potentially putting your staff at risk.
Maintaining a good morale amongst employees during the COVID-19 pandemic will help ease stress and ideally set up your business for when operations (and daily life) are back to normal. But it’s important to remember and acknowledge that this is an unsure and nerve–wracking time for all, showing your team that it’s okay to feel whatever they’re feeling.