Motivating Your Team In These Challenging Times

Surprise, surprise: According to a research study from the Ceridian Corporation in 2008, employees are most productive when they enjoy their work. But as you may know, even the most engaged employees can start to lose their drive if they feel overwhelmed, under-appreciated or panicking about job layoffs. So how can you as a manager keep your team members motivated when the workplace becomes stressful?

According to Ceridian, if everyone is working harder than usual because of layoffs and other cutbacks, talk openly with your team members about the situation. Acknowledge that times are difficult and let them know that you notice and appreciate their efforts. Here are some ways to keep up your team’s commitment and morale during difficult times.

* Reward employees’ efforts. [Visit SuccessHawaii as a resource] You can also make use of reward programs that may already exist in your organization. But also look for other innovative ways to recognize the achievements and hard work of your team members.

* Ask your employees what motivates them. Not everybody is motivated by the same things.

* Match the project to the employee. Whenever possible, give team members tasks or projects that make the best use of their abilities.

* Keep team members engaged. People feel good about their work when they’re engaged in what they’re doing and when their work feels meaningful.

* Focus on the present. The more you can keep your team focused on short-term, achievable work goals, the less time they will have to feel anxious about the company’s future.

* Be available for support. Make sure team members know that you want to help them succeed. Create an atmosphere where people feel comfortable coming to you for advice or coaching.

Communicating with your team
People tend to become anxious during times of organizational change, especially if they lack good, solid information. Keep communication flowing both ways by encouraging team members to ask questions and by giving them frequent updates.

* Keep your team informed. Share what you know, even if you don’t have many answers. Encourage your employees to share any rumors or concerns they have about the company and its direction so you can address them. If you’re not at liberty to discuss your organization’s plans or if you don’t have any information to report, be straight with your team. Tell them that you’ll share information as soon as you are able to or as soon as you have information to share. Being candid and straightforward inspires trust and confidence.

* Be generous with feedback. People feel more in control when they get frequent, positive feedback.

* Show team members you value them. It’s always important to let your employees know you appreciate them, but it’s especially important when morale may be suffering because of organizational changes.

* Remind people to enjoy themselves outside of work. It’s easy to lose sight of what makes you happy in your personal life when everyone is so focused on their work.
Finally, stay positive yourself. Set a good example for your team members by staying focused on creating and building a supportive and productive work culture. Here’s to your continued success.

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