It can’t be said enough, this year of 2020 and COVID-19 has been a time of hardship, uncontrollable change, and high-stress levels. As the effects of COVID-19 have impacted not only people in their personal lives, it has had a major influence on businesses’ standard operations procedures. Companies everywhere are having to change many of their day-to-day activities and how they interact with customers and other employees. Change in any form has a hard time being well-received among many people. The aspects of COVID-19 have definitely shown to be one of the most challenging changes to expect. Aware of these COVID-19 changes, many business owners and managers are working actively to find ways to keep the company morale up during these difficult times. Some companies are discovering to help maintain positivity and support employee performance is impressive to consider for any business working remotely.
The challenge of being absent in the office and talking in person has most likely been the most challenging part for many business owners and their employees to embrace. Business owners are struggling to keep their employee turnover rate low while balancing the business’s operations. As businesses around the nation have transitioned to working remotely, many are finding some aspects of leadership, communication, and camaraderie to be more critical than ever during COVID-19. Companies use various communication tools to ensure the business stays afloat and uses those tools to promote company culture and create an effective method to fulfill the awkwardness of not working in a typical business environment.
If you find that your company has not mastered an approach that has raised employee morale during the pandemic, there is no better time now to try and develop new morale boosters with your team. Or maybe you are in the process of revamping your company and culture by adding new employees to your team. This opportunity is a perfect time to develop strong employee morale to help improve your hiring process.
Obtaining excellent company morale and culture can actually help you as a business owner sell your business to potential job seekers. Everyone is looking to work at the next Google in any industry. This means job seekers are researching a company’s bio’s, social media presence, and any information they can before applying for a position. Your potential job seeker wants to know what it is like working for your company before sending you their resume. Developing your company culture and ensuring your employee’s morale is soaring high makes it easier to create job descriptions telling your potential applicate why they should want to work for your company. Having an attractive and well-written job description is a crucial factor in getting high-performing candidates applying for your company’s position on the job posting sites. Overall, your company has a significant influence on the culture your company is creating and will have a great effect on your future hiring approaches. No matter where your business stands with creating or revamping your employee morale, we have asked business owners to share what their company has done to boost morale since the beginning of COVID-19 that has shown incredible results.
Throughout history, when specific unforeseen changes occur among a group of individuals, people look for someone to be the sensible and robust leader they need to get them through difficult situations. Now more than ever, business owners and managers have accepted this position and have become what their company needs to get them to the best outcome. Kevin Miller, the founder, and CEO of The Word Counter, believes business leadership qualities hold tremendous value in boosting company morale during COVID-19.
Kevin states, “An effective manager can have a tremendous impact on the morale and productivity of an organization. Employees don’t quit jobs; they quit bad mangers. A good manager can retain great employees while handling operations and helping to build an effective and healthy company culture.”
As a critical part of leadership, the effectiveness of communication between employers and employees generates improved productivity and increases confidence in employee’s performance to handle their responsibilities. Even during COVID-19 and remote work, communication should be at its peak more than usual.
Kevin agrees and says, “Communicating with employees is extremely important and should be done daily as well as in the form of one-on-one meetings and all-hands on company meetings.”
With COVID-19 in full swing, Kevin and The Word Counter have found that complete transparency is the best way to go. They are honest with their employees and let them know exactly what to expect. During these difficult times, displaying that the employer and the employee are on the same page is critical. Demonstrating that everyone at The Word Counter is in this together mentality goes a long way!
Finding ways to impact company morale is found in big and small forms that accomplish excellent outcomes for the entire company. During COVID-19, many individuals recognized some struggles in various ways that were uncontrollable and hard to handle due to the circumstances. At times, many of these struggles for employees were unintentionally hindering their work performance and affecting their participation in company morale.
As the co-founder of Honest Paws, Chelsea Hunt-Rivera identified these struggles and has made some tweaks to her company culture and day-to-day activities to help alleviate the stress of her employees.
Chelsea explains, “For most of us, our finances have taken a hit with the changes that happened over the last few months. One of the best ways to boost morale is to help your employees financially, whether it’s offering small loans, sending care packages, offering payment assistance, or providing the equipment they can use for their work-from-home setup.”
Providing your employees with gratitude has tremendous benefits that go way beyond just being polite. Everyone appreciates the expression and proof of the recognization of a job well done. As many employees are working hard to make adjustments for COVID-19, the celebration of their efforts must happen more often and in unique ways.
Chelsa believes for Honest Paws, “Appreciating an employee’s work goes a long way in ensuring a happy team. This approach is something we practice in our culture, and one way we do it is by complimenting a team member’s work. But aside from a simple, Great job! We also dissect the good things about the deliverables, and also provide constructive feedback when necessary.”
Even Chelsa has a method of showing appreciation to Honest Paws employees, “Weekly, we hop on a video conference to assess everything we’ve done for the week, and we take that opportunity just to appreciate what everyone is doing for the team.
For all businesses, Chelsea shares this remark “The most important thing right now is to care for your employees, and these actions can ease some of the burdens that some of them may have.”
As a business owner, the importance of being a strong leader cannot be highlighted enough for the positive reinforcement of company morale. You undoubtedly set the tone and build your team’s ability to accomplish intended goals. As a company leader, you must remember to include this importance with COVID-19 changes in employee’s circumstances. Daniel Carter, the founder of Zippy Electrics has given us his advice for business owners to boosting company morale while adjusting to COVID-19.
For business owners, Daniel advises, “Do not overwhelm your employees and set unrealistic goals. This point is the reason why some employees feel burned out. Avoid setting unrealistic demands more than what they could accomplish. Instead, give them the right tools that would aid in each of their tasks”.
Daniel also encourages owners to, “Keep constant communication and listen to your employees. In times like this, it is no doubt that each worker is struggling to thrive. So, as business owners, keep your lines open and listen to the burdens of your employees and address them. This effort wouldn’t just make them feel valued, but it will also help in your employee retention”.
“Make your work fun. Provide ways where employees could also enjoy themselves. For instance, in video conferences, instead of directly diving into meeting agendas, provide some ice breakers and other games.” Daniel adds.
There is nothing more effective than providing employees with rewards. Daniel confirms by saying, “Provide rewards where workers would feel valued, and their actions are appreciated. This type of recognition would help in building up their drive to work better and be more productive.”
COVID-19 caused many difficult adjustments for everyone in their various activities, yet it has brought a strong awareness of healthy protocols and precautions. As some individuals are becoming more aware of their physical habits and the importance of overall well-being, taking care of one’s health is more crucial today than ever. To elaborate on this point, the founder of Beanie Coffee, James Kilpatrick, contributes his company’s approach to addressing employee morale boosts and the importance of general employee health.
James suggests to business owners, “Improve your healthcare benefits. In times like this, health is the most important possession of any individual. By providing excellent healthcare to your workers, you can make them feel assured and safe. This improvement is a great way to boost morale, loyalty, and productivity.”
There are other ways to express to your employees that you care about their health than just providing better health benefits. Showing that you care for them in every aspect of their well-being supports the increase in company morale. Demonstrating specific actions and conduct that encourages the good mental health of your employees adds to the benefit of caring for them.
James provides his recommendations by “Acknowledge accomplishments. Praise the essential actions and accomplishments of your workers. Besides the generic idea of having Employee of the Month, you can also do it by providing positive feedback each day or talking about such praise during meetings.”
Additionally, James says, “Provide mental breaks and flexible working hours. It is no doubt that most employees right now are dealing with the negative effects of the pandemic that changed a lot of arrangements in various industries. This effect leads to stress and fatigue among workers. So, provide them sufficient breaks to deal with these issues.”
James’ last bit of advice to boost company morale for business owners is to “Also offer flexible working hours. This offer is a great way to help your workers find the most suitable days or time of the day where they are more productive.”
Transitioning your employees to remote work changes many of the typical work dynamics but relocating to remote does not have to change the interaction business owners have with their team. It may be a strange process to have your business meetings over Zoom or other video conference software. Still, over time your company will develop your unique structure to participate in virtual meetings. Dan Bailey, President of WikiLawn, tells us what his company has done in their virtual meetings that have made a difference in morale.
Dan states, “There are a couple of ways we’ve kept up morale. The first was that early on, we started having a group therapy session in the mornings. These sessions were just a Zoom call where employees could speak freely about their fears, frustrations, and what was troubling them. It helped to show people they weren’t alone, and while it’s not a substitute for mental healthcare, I believe it aided many people who needed someone to listen to them.”
The success of WikiLawn virtual meetings has grown into more team interactions and participating in fun, non-work-related activities—Dan shares what WikiLawn’s virtual meetings consist of doing now.
“We’ve also been doing a weekly game day. This game day happens in the afternoon/evening, and it’s voluntary, so employees who don’t want to participate can just opt-out and take off early for the day. Those who stay have played games like the Jackbox games, Cards Against Humanity, and other games we’ve been able to play online. Recently they’ve started playing ‘Among Us’ and have been having a blast with that.”
As the world continues to adjust and adapt to everything 2020 has brought with the COVID-19 pandemic and more, it has become anything but easy for business owners to improve employee morale. As more individuals interact with the constant negativity in the world, employees who are unconnected to their work will slow their work process and struggle to perform at their best abilities. At this rate, the spread of negativity can hinder productivity and cause other destructive issues. Speaking on ways to improve company morale, Pete Sosnowski, the VP & Co-Founder at ResumeLab, provides a tip to meet this goal during these challenging times.
Pete explains his thought on invest in growth for a boost in company morale, “Employees lose steam when there are no growth opportunities since being stuck in a rut is bad for your career. You can flip things around by signing up employees for an online course, so they could devour cutting edge industry knowledge, pick up new skills, and stay on top of trends.”
Suppose you, as a business owner, can discover ways to provide educational opportunities to your employees to better themselves. At the same time, also enhancing your company, this opportunity has a great result to improve your company’s morale. Additionally, providing enhancement opportunities says a lot about your brand and the company culture you are creating.
Pete also adds this advice to business owners, “As a result, you’ll send up a clear message that your people are your top-value asset, and you’re willing to invest in their growth and development.”
Although for many companies, COVID-19 has eliminated the daily workday interactions with fellow employees that comes with working in an office atmosphere. However, several companies are embracing the change and finding the virtual outlet to be a fun and new way to catch up with co-workers and uphold the company morale. Deborah Sweeney, the CEO of MyCorporation.com has found ways of using Zoom and Slack to create a similar environment for co-worker relationships during COVID-19 and boost morale.
Deborah says, “We have kept morale up during COVID-19 by keeping our employees engaged with one another and checking in with each team member. The check-ins are done via Zoom calls, where we will have group calls altogether and then smaller one-on-one calls and through messaging on apps like Slack.”
The importance of communication is not just from the business leader to the employee but the entire organization. Providing different ways for your team to communicate and converse with each other adds to the efficiency and fellowship of a company.
Deborah also shares other forms and ways that support her company’s employee engagement. “We also like to create email threads about funny (workplace-appropriate) memes or GIFs and send them along to all of our team members so they may write back and keep the thread going with the team.
A simple component to boosting company morale during COVID-19 or at any time comes out of celebrating your team for the big and small accomplishments. This does not necessarily mean you should only celebrate company accomplishments, personal achievements are worth acknowledging to enhance morale. The CEO of TeamBuilding, Michael Alexis, provides us with his company’s methods to praise employees on their amazing accomplishments.
Michael shares, “One way we’ve kept morale high during COVID is with a #you-are-awesome channel. This is a channel on Slack (or other platforms) where you can give praise and shoutouts to team members for day to day contributions. For example, our recent shoutouts include an operations team member praising marketing, a sales manager recognizing a new sales rep for their first sale, and an event host giving a shoutout to team VIP for handling an event tech support issue. After the praise post goes up, everyone else heeps on emojis for recognition.”
Michael also includes why he finds this approach to boost morale practical. “The reason #you-are-awesome is so effective is that it is peer to peer, which means that it includes more than just what a manager or business owner sees. Also, the focus is on small contributions; the little things we do every day that adds up to the big goals and accomplishments overall.”
Allowing everyone in a company to praise each other on a job well done not only improves morale but can drive ambition to receive the same approval and encouragement from their peers. Any forms that enhance an employee’s reasons to perform better does a number of positive things for everyone in a company.
As businesses worldwide attempt to regain a bit of normalcy, keeping employee spirits alive has become a valuable asset in running a business effectively. 2020, may for your business even caused a pause, and you might be just starting to pick up again. Now that your business is beginning to get back in full swing, you may be needing to hire new employees. Even the hiring process is another aspect that has been changed by COVID-19, and you may need some guidance for conducting interviews during COVID. Knowing how to create a hiring process in line with the changes in COVID-19 helps support your company’s morale in the future. Today, company morale has a great impact on the efficiency of any business. Essentially, having happy and focus driven employees working hard to satisfy your customers will bring your business in a positive direction.