The question on everyone’s lips just a month ago was “how do I keep my staff motivated one year into the pandemic”?
Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have had to overcome so many extra challenges, boosting employee morale and keeping employees motivated when they’re working remotely.
We’ve become a Zoom society. Working from home almost daily, we’re Zooming with our sponsorship prospects and clients, our coworkers, and station managers. It’s not always easy. Zoom meetings bring technical glitches, dropped connections, and interruptions from our pets or family members which can be an embarrassing situation. And there’s the often-heard, “you need to unmute yourself.”
Trying to motivate employees after months of being away from an office environment can be challenging. We're so focused on rebuilding relationships and revenue streams that a mental health break is in order. Without time to blow off some steam, a person can become bored, frustrated, and unmotivated.
Here are some ideas to lift your staff's spirits and morale, or offer them a break from their challenges and struggles.
Water Cooler Conversations
Before the Coronavirus lockdown, when working from the office, there were "hallway hellos"; brief conversations with your coworkers while passing in the hall. These didn't have to be protracted conversations, just brief connections as we continued walking to where we were going. After all, we do have our work to do.
But that doesn’t exist now. So instead, set a time each week for a Zoom "water cooler conversation." It doesn’t have to be about work and business (though it can be if you want). You can share the sales challenges you’re faced with and hear how coworkers overcome similar situations. Talk about what you did over the weekend, or plan to do. You know, things you used to talk about when you were at your station. A funny story or a joke - even a groaner - is a great mental health break.
Good News Happy Hour
Friday afternoons seem to be a good time for a work break. Log onto Zoom, with or without a beverage, and celebrate the successes that you and your coworkers have achieved, with everyone cheering from their respective homes. It's important to maintain a connection between employees, and to continue to feel like a team. It's also important to hear about others' personal experiences during this time and connect on a personal level.
For managers: Public displays of appreciation are, well... appreciated.
Don’t just celebrate big milestones or achievements, be sure to celebrate the small ones, too.
Give specific compliments.
Say the words that everyone loves to hear: “Thank you.”
Every month have an “appreciation day” for a standout employee who doesn't necessarily have that month’s best sales.
Give “appreciation awards.”
Managers, Please Take Note: Happiness Interventions
Has one of your staff achieved something extraordinary? Have a bouquet of flowers, a fruit bouquet, or candy delivered to that person’s home.
Fewer Meetings, More Breaks
It can seem that sometimes we have meetings for the sake of having meetings. Try having fewer but more structured meetings with a written agenda. Have a beginning and end time for the meeting, and stick to them. If an email can achieve the same desired results as having a meeting, try opting for that.
Encourage Breaks and Balance
It can’t be stressed enough: As employees work from home, many may find their work-life balance blurred. It's easy to work through lunch, work late, and remain available during off hours when working from home. This can quickly lead to burnout. Encourage employees to maintain a good work-life balance and take breaks as needed.
Public media sponsorship revenue has been hit hard during this COVID crisis. Fortunately, one of the hallmarks of our organizations is resiliency. We need to remember that we are resilient and that we are willing to see opportunity during this time. What we focus on expands. If you focus on the challenges this virus crisis has caused, you'll miss opportunities. Your sponsorship staff should take time to explore, experiment, and increase their knowledge during this time. This can generate a new perspective.