It’s okay to be anxious and unsettled about what is going on right now. There are many unknowns when it comes to how the economy is going to rebound. Even though some states are starting to lift their shelter-in-place orders, recent polls have revealed that many individuals are still not ready to resume public activities. This public reaction has resulted in many small businesses still having to navigate a season of unstable revenue generation.
You had your goals, revenue projections, and performance objectives. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to meet these benchmarks in the way you expected to.
How do you keep your team’s morale—and yourself—from dipping too low even if you are not able to meet your revenue or business growth goals?
We have some tips that can help you still stay positive through this situation.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
Your employees are already running through the worst scenarios right now. They are worried about being able to support themselves and their families. You can help them overcome these feelings by being as honest with them as you can. Even if the news isn’t always good, giving them the information they need to better understand the decisions you have to make can help. By being as transparent as possible with them, you are showing them that they can trust you even if you have to make some difficult choices.
Stay in Constant Communication
This is the time to think about having daily standup meetings. The more information you can provide about the company’s current standing, adjusted goals, and altered company operations, the better your chances are of keeping anxiety and fear at bay. You are giving them the information which allows them to have some grasp on what’s going on. However, while it is essential to be in consistent communication, be sure to be wise about what you need to share. Filter the information through the lens of discussing topics that have a direct impact on your staff’s employment or employee experience in the short-term. You don’t want to scare them, but you do want to provide information that empowers them to know their next steps.
Thank and Recognize Your Team
If there is any time you want to practice employee recognition, it is now. Even though there is uncertainty, your team is still fulfilling their roles. Therefore, a simple “thank you” can go a long way. You may not be able to recognize them monetarily but use this opportunity to be creative. Send a personalized email or video message, shout out an exceptional employee during a meeting, or create a new employee recognition award. Employee appreciation can genuinely change a team member’s outlook for the better.
Have a Plan and Share It
How are you adjusting your goals? Now is the time to create some new projections and plan for several possible scenarios regarding your new objectives. It may be helpful to create a flowchart regarding your business performance. This action lets you track how meeting, almost meeting, or not meeting your new goals will impact your business. From there, you can share relevant information with your employees, so everyone knows where they stand.
Invest in Virtual Bonding Opportunities
Does anyone have a birthday coming up, or a work anniversary? Use these moments as opportunities for virtual bonding. You can recognize these milestones on virtual calls, and encourage employees to celebrate in their own way. Also, look into activities that you and your employees can do together. This can be a virtual group workout, cooking class, yoga session, or afternoon lunch meetup. The goal is to strengthen the bonds of teamwork so employees know that while things may not be entirely normal right now, they can still enjoy time with colleagues.
Be Flexible with Sick Time and Time Off
Again, your reflex may be to push the gas on increasing productivity to make up for lost revenue. However, this may not be the best time to take this approach. The last thing you want is a burned-out team navigating work situations in a pandemic. So, you may need to adjust work hours, allow flexibility when it comes to sick and vacation time, and make it easy for employees to take breaks and handle any current family situations. Many of your team members may be taking care of children and elderly parents, so stay in tune with them and offer work-life balance.
High Morale Can Get You Through This Crisis
The more your employees are content, satisfied, and grounded, the easier it will be to move through this time. Everyone is worried about the future, so facing it head-on, making a plan, and answering their questions will give them the security they need to stay focused. Again, be honest and transparent, and always keep them notified of the next steps.
It is our sincere hope that you and your team successfully move through this challenging season, so be on the lookout for more of our `small business resources to help guide you through this outbreak.
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