It was only recently when employees had just started recovering from the job uncertainty that the pandemic brought into their lives. And here is the world again- amidst a recession, the economy slowing down, jobs at stake, and the need for several attempts towards boosting employee morale.
Employees are constantly facing the fear of such factors. In such situations, the HR professionals of the organization play a crucial role in helping them, motivating them, and improving employee morale.
The real test of influential people management is practiced during such times of crisis. How well can you handle the lowered productivity, demotivation of employees, and the constant fear of job instability?
Why increasing employee morale matters?
According to studies, “Disengaged employees cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion a year.“
Yes, this finding talks about engagement and not raising employee morale. However, it is essential to understand that employee morale directly correlates with employee engagement and well-being.
When this morale is disturbed, a lot more is hampered other than their productivity and the quality of work. It disrupts the engagement and the overall health and culture of the workplace.
How can you improve employee morale during a crisis?
By now, it is pretty obvious how important it is to extend support to your employees, especially during these economic uncertainties. But how can you do that? How to boost morale at work?
Here are a few ways you can achieve that:
Give regular feedback to the employees.
At these stages, your employees might feel underconfident about their performance. They might constantly think that their company might require more results from them. Expectations tend to get unclear between the employees and the organization. Hence, it is essential to provide them with the necessary feedback on their performance– good or bad.
This feedback will help them feel relaxed, knowing they can live up to the company’s expectations. Conversely, if an employee’s performance is not that great, you can offer them a chance to improve by discussing where they might be going wrong.
Personalized 1v1 sessions around workplace morale
Having official 1v1 sessions to understand your employees’ feelings will be beneficial. Then, you can figure out the headspace your employees are in during these conditions.
These 1v1 sessions can be either around their performance or around how the employees feel- about the organization and their place within the workplace. As an HR professional, you can help them clear out any doubts they may have.
Realignment of goals
The goals of a workspace need to be flexible enough. They should be long-term but, at the same time, have space to be adjusted according to the situation.
Why is this important, and how does it help the employees? While the workspace might be struggling to focus on these long-term goals during times of economic crisis, it does not seem feasible to put all the efforts towards it. Instead, create short-term goals that would help resolve the effects of the problem and not burden the employees with expectations.
What can be better than telling your employees that “it will be okay”? The essential requirement during economic uncertainty is healthy communication. However, this still involves maintaining transparency and honesty with the employees. Of course, they need to be updated with all the necessary information. But regular affirmations might help them contribute to the wellness of their employees.
Recognizing your employees
This is one of the most critical steps for effectively handling the employees during a crisis. Motivate your employees and help them feel valued in the organization by recognizing their hard work.
A constant fear in an employee’s mind can be the fear of replacement. And that fear worsens during such situations. However, regular recognition for their work can make them realize that their contributions fetch good organizational results.
Employee engagement and motivation through team-building activities
The entire workplace environment might get a little negative if the whole focus is only on the situation. Hence, it is necessary to conduct engagement activities to lighten up the scenario.
Additionally, good team-building exercises will help employees to create belongingness within the team and the workplace.
Explain their path to growth
Assuring growth to your employees can be a significant morale boost for the employees. Ensure that they know how they will be paving if they choose to work within your organization and their desired role.
They need to know that they can upskill themselves and achieve their goals and that the organization is willing to help them achieve the same in the long run.
How do you increase employee motivation in a recession?
Here are a few steps for boosting employee morale:
- Value and recognize their hard work.
- Conducting 1v1 sessions with them.
- Restructuring company goals and being flexible.
- Provide regular feedback to their employees.
- Explain their path to growth within the organization.
What is excellent employee morale?
Good employee morale suggests the employees’ positive attitude and outlook. In addition, employees with reasonable confidence showcase good productivity and curiosity to learn, highlighting overall employee satisfaction.
How to measure employee morale?
Here are a few measures to improve employee morale within an organization:
- Observation of employee behaviour and attitude.
- Surveys around employee wellness and engagement.
- Manager/HR 1v1 conversations.
- Counselling of employees.
- Analyzing the company’s grievance record.
Why is employee motivation so important in crisis situations?
Employee morale will be low during a crisis like the current pandemic/recession.
When the motivation of the employees is low, the quality of work, your workplace culture, and employee retention gets disrupted. Hence it is essential to ensure that employees are provided full support and empathy during these situations.