We are now well beyond the halfway mark of the year – wow, time really does fly when you are in the midst of a global pandemic! Every year at this point, the best business owners and managers take some time to think about how they can keep morale and productivity high so that the company can go into Q4 motivated and everyone can finish out the year strong. But, of course, this year is a little bit different (to state the obvious).
With many business practices still disrupted and so much tension lingering around future unknowns, it can be difficult to even know where to begin when it comes to focusing and motivating your team. Taking the following advice to heart should give you a bit of guidance and help you successfully lead your employees through the end of the year – potentially finishing even stronger than it began.
Recognize That Initial Goals Have Changed
The first thing to understand is that this year has not been normal. The goals that you set and communicated at the beginning of the year were almost certainly disrupted. To hold your team (and yourself) to these same expectations is a recipe for discouragement and despair. Remind your employees that their health and safety is still of the utmost importance. Recognize all of the curve balls that have been thrown over the past 6+ months and what was still able to be accomplished. Realign your team on the (updated) end of the year goals taking these factors into account.
Celebrate Individual Successes from Afar
Many of your employees may still be working from home or have revised schedules to help accommodate social distancing rules and other CDC guidelines. Even though your communications have been adjusted, it is still incredibly important for employee morale and motivation that you recognize individual and team successes. If you can’t have a company-wide meeting, show your appreciation in a group email or on a Zoom call. Just because it is not business, as usual, does not mean that team members should not get the recognition they deserve.
Lead by Example Any Way That You Can
It is understandable that many people are feeling discouraged, depressed, or have an overall lack of motivation. Even if you are not all in the same office at the same time, employees will still be looking to you for guidance. Stay engaged and stay positive. Your team will recognize that and follow suit as best as they can. If they cannot see you in person, make sure that you are demonstrating this virtually. Again, work with what you have, whether it is through emails, video conferences, or messages throughout the day.
This year has been tough for everyone, but it is not over yet. We are all playing with a new set of rules. You may need to get a little creative to keep your team motivated and while going into Q4. But by following the above advice, you can end the year on a strong note.