The Best Ways to Keep Employees Motivated When Times Are Tough

To keep the best talent on board at your company, you need to think about key employee motivators, during both good and bad times. If you hit a rough patch for economic or other reasons, help your team members stay positive despite the negative circumstances around them.

Offer Praise and Recognition

In challenging times, employee recognition is more important than ever. (By the way, this is why you need to reinforce it all the time, not just when the chips are down.)

  • It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be meaningful. In many cases, the most powerful recognition comes in the form of a heartfelt verbal thank you, team email or acknowledgement at a company meeting.
  • Share it with the team. Take a department that goes above and beyond to reach a goal out for pizza or supply them with donuts and bagels in their break area.

Listen to and Empower People

Encourage employees to share their ideas on how to improve performance and make your company more successful. Listen actively and respond to their input. If the results of an idea are quantifiable and measurable, people can be rewarded with a percentage of the profits or cost savings.

Keep Communication Lines Open

Be honest and open with employees as you keep them up to date on what’s happening with your company.

  • Clarify expectations. Employees need to know what is expected of them, especially during times of uncertainty. How will a situation impact their role, especially if you’re trying to do more with less or adjust to a significant business change.
  • Open communication means an open door. During difficult periods, employees often need more reassurance. But even in the best of times, your team members deserve access to you and to your time. Be as transparent as possible. Never be evasive or make promises you can’t keep. Be candid, but let them know there are certain things you can’t discuss.
  • Plug leaks. Intercept rumors immediately, before they mushroom into unsubstantial concerns that distract people and hamper productivity.

Maintain Work/Life Balance

Even if you’re going through a time when you have to ask more of people, remain flexible and make allowances for them to take care of their personal commitments. Even a little extra time off is a great motivator and loyalty builder.

Enhance the Environment

Atmosphere directly affects motivation level and feelings of well-being in the workplace.

  • Provide comfortable workstations and breakrooms. Things must be safe, clean and ergonomically sound, of course. But also consider things like furnishings, décor, reading materials or games, and inspirational quotes posted on bulletin boards to lift spirits.

Continue to Invest in Training and Development

Never cut back on participation in training and development, just to “make the numbers.” This may put a band aid on today’s production goals, but in the long run, it can hurt motivation and ultimately, retention.

  • During tough times, it may be more beneficial than ever to invest in motivational programs or speakers. Afterwards, continue to reinforce their messages.

As you address your human capital challenges, including keeping motivation and morale strong every day, consider partnering with the workforce development experts at PrideStaff Fresno. Contact us today so we can get started on your customized plan for success.

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