Everything in the workplace has changed, but what keeps employees motivated and what employers and leaders can do remains the same. As employees adjust to how, when and where they work, it’s a great opportunity for employers to do a better job at what they already know is important. Effective leaders must understand their team's circumstances and distractions, and find ways to engage and motivate and make them happy .In other words, how you help your employees to adjust and cope can earn their trust and loyalty, now and after the crisis, or not. Here are some of the ideas that you can try in motivating your employees:

Leadership that delivers results is needed

When we look at what leadership is especially in a tight situation or crisis, we consider qualities like empathy, accountability, being appreciative, and being a great listener. We look to someone who is fair and doesn’t ignore the details just because they’re details. Great leaders engage employees and team members in an atmosphere of trust and honest communication, which not only prevents inconveniences from escalating into crises but improves worker productivity and retention. Leaders need to be proactive in addressing workplace issues than ignoring them. The best leaders reduce communication barriers, allowing employees to make a maximum contribution. They spend time in dialogue with workers so that they find the solutions unanimously.

Avoid bossing around unnecessarily

“People leave managers, not companies” is a common refrain you’ll hear when corporate leadership is discussed. Due to bad bosses, employee morale sinks, productivity tanks, and attrition goes up. Did you know that in some instances employees leave bad bosses and toxic environment. No one enjoys being “bossed and tossed” around, even if they hold the lowest position in the company. Slapping them with multiple instructions and workload will surely demoralise them especially when it does not compliment with the salaries. Give them a chance to voice out their opinion once in a while and allow them to ask questions about your instructions so that you will know that they understand them.

Limit the rules and regulations

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Take a look at your policies and procedures and ask yourself whether or not they will not demotivate your employees. Although it feels good to have full control and power at companies it should be noted that workplaces are not concentration camps in which people are detained or confined. This can actually affect your employees’ performance negatively. Policy-overload makes your employees feel like there is not much room to move around, no room for mistakes and that there are severe repercussions for every mistake they make. Ironically, they make more mistakes this way as they will be operating by law not by heart. Giving them chances to express their creativity, make decisions, and analyse situations will makes them feel valued and gives and this will also help then not to feel demotivated especially when an organisation is operating in a tight budget.

Remember you work with them, not above them

Many employers forget that when employees are working for them, they are passer by hence any frustrations to them can led them to resign and try next employers. Instead of expecting employees to work under you like you’re their supreme leader, ty to explain to them in a way that motivate them and that does not frustrate them. Also, for small business it is crucial to know that as the employers need their profits the employee’s fundamental rights. A worker is more likely to perform to his potential if he's happy with the salary he is earning. A person earning a high salary feels motivated to do a good job, because he wants to please his employer to retain his position.

Understand what excites them

Listen to them carefully during the interview, during your company team building.

You will most likely find out what makes them excited, or what kind of tasks they are interested in. This can be your key in knowing how to motivate your employees according to their own unique preferences. One would probably be motivated with free coffee during work hours, another would love being assigned to doing business presentations, and so on. Aside from being able to motivate them, you get to know their strengths and how you can use them in the future.

Recognise good work and good deeds

Companies that cultivate a culture of rewarding and recognition enjoys promising results from engaged and productive employees. A good reward and recognition system will not only show that the company appreciates the efforts of its employees. It will also value them because they are a part of the company. Reward and recognition cultivate a positive relationship between employers and employees. Enhancing employee morale can contribute to lowering the turnover rate. Sometimes, it is simply giving a pat on the back, a simple “good job,” a “thank you”, or any other compliments recognising that your employee has done well. These simple gestures will actually go a long way.

Avoid Playing favourites

It’s human nature to like some colleagues more than others. But when you’re the boss, treating direct reports differently and especially playing favourites is unwise and unfair. Nobody wants to be in a company where the boss plays favourites. It’s good if you are the favourite employee, but not good for everybody else. Maybe the reason why your employees refuse to follow your instructions is that they know you will not appreciate them in the end. As a leader, you have to give everyone the same treatment.  Playing favourites is not only limited to individual employees. It can be among departments, and even among branches. If one department or branch feels you favour one over the other, soon they will lose drive and eventually stop listening to you.

Avoid arguing against every opinion of employees

Listen to yourself every time you voice out your new proposal for your employees. How do you react? If you find yourself killing everyone’s input and defending your own stand, then you are not really giving them the open communication you claim to uphold in your company. I am not saying that you must listen to every opinion thrown at you. In fact, that is the worst thing that you could do as a leader. Rather, listen, understand and find out which of these opinions would actually help improve the company, a new policy or project.

The real test of leadership does not occur when everything is smooth sailing. Rather, leadership is oftentimes tested during a crisis. The way a leader behaves and acts during a crisis will establish their credentials as a good leader or a poor one. That being said, there’s no handy manual out there that can guide a leader through a crisis.

 Emmanuel Zvada is a human capital consultant and international recruitment expert 


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