The existing COVID-19 pandemic has bought the entire world to its knees. Most of the nations have declared a state of emergency and imposed lockdown disrupting every aspect of our life to its core. No industry, organization, team, or individual is immune to new challenges that the recent outbreak has brought about.
According to a professor of risk management at Bristol University, the coronavirus pandemic will disrupt businesses severely for at least a year, leading to a plunge in the economic output of 6.4% per person in the United Kingdom. In such a situation, fewer people in the UK would be employed, and people would generally bring home smaller paychecks. In March 2020, more than 10 million Americans lost their jobs and applied for government assistance, according to the latest Labor Department data.
A survey conducted by FICCI showed 53% of Indian businesses have indicated a marked impact of COVID-19 on business operations. And, 42% of the respondents said that it could take three months for normalcy to return.
All the statistics mentioned above suggest the impact of the virus outbreak on the economy, business and thereby the workforce. And, in a situation of an economic downturn, employees are most likely to get demotivated and disengaged from their tasks as a result of the threat of job loss, reduction in salaries, etc. Thus, it becomes the responsibility of the business head or HR managers to help them stay motivated, focused and engaged.
Let’s check out a few effective tips or strategies to motivate the employees during an economic slump:-
To begin with, since the people around the world are currently working from their homes, employers need to make efforts to encourage them to work more effectively. To do so, it is important to:-
Invest in work-from-home tools – While most people have a computer and an internet connection at home, some may not have enough bandwidth to perform the official tasks. Certain organizations might also be devoid of the right collaboration tools. So, employers must take care of such prime requisites.
Have an open-door policy – As managers you must communicate with the employees, acknowledge their concerns and answer all their questions. Having direct communication with the management makes employees feel as valuable assets of an organization, which encourages them to strive to deliver their level best even in tough situations.
Avoid micromanaging – For organizational leaders who are used to a conventional office environment, it can be tempting to check in constantly to make sure employees are on task while they are working away from the office. However, micromanaging your team will only make them feel like you don’t trust them. And, engaging your remote workers starts with a high-trust culture.
Find alternatives to lay-offs – Even the thought of being laid off can be daunting for employees. They might develop discontentment with the organization which will not help the organization goodwill. Therefore, instead of promptly laying-off employees, try to find other options. For example, minor deduction in salary, allowing reduced hours of work, etc. Doing so would not only eliminate the need for lay-offs but also inhibit the possibility of losing a productive workforce.
Embrace the latest technology – If you have been holding off on implementing new technology, now is the time to make the move before the downturn becomes worse.Leesa Schipani, SHRM-SCP and partner at KardasLarson LLC, recommends, “leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the simple stuff allows employees to focus on more complex customer experience and business issues.”
Facilitate training and development – Currently, investing in online learning and development (L&D) programs is one of the best things a business can do. This is because facilitating training would improve employee engagement and, according to a Gallup poll, engaged employees are 21% more productive than their less engaged counterparts.
If you are looking for online corporate training assistance to motivate and boost your employees’ morale, you may get in touch with Silver Brook. We offer a variety of courses to suit your needs and budget. And, our instructor-led programs are supported by an exclusive Online Learning Management System (LMS), which provides accessible, engaging and intuitive content to the learners.Enquire Now