How to keep employees motivated during times of uncertainty

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Anastasia Borovskaya

Director of the Russian School of Management

How to keep employees motivated during times of uncertainty

Anastasia Borovskaya Director of the Russian School of Management.

For more than two months, Russian business has been living in a new reality. Most companies have to quickly adapt to the changes that occur almost every day. And if at first there was no understanding of how long the difficult period would drag on, now it becomes clear that in this new reality we have to work and develop the business for a long time.

At the start, many chose a wait-and-see attitude, but now it's time to make difficult decisions, rebuild familiar processes and make serious changes.

And of course, this can negatively affect the motivation of employees and their loyalty to the company. Moreover, now many of them live in doom-scrolling mode and are surrounded by a huge amount of stress factors.

It is very important to build the management of employees in such a way that they feel protected at least in the professional sphere of their lives. Then it will be easier for the business to mobilize all its resources and inspire staff to intensify their work. To do this, it is enough to take just a few steps.

1. Optimize the system of monetary motivation and tell employees about it

Most companies now think about the income of team members. And it is precisely those who do not reduce staff, but rebuild monetary motivation schemes, are in the most advantageous position.

In difficult times, employees must bring real value to the business. Only in this case, the company will be able to ensure that they maintain income or minimize its reduction.

Bonuses and bonuses should be clearly related to global goals.

< p>Review bonus payments and KPIs for all positions and evaluate how they are tied to the key tasks of the company. Remove all items that are insignificant for priority areas, and bet on what is really important in the current situation.

Be sure to tell your employees about the new system. After all, uncertainty is demotivating. People have thoughts: “What if I get fired tomorrow or my salary is cut? Why then work harder and look for new opportunities to develop your areas?”

The more transparent the relationship between salary and real benefits for the business, the clearer it will be for the employee in which direction to move in order to maintain their income. This will motivate people to work harder, harder and more efficiently.

2. Be closer to your employees and not hide important information from them

In difficult times, it is important to constantly be in touch with your team and speak openly with the staff about everything that happens in the company. The experience of working during the lockdown and restrictions of 2020 has shown that only honest and constant informing of employees helps to eliminate the spread of rumors, overcome the fear of losing a job and reduce the degree of tension in the team.

Now there is a similar situation: uncertainty, turbulence and frequent changes in the rules of the game in the market. Therefore, the best thing to do is to show employees the loyalty of the organization.

Be open to suggestions, answer questions, talk about the current situation in the company, show what measures accepted.

Be sure to involve people in this corporate information field and give them the opportunity to take the initiative and do something useful for the business.

It is important that the staff see that the company is in full swing and everyone is focused on achieving a common result. To do this, you can enter the format of public monthly reports on the achievements of departments.

For example, they can be published in a corporate task management system – many of these services have live message feeds that all employees can see.

< h2>3. Give employees more freedom

One of the main mistakes of many leaders is the tightening of control over employees in difficult situations. Now, on the contrary, it is worth giving people more freedom – of course, if we are not talking about a secure enterprise.

You can send those who find this format of work more convenient to a partial remote work, make a floating schedule or give one extra day off week.

The main thing is for the employee to be in touch, to achieve the set goals and show the desired results.

And now it is better to exclude constant control so as not to pull a person and not increase anxiety and nervousness. The more comfortable and confident he feels, the easier it will be for him to achieve the solution of the tasks that the leadership sets for him.

4. Set clear goals and give informative feedback

Managers often neglect detailed explanation of assignments and open evaluation of staff performance. It seems to many that the employee already understands everything. And if not, then these are his personal problems – he will figure it out in the process.

This approach negatively affects the effectiveness of people's work. They have to spend a lot of time guessing, reworking and deciphering what the boss ultimately wanted to say.

Moreover, this can greatly demotivate staff. It will seem to employees that they are not heard, not understood. And the constant correction of errors due to insufficient clarity of tasks can significantly lower their self-esteem as professionals.

Therefore, the leader must formulate his instructions as clearly as possible and check with his subordinates whether they understand everything. Even better, ask them to tell you how they plan to implement the task.

In addition, you need to be in touch with employees and respond to their questions in a timely manner. And based on the results of the work, it is worth giving detailed feedback, which should include not only constructive criticism, but also well-deserved praise. Employees need to feel that management values ​​their contribution.

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