Motivating employees can be challenging during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are employees encountering more challenges at work due to adjustments to their work conditions, schedule, and safety protocols, but they may also be experiencing more difficulties at home. Here are a few suggestions for helping employees through uncertain times.

1. Show compassion and support
Remember that each employee is facing challenges in their own way and may feel crushed at times. Let them know you are there to support them, ask how they are doing and what support they require to do their job. Additionally, recognise the company and outside help they can tap into for support, such as an Employee Assistance Program or wellness resources.

2. Be positive
Provide employees an honest assessment of present business conditions but stress that you will face them together. Concentrate on successes your firm has had during the situation and communicate stories about projects or client relations that went well. Highlight the lessons you have learned and how you will leverage that knowledge in the future. Also, share with each employee that their work is paramount.

3. Propose flexibility
Numerous employers have adopted or developed flexible work arrangements in response to the pandemic, such as telework, extreme shifts, tight workweeks, and flextime (early arrival or departure). Given the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19, employers have also had to adapt flexibility by offering a more relaxed and motivating environment. For example, these policies sometimes restrict employees from caring for a child or elder during work hours. However, if particular employee is working from home due to the virus’s community spread, children may be home from school with no backup care present. Consider altering deadlines or permitting employees to schedule their work around their child or eldercare needs.

4. Acknowledge and reward
Recognition shows employees that their work is valued. During the pandemic, it’s imperative to identify both team and individual performance. For example, recognition can come from an announcement in company communications or a message from a supervisor or head of the company. For rewards, consider different monetary and non monetary rewards. For instance, even if merit-based pay raises or bonuses aren’t feasible, you could offer additional paid time off, gift cards, and other little financial rewards. Additionally, consider supplying employees with a way to recognise their colleagues.

5. Entrust employees
To the capacity possible, give employees the autonomy to make judgments about their work and inspire employees to share their knowledge and skills. Ask workers for ideas for tackling projects and challenges and provide them the tools and resources they require to do their jobs effectively.