10 Ways To Keep Your Employees Motivated and Loyal During Tough Times


It’s not easy being a business owner.  Even at the best of times, it’s much like a juggling act:  where you need to be able to keep many balls in the air.

But in times like now, how do you keep your employees motivated and loyal?

Right now, the best thing you can do is to be honest and engage positively with your team.

Remember that you are all in this together, no matter your level or job title.  Nobody wants to be unhappy or insecure in a workplace.

In difficult times, you cannot effectively motivate your employees if you cannot clearly tell them where they now need to go and how they are to get there in this new reality.

Here are 10 tips for keeping your team/s motivated and loyal:

  1. Keep yourself in check

Don’t let your own worries drift into the workplace.  Compose yourself and keep your feelings private because it may trigger those around you.  This is possibly the toughest role of a manager/owner, as there will always be employees who you are closer to that you are tempted to confide your own troubles in.   Avoid this.  Instead find someone outside of the office who can help you vent and manage your own stress.

  • Focus on engagement of your team/s

Have an open-door approach (if your team(s) are working remotely, then allocate time each day that team members can call you), so employees who want to talk about whatever’s going on can feel comfortable coming to you.  If your team aren’t engaging with you, engage with them – go out of your way to touch base with them. 

  • Stop rumours

Be aware of any gossip going around amongst your team.  Small rumours can get way out of hand if they aren’t dealt with swiftly.  Be honest and as transparent as possible. Handled well, this can be a great opportunity to build trust with your team.

  • Help employees find their feet 

This is particularly important if you’ve needed to put staff off.   Employee survivors will typically deal with a range of emotions, including relief and guilt.  There can also be some confusion and anxiety about their own future. Showing your team how they fit into the ‘new normal’ picture will help allay these confusing emotions and motivate them to contribute their best.

  • You are strong together

Remember that it’s not you against them. Make sure your employees know that you are on their side.  The unified approach starts with you.  Even if employees don’t like the information or actions given to them, they need to know that you have the best interests of the them and the business at heart.

  • Don’t hover or micromanage!

It’s a tough time we know but have faith that your staff will handle the responsibility you give them and will be able to figure things out on their own.   Ensure they know you are available as a sounding board if they need it.   Tough times are an opportunity to build the strength of team members.

  • Keep employees involved

People generally want to help, especially in tough times.   In most instances, you will find that they will be more than happy and will generally have great ideas.

  • Give employees tasks and projects

You don’t need to do everything yourself.   If you have challenges to resolve in your business as to how to run your operations differently, then get your team/s to work it.  Problem-solving can help to energize and motivate staff.   It makes them feel good, feel useful and gives them a sense of control during difficult times.

  • Recognise employee contributions

It may not be a good time for the company, but you will still want to pay attention to who is doing good work. Nurture your relationships!   Make sure your staff know that they are appreciated, and that the hard work they are doing is still making a difference, despite whatever changes have occurred.   Don’t underestimate the power of a simple ‘thank you’.

  • Prepare for the future

In trying times, employees sometimes fear for their future and the future of the business.   Involve your team in goal setting, so that they can feel more secure about the future and their place in it.

Remember that it won’t always go smoothly, and you may hit a few bumps along the way.   We are all human and not perfect.  However, it’s a great opportunity to learn and grow both personally and professionally.

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