Leading a Team During Tough Times and How to Make it Through

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Happiness in the workplace is often put aside in favor of productivity, however during tough times, refocusing on the health and well-being of your workforce is essential. After all, you depend on your workforce to keep your business afloat, and your vision will almost immediately fail without their labor, determination, and resilience. Supporting employee wellness, happiness, and security is an absolute necessity if you wish to earn and maintain their earnest dedication and tap into their optimum productivity levels. Your workforce is your most significant investment.  

With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping through and bestowing tough times on all across the globe, it’s more important than ever to evaluate how your staff will fare. At the end of the day, if your workforce is ill and unable to work, you’ll have no business or success to call your own.  To better safeguard your business and maintain order for post-pandemic growth, your staff must be able to adjust with you during these tough times. 

Although 2020 has proved to be a trying time incomparable to any other in recent memory, there has been no sharper insistence on the value of happiness and work-life balance. Of course, with the nature of the pandemic holding the vast majority of conventional office staff at home, leading a team requires creative strategy. Read on to find our top six suggestions.

1. Promote a positive work environment

Happy workplaces are composed of happy people. A positive work environment is more conducive to generating satisfied workers, so it’s well worth your while to explore different ways of making your work atmosphere, be it in-person or virtual, a welcoming one. 

The first step in creating a sense of culture is to foster comfortable, interactive working relationships and to really get to know your coworkers as people with lives, relationships, aspirations, and dreams rather than colleagues who work for you or with you.

2. Recognize achievements

One way of keeping the best performers and strongest employees is to make every effort to acknowledge their hard work. Employees who feel valued by upper management do considerably better than those who do not feel respected or valued. Although constructive criticism is the true essence of most professions, make sure you give as many sincere congratulations and kudos as your workforce and hardest workers deserve. 

Be sure to check in with staff on a regular basis and engage with them to ensure their morale and workload and best optimized for a true work-life balance.

Here are some unique ways to recognize achievements

  • Give them an extra day of PTO
  • Reward hard work with commission or bonuses
  • Award team members with company swag

3. Create structured development pathways

Two perfect places to start creating successful growth pathways for your staff are educational programs and job mentoring. Not only do these helpful venues alleviate feelings of stagnation by introducing a route to better achievement and valuable development for staff, but it inspires the toughest workers to reach higher. 

Don’t make the error of recruiting new talent in favor of training your current staff. Team-wide morale might collapse and even your most faithful staff members could end up feeling disgruntled and undervalued. If you are planning to recruit professional talent into higher positions, make sure to do your due diligence in interviewing and hiring on the right candidate. You’ll want to make sure the person is a seamless fit into your company culture and workforce.

4. Offer them health benefits

Offering your workforce health insurance benefits including vision, dental and medical benefits can help guarantee that they are safe and secured should any emergencies arise. This is especially true of the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your workers deserve to have a safety net if they contract the coronavirus. Unquestionably, employees who have access to medical care will have more peace of mind if they know that in the event of a medical emergency, they won’t have to spend thousands of dollars out of pocket to cover the cost. 

Healthcare benefits will also yield more productive and fulfilled people who truly value the company they work for. In reality, having health care has been shown to correlate to heightened productivity.

A happy and motivated workforce who are insured and protected are more likely to remain at work. especially during a global pandemic, which would ultimately improve your retention rate and increase productivity rates.

5. Offer more vacation time and sick days

While you probably seldom care about what your workers do in their leisure hours or on the weekends, it’s good to bear in mind that their down-time is precious and they enjoy every minute away from work. Every job requires time and intellectual capacity, two factors that after 8 hours on the clock could well leave one feeling exhausted, day in and day out. Try treating your staff with higher than average vacation or holiday days in order to prevent the detrimental consequences of burnout and discontent.

6. Provide tools for success on the job

For any job, a lack of the right resources and technology can often serve as the greatest barrier to success.  Activities like setting up schedules, tracking project time, collaborating with team members, and delivering finished products are not only tedious and stressful, but they take up precious time during the workday.

Fortunately, through creative modern software, many of the most redundant elements of a project can be automated. To encourage your workforce to be as strong and efficient as possible, try implementing the following programs:

  • Time tracking software: Time monitoring apps can help ensure that hours are planned for during the day, empower workers to make more efficient use of their time, and discourage tasks from being swept out of control due to inadequate time management.
  • Project management software: This type of software is designed to help your staff organize all their deadlines in one place, coordinate tasks, and oversee the development stages of projects.

Wrapping up

Leading a team is no small feat, and in the face of tough times, it takes patience, determination, and strategic planning to keep operations afloat. Using these tips, you’ll be well on your way toward fostering a work environment conducive to maintaining sky-high employee happiness and motivation levels.

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