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Six ways to keep your team motivated - and looking after their mental health - in isolation

17 Apr 2020

Coronavirus is dominating our lives, and it’s resulted in sweeping changes to the way we work- with many of us now working remotely, separated from our colleagues and routines.

It's never been more important to keep your team motivated and looking after their mental health while in isolation and away from their friends and family.

1) Keep your routine going

Suddenly switching to remote working can make you feel cast adrift. That’s why routine is so important to get you and your team in the right frame of mind. 

A team catch-up first thing is a good way to set your routine. It gets you engaging with people, making it feel like a proper working day, and encourages you to decide how you’re going to structure the day and suggest to your team they do the same. 

Don’t forget to include time away from the screen and a proper lunch break too.

2) It’s the simple things…

While it’s tempting to focus on how your business is coping at a high level, don’t forget that your staff are the vital cogs in the machine, and need attention too. 

Your team is looking for reassurance, and checking in with them and asking how they’re getting on will boost their morale.

Business support is also about staying engaged with what your employees are working on. Take a genuine interest in their work and know what their priorities are.

3) Recognition to boost morale

We could all do with some morale boosters, and recognising your employees’ achievements is a really easy way to do this.

Make it part of your daily routine to highlight examples of good work, sharing them in your daily conference calls. If you already operate an employee-of-the-week type scheme, there’s no reason why you can’t continue it virtually. 

4) Small is beautiful

Apart from having a daily team briefing, organising smaller catch-ups with a handful of employees, or on an individual basis, works well. It means everyone’s voice can be heard, and employees get the chance to talk about any concerns or share best practice which may not be possible in larger meetings.

5) Focus on positivity 

Before you start your daily briefing, draw up a list of three positives to share. It doesn’t have to be anything huge – even something as simple as getting a report in on time is a win. 

On another note, ration your access to news coverage. I try to tune in to it once a day at a maximum, as I find any more than that and I’m overloaded by Coronavirus coverage. Encourage your teams to do the same – it really helps to keep negative energy at bay. 

6) Let the fun continue 

You don’t have to give up the good times yet! Organise a virtual after-work beer (or whatever you’re into) once a week, instead of the usual Friday night drinks at the pub. It’s important to wind down from the big stuff and reconnect on a human level.

Even though we’re going through arguably one of the most life-changing episodes that most of us can remember, small and frequent doses of connectivity and positivity will see us through.



Alex Mitchell, IoD99

Find Alex on Twitter: @AlexDEMitchell


Please note, this content is not produced by the IoD and therefore does not necessarily represent the views or thoughts of the organisation.

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