How can HR boost employee motivation in COVID times?

By Vijay Balakrishnan
2 minute read ● September 15, 2020
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How can HR boost employee motivation in COVID times?

Boosting employee motivation during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought industries worldwide to a standstill, and businesses of all sizes are still struggling to recover. Amidst this, keeping employee motivation up is more important than ever for smooth day-to-day business operations. Here are some ways in which HR can craft the ideal employee motivation strategy for the post-pandemic era.

Share the company’s vision for the times ahead.

In these troubled times, employees will be looking up to their leaders for direction and support. HR should take the lead in redesigning and sharing the company’s vision for how they will continue business amidst the pandemic. This vision could include thoughts on how work-from-home will happen, messages from the C-suite, and details of potential employee reward programs to keep spirits lifted.

Have frequent conversations

HR can take the lead in ramping up company announcements and news bulletins to keep employees in the know. This could range from general information about Covid-19 from verified sources to industry updates. Any major decisions that the company will take, including departmental changes or salary cuts, should be communicated and clarified immediately to avoid confusion. In such cases, the accuracy and efficiency of an HRMS Management Solution come into play. Both HR and company leaders should participate actively in these conversations.

Respond to the need for emotional support

Apart from health concerns related to COVID-19, employees may also be feeling insecure about their jobs given the number of layoffs taking place everywhere. It is important to have careful conversations with employees to help them feel heard and sympathized with. HR can organize special one-on-one meetings with team managers or mentors where employees can be encouraged to share any concerns or fears they may have. This would greatly help employees feel secured and stay focussed.

Design new employee incentives

Amidst all the uncertainty, a good employee motivation strategy is to set up schemes tailored to immediate needs. This could include paid time off for employees to take care of family members, virtual engagement activities to boost morale. These changes can be implemented quickly and seamlessly when backed by robust attendance and payroll software.

Encourage cross-functional collaboration

In a remote working scenario, cross functional collaboration becomes difficult. HR should take active steps to encourage communication and teamwork among different branches on work related projects as well as community-oriented programs. This will help team members feel more united and thus boost overall employee motivation.

Help employees adjust to remote working

Apart from designing employee incentive schemes like extra bonuses or paid time off, it is important for HR to take concrete steps towards making work-from-home easier for all. This could include tokens of appreciation for setting up internet connections or an ergonomic workspace, training modules on communication channels, and weekly mentoring sessions with team leaders.

Maintain company culture

It is the company culture that inspires individuals to stay with one company over the other. With remote work, maintaining this culture can pose a challenge. HR can take positive steps towards taking company culture online by encouraging employees to have catch-up sessions, chat about their hobbies and interests and share extra-curricular activities online just as they would in person (such as by starting an online book club or a singing group). This will boost employee motivation by reminding employees that they are in this together.

While COVID-19 has affected all of us in lasting ways, keeping employee motivation high is possible as long as employees feel a sense of trust and belonging towards their company. HR can play a significant role here by providing steady, sensitive, and forward-thinking leadership.

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