Time in lock down certainly goes at a slow pace and every day is like the other until all the days merge. You still have team calls with your co-workers, but its not the same since you haven't actually seen them face to face in person for numerous months. Even though it looks as though lock down may soon come to an end, every day is still a challenge since morale is quite low.
Long before there was ever a global pandemic, the low period after Christmas was quite well known. This is a phenomenon that continuously occurs, even before Covid-19 and social distancing. According to the UK Office for National Statistics, there is a 3% increase in depression among the female population and 5% among males during the month of January. Do note that these statistics are long before it ever had a pandemic and lock downs.
During difficult times, kindness is particularly helpful especially when it comes from a person who is in authority or a high position. This can actually make a person have a good day. Leaders should understand the amount of power they wield in a company and how they can affect the experiences of employees using management training courses. This is possible, even when not in person. At the same time, something as minor as a poorly worded email due to being tired or rushed can severely decrease employee morale.
As a result, it is important that you take the time every day to think about all the reasons why you're happy to have your team, company and colleagues. Be sure to share these thoughts with those around you and you will see how powerful it is. When you do something as simple as thank a staff member who did an extra task that wasn't in their particular job role, it can go a long way in improving their mood and how they feel about themselves and their job.
Be sure to also treat yourself with kindness. Most people easily feel as though they aren't good enough and you should strive to avoid falling into this trap.
It is important to also give your staff interesting tasks that tap into their creative sides. This is very therapeutic and can greatly help to increase your team's overall performance.
By allowing your staff to use their creative sides this can actually help to unlock their true potential. This is due to the fact that creative thinking lowers cortisol which is a stress hormone. This hormone is responsible for reducing performance and focus, so by reducing it you will help your team to perform their best.
Keep Your Eyes On The Future
One of the best ways to improve morale is to give your team something they can look forward to. This is especially true if they can also plan for it. This is a great way to incentivize your team and reward them for working together. There are lots of companies that are looking at different ways of rewarding their employees after Covid-19 or even at the end of the year.
Note that this doesn't need to be a monetary incentive. There is actually a particular European bank that has offered another bank holiday where they can spend the day doing whatever they like such as hanging out with friends and family members as oppose to working.
When you don't feel your best, you'll notice that its the little things that make the biggest difference. So, make sure that you show that you're interested in your team's personal lives and ask about their families and personal situations. This will show that you are more than just a boss and actually care about your staff. For example, a particular leader at a multi-national fintech built a good rapport with his staff by talking about his personal difficulties of working at home and how challenging it was to work especially with his family around him most of the time since they constantly distracted him. His experience and frustrations were also shared by those on his team and they were actually able to relate much better to him than ever before.