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Our productivity is fueled by inner joy and mental peace. However, in the face of such uncertainty as this pandemic brings or any other personal crisis, how do you move on? During this COVID-19 pandemic, morale and motivation are at an all-time low. As a manager or an employer, you have to be the one to find ways of motivating employees under adverse conditions.

You must be sympathetic, grasp their issues, and try to fix them. This isn't going to be accomplished with a formal email or a motivational speech. Here are some ways to solve your employees' concerns and drive them to perform better.

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1. Show empathy and support.

Everyone has different responses and difficulties while facing a crisis—schedule weekly team meetings and one-on-ones to address their issues. Ask them about how they are feeling and how you can support them. For example, how would an employee feel if a manager only cares for their productivity?

You have to go above and beyond to foster a sense of belonging and make them know that you care for their well-being too. Empathy is the simplest yet most effective way of motivating employees under adverse conditions?. 

Communicate with your employees. If they are overwhelmed, you could say, "I understand you are going through a lot. Let's get together and figure out a way to sort out the task". A word of understanding can go a long way to make them feel valued and re-energize them to take on responsibilities.  

It is also essential to communicate your vision to your employees. Employees should be treated as partners in the company. Please keep them in the loop and update them with any situation or change. This instills a sense of importance in the employee as he understands how significantly his work contributes to achieving that goal.

2. Recognize and appreciate

The biggest motivation for anyone is appreciation. Someone going through hardship would further lose their will to perform if their work goes unacknowledged. In this pandemic, people are working remotely and do not always have the proper working set-up or atmosphere at home.

Yet, they are pushing themselves to deliver and meet deadlines. It is easy to lose confidence and willpower under such adverse conditions. Therefore, recognition is essential. Recognition gives the required push and motivation to employees?. 

Recognition can mean sending an email to everyone in the department, appreciating an employee's contribution to a particular project?. It could also be in the form of a gift card or some voucher?. 

3. Offer flexibility

During this pandemic, many of your employees are managing work?, looking after their child's schooling, and at the same time monitoring their household. They could have aged people at home who are at high risk of contracting the virus. They are perpetually worried about the safety of their loved ones.

How can someone go on with their ordinary life with so much on their plate?  

What can you do to ease their burden? Actions are more powerful than words. Try to be accommodating and allow them flexible work hours to work around their child's needs. Let them work from home with staggered shifts and compressed workweeks. Working from home allows for social distancing and offers flexibility. 

4. Think of holistic wellbeing  

Do you know the most sensible and logical way of motivating employees under adverse conditions? Provide them with group health insurance and employee assistance programs. It is crucial to prioritize the health and wellbeing of employees. If you are concerned for the health of your employees and not just their productivity, it fosters an environment of care within your organization❤️.  

Plum Insurance offers group healthcare insurance. With Plum Insurance, your employees will get multiple health benefits like unlimited doctor consultations, full-body checkups, COVID-19 treatment, and even pre-existing conditions are covered.

In addition, this health insurance also values mental health and offers personal therapists, which is an essential aspect of healthcare during these uncertain times. 

Taking breaks can increase productivity multifold times. So, encourage your employees to set healthy boundaries around work and non-work spaces and to maintain clear start and end times of their shifts with proper break times.

5. Offer a fair and thriving work environment

Your employees will be more prone to deliver objectives if you foster a fair and just work environment at your organization. So, ensure that all the employees are treated and paid ✔️ equally. Review your company policies and make amendments to make them inclusive, and there should be no discrimination on any grounds. 

There is no greater motivation than knowing there's a proper and just system to evaluate our work and reward us accordingly.

6. Prioritize Open Communication

Employees who feel their voices are not being heard may perceive themselves as mere tools for the company's objectives. Thus, it's crucial to demonstrate through your actions that each employee is a valued individual within the organization. Create an environment that promotes open dialogue between employees and management, allowing them to ask questions and expecting transparent responses.

7. Implement Policies That Benefit Employees

Developing policies that are favorable to employees can induce significant positive changes aligned with the work culture you aim to cultivate. The most effective approach would be to consult your team, gather their perspectives, and shape policies accordingly. Whether through informal one-on-one discussions or broader company surveys, gaining insight into the policies your team members desire is crucial.

8. Delegate Tasks Based on Individual Interests and Capabilities

The way an employee perceives their assigned tasks can significantly impact their motivation, especially during challenging times. Assigning tasks that suit an employee's abilities can lead to a sense of achievement, thereby boosting morale.

Ideal tasks align with the individual's interests and strengths, thereby stimulating their intrinsic motivation.

As highlighted in Marcus Buckingham's acclaimed book, Now, Discover Your Strengths, "exceptional organizations don't just accommodate the fact that each employee is unique, they capitalize on it". 

By recognizing their strengths and assigning tasks that further refine them, you enhance productivity and employee motivation. It also serves as a potent strategy for employee retention, as evidenced by research from the Gallup organization, which found it reduces employee turnover rates.

Moreover, it's vital to ensure the tasks assigned are sufficiently challenging, striking a delicate balance. There's a thin line between overwhelming and under-stimulating assignments. If a task seems insurmountable, employees may not even attempt it. Conversely, a task deemed too easy can lead to boredom. Either scenario can erode motivation.

The simplest way to navigate this? Involve your employees in goal setting. They are the best judges of their abilities and interests.

To wrap up

You may be impacted by motivating employees in difficult situations. Remember, you're the captain of the ship as a manager or employer. As a result, keep your cool! Being stressed about a health problem or a health crisis is possible. There are several ways to get motivated.

Just make sure that your employees know you're there to help and support them. Check on them from time to time, just as you would with a family. Provide gifts, send thank you letters, accommodate their needs, and establish their value.

Kindness in little ways may help people achieve their best, encourage them and inspire them.


Q: What are some effective ways to motivate employees during tough times?

A: There are several strategies to motivate employees under adverse conditions. This includes maintaining clear communication about the situation, recognizing their efforts, providing support to reduce stress, assigning tasks based on individual abilities and interests, and implementing employee-friendly policies.

Q: How important is communication in motivating employees during adverse conditions?

A: Communication is critical in maintaining employee motivation during challenging times. Open and honest communication builds trust and encourages employees to share their thoughts and ideas. This not only makes them feel valued but also provides insights that could help the company navigate the situation.

Q: How can employee-friendly policies motivate employees under adverse conditions?

A: Employee-friendly policies, such as flexible work hours, remote working, or additional support for mental health, can provide a sense of security and care to employees during tough times. Such policies show that the company values its employees' wellbeing, which can boost morale and motivation.

Q: How does assigning tasks based on individual abilities and interests help in motivating employees during tough times?

A: When tasks are aligned with an employee's skills and interests, they are more likely to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from their work. This can boost morale and motivation during challenging periods.

Q: Can recognition and rewards help motivate employees during adverse conditions?

A: Yes, recognition and rewards can be a powerful motivator, even during adverse conditions. They show appreciation for employees' hard work and dedication. Even small acknowledgments can have a positive impact on employee motivation and engagement.

Q. What specific types of support or resources can employers provide to address the mental health challenges employees face during a crisis?

A. Employers can offer professional counseling services and access to mental health apps. They can also organize workshops on stress management and mindfulness. Such initiatives show care and support. It helps employees cope with stress, therefore enhancing their well-being and productivity. Regular check-ins can offer personalized support, ensuring employees feel heard and valued.

Q. How can employers effectively measure the impact of their motivation strategies on employee productivity and morale during adverse conditions?

A. Employers can conduct anonymous surveys to gather feedback on their motivation strategies. This allows for honest input. They can also monitor work output and employee engagement levels before and after implementing new strategies. Regular feedback sessions help in understanding employees' perspectives. Therefore, adjustments can be made to ensure the strategies are effective and meet employees' needs.

Q. What are some examples of flexible work arrangements that have been successful in maintaining or increasing employee productivity during the pandemic?

A. Successful flexible work arrangements include flexible working hours, work from home options, and four-day workweeks. These practices allow employees to manage work and personal life more effectively. As a result, stress is reduced, and productivity often increases. For example, implementing staggered shifts can help employees avoid peak commuting times, thereby reducing their exposure and stress.

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