Set your team up for success by creating a positive work environment.
Let’s be real – working from home is not ideal. Unless you’re a homebody who thrives off the comfort of your own space. Then, you probably love it. For the majority of us though, it’s proven to be quite difficult.
It’s been a long lockdown here in Melbourne. Infact, as we write this, we’ve spent 235 days cooped up inside. A new record – the world’s longest lockdown. And while the majority of us have held our heads up high and tried to remain positive, it’s beginning to take its toll on many people both mentally and physically. That being said, you don’t by any chance have the number of a good Physio? Because boy oh boy is the back pain real.
While we’re stuck living the days on what feels like repeat, it’s important to foster a positive work environment for your team. Think about what a thriving culture can bring. Employee loyalty, job satisfaction, high morale and less stress. The best part? It can be done with any budget, anywhere!
Here are 5 ways you can create a positive work environment in lockdown
Show your team you actually care
Checking in on your team, especially during lockdown, should be a part of your daily schedule. With days consistently spent at home, you may find that they start to lack motivation and develop a feeling of disconnect. However, with your encouragement this can be turned around.
You might not even realise, but just chatting to your team goes a long way. Conversing with them regularly shows them that you’re there and you’re paying attention. It’s so important to show compassion, warmth and a level of understanding in these trying times. And while it can be easy to do so, it’s important to actually mean it. Show your team that you’re there as a *virtual* shoulder to lean on if they need one. Just remember that feelings are heightened in lockdown, so giving them some extra TLC won’t hurt.
Days feel the same, time feels like it’s going in slow motion, and there’s a big lack of motivation in the air. Creating goals can help your team feel like they’re actually working towards something specific, giving them purpose to their work. It keeps them aligned with the business, and brews up excitement and motivation from within. Chat with your team about what the next week, month, year looks like. Take some time to chat to them one on one. Personalised goals specific to each individual are great too. Ask each team member what they want to achieve. Which pathway do they see themselves heading in? More than often it makes them want to do better, be better. It’s a great way to bring your team together and have them work on something more tailored towards them, rather than just focusing on their weekly pay.
Encourage movement and self-care
Sitting at home all day isn’t fun. Take the time to encourage your team to move and focus on their self-care. Give them an extra 10 minutes in their lunch break to make the most of the sun on their walk. Start a competition to see who can reach 10,000 steps per day. Send them a lockdown care package with their favourite snacks. These little things all add up. Being proactive about self-care shows your team that you actually care, that you’re there to lift them up during these difficult times.
Recognise your team’s efforts
Your team is the most crucial part of your business. More often than not, they’re running around trying to hit deadlines and completing to-do lists that just seem to never end. So, when they work above and beyond what is expected of them, why not recognise and reward them for what they’ve done? Take them out for lunch, tell them coffee is on you next time, implement an ‘employee of the month’ type award. It’s little things like these that subconsciously tell your team you see their hard work and you’re grateful for them. Your team is the backbone to your business. Don’t forget that.
Everyone wants to be able to enjoy work. So, why not bring a little love and light into the work environment? While everyone has a different idea of what fun is, there’s no reason not to be able to find something that everyone can happily get involved in. Fun activities allow for mutual respect and open communication amongst co-workers. Whether it’s a spontaneous online trivia night, a webinar or a Fri-yay drinks on zoom – it all counts.
The entire point of getting together is to take away from the seriousness of work. Your team aren’t robots, they’re human. They need social interaction, time away from the computer, a space to let their hair down and refresh. Michelle got hit in the face by her arch nemesis, the magpie? Jess regularly eats tomato sauce and tuna together? Laura’s having a ‘who can grow the biggest zucchini’ competition with her friends? All completely irrelevant topics of conversation, we know. But sometimes chatting about absolute garbage is just what the team needs.
Sprinkle a little conversation, drop in a dash of spontaneity and pour in a whole lotta’ love. Mix these ingredients together and you’ll find that you have a more responsive, productive, happier team. A little goes a long way, and while we’re all trying to navigate our lives in these trying times, it’s more important than ever to stay connected. Make your team feel valued, show them that you care and support them. You’ll reap the benefits, just watch.