Employees are likely working alone out of a small apartment, crammed into a shared space with roommates, or on top of each other in a family home where partners and children are all trying to work or go to school via Zoom. This difficult working situation, coupled with a constant barrage of information about the growing pandemic and recession, breeds anxiety. The stress and worry combined with boredom mean that your people’s mental health is at stake.
At the same time, businesses are spending huge amounts of money covering costs and salaries, while their people are often doing less than their best work. Some employees are extremely busy, but the majority are not. For managers on teams with less to do, it’s not easy to find ways to spend time productively.
As a leader, how will you keep your people motivated and productive?
The key is to find engaging activities that are highly effective in a virtual work-from-home environment and add value to your business. How do you do this?
- Turn this downtime into upskill time. While challenging in many ways, the current environment presents a unique opportunity – your people have more time than ever before. All people have skill gaps and mindset gaps, and by closing those gaps, your people and business will come out of this crisis stronger and more productive once business returns to normal. Help your people do this by providing them with the support they need – whether it is virtual coaching and assessments, or programs in leadership, sales, innovation and business acumen.
- Deploy a strategy for virtual learning. Given that most are connecting remotely, your people need new ways to access content. Leverage digital tools that allow your people to learn from home while staying connected through interactive, engaging experiences. Meetings that are held live and virtual with strong social elements are a great way to do this. Another way to reach your people is through digital solutions, which include highly engaging videos and simulation with connected learning modules. Today, the vast majority of your learning needs can be addressed through virtual and digital solutions.
- Keep it fun and social. It is mission critical for your people to feel connected and aligned during this difficult time. Offer opportunities for social connections that would normally take place during meetings like break-out sessions or virtual happy hours that allow your people to keep in touch and stay motivated to keep going. Competition is another fun way to keep development interesting and prevent people from “checking out.” Create a lively environment by leveraging virtual business simulations where teams compete against each other, or by setting up competitions to complete the most learning modules.
Taking action to shift downtime into development time will help your people at home stay engaged, productive, and mentally healthy. Your people will feel that they are continuing to learn and move forward, while getting smarter so they are ready to hit the ground running once things are back to normal.