Entrepreneur Advice

The various changes, tragedies and crises that Lebanon has witnessed over the past year, continue to weigh on everyone in the country. News channels, social media posts, conversations and email exchanges all carry the same heavy sentiment. As a result, leaders and managers are witnessing a drop in motivation and productivity levels amongst their team members. Accordingly, maintaining momentum and enhancing morale in the office, especially in difficult times, is the responsibility of leaders.

Here are tips on how to boost the morale in the office and motivate teams (and yourselves) in such times:

Acknowledge that is it tough (really tough)

There is no point in delivering motivational speeches and having uplifting one-on-one conversations with team members, if you do not acknowledge the current reality. Worrying consumes a great deal of people’s time, and dominates office conversations. In this regard, identify the fears of each team member, be it a lost sense of safety, or fear of losing their jobs, economic uncertainty or political instability. Have open and honest conversations about the issues the business is facing, how the situation is impacting everyone, and what is needed from each individual at work. Offering more one-on-one time, between direct managers and employees, to better express themselves is integral and interpersonal skills are more important than ever now. The words “We’re all in this together, and we need each other to pull through,” can go a long way.

Communicate the strategic changes and ask for input

Business cannot carry out at normal in such circumstances. Leaders and team members have been busy on the drawing board, trying to pivot and devise strategies that factor in the existent challenges. Ask team members to share their strategic objectives and innovative ideas, to safeguard the business. Creating an engaging dialogue and allowing every member of the team to be part of setting the corporate strategy can boost morale and lead to engaging discussions.

Set new goals and objectives

Once the new strategy is in place, communicating the new goals and objectives for each employee can provide a sense of direction. Managers and employees should set goals and objectives together, to be achieved in the short, medium and long term. The more achievable the goals are, the more likely team members will be motivated to accomplish them.

Offer a sense of control

Not having a sense of control can lead to a spike in anxiety levels. The events in Lebanon in recent months can contribute to members of the team feeling unstable or without direction. Identify the challenges that the company is facing openly, and ask team members on their suggestions on how to implement them. For example, if budget cuts are required to survive, ask them to come up with creative solutions on how to go about this.

Team building is good for everyone

The COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions have hindered human connections – with work and leisure moving into the digital / virtual world. The tragic explosion on August 4, made human connection even more vital.  With teams back in the office, dedicate time each week for motivation and team building. Through activities that instill trust, creative thinking and perhaps even social outings, it can help team members strengthen their ties, and create a healthier work environment.

If someone is struggling…

The explosion in Beirut impacted every individual in Lebanon, some more than others. If team members need extra support if their house was impacted, or a family member has passed away or was injured in the blast, extend a genuine helping hand. Create safe spaces for team members to share their feelings and ask them what they need (it could even be a few ‘mental health’ days off). If additional support is needed, encourage them to call the Embrace Lifeline on 1564.

Reward good work

Even if team members are not working at their full capacity, recognize hard work. A great presentation, speech or successfully completed project should be acknowledged and rewarded, which would give team members a much needed push, and it would motivate others to channel their efforts to become more productive.

The most important element right now, be it in social or work settings, is human interaction and support. Ensure everyone feels a sense of responsibility towards one another, to be able to overcome this difficult period.

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