How do you re-energize employees? Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it can feel as though the new year ahead is filled with more uncertainties than opportunities. Many employees still don’t know when they might return to the office. Some may feel burned out from heavy workloads while others are struggling with feelings of stagnation.
Is there a solution? Yes! Best of all, it can be tailored to meet the needs of your team. From creating an attitude of “let’s grow together” to offering flex scheduling, here is how 17 small business owners are working to re-energize employees and keep their focus — and enthusiasm — going year-round in the workplace.
1. Celebrate milestones.
“The key to keeping your employees engaged and creative during the age of COVID-19 is to provide them with the comfort that their contributions matter.
Celebrating milestones is one way to make them feel like they’re part of the family. It could be something as simple as offering them a gift on a work anniversary or giving them an award for their contributions for hitting a goal. This is an effective way to restore their faith that they work in a place that recognizes their value.” — Jon Carder, Co-Founder and CEO, Vessel Health
2. Increase benefits.
“We have many different personalities in our team. I try to send treats, increase benefits, provide training paired with travel, friends and family discounts, and marketing participation.
Our team is small enough to identify individual motivators. Building personal relationships with team members is rewarding on many levels.” — Lee Padgett, CEO, Busted Bra Shop
3. Uplift the setbacks.
“One of my favorite approaches to help re-energize my employees is to constantly celebrate the big and small milestones that we achieve as a team. This helps build up team morale and encourage the employees to do even better than before as they consider themselves to be an integral part of the workforce.
Another approach that I constantly work on as a team leader is to uplift setbacks. I treat setbacks as learning opportunities. In return, this leads to a more informed and better outcome in the future. Through these everyday gestures of communication and gratitude, our team stays upbeat. Employees find a new purpose to start their day with work every day.” — Daniel Cook, Head of Business Development, Mullen and Mullen
4. Express gratitude.
“Everyone likes to be recognized for their time and effort on a project. For managers, doing so can help re-energize a group by boosting morale, especially during stressful periods.
It’s important for managers to express gratitude for their team and all that they do for the organization. This helps employees feel that their work is making a difference and helping the company reach key goals. It also helps improve the employee experience, which is crucial to happiness and retention.” — Gian Moore, Partner and Marketing Director, MellowPine
5. Invite employees to make changes.
“We encourage and invite employees to make changes to our strategy. Our company has an open communication that allows employees to voice their opinions, discuss possible changes, and come up with new ideas regardless of their seniority. Every month, we allow employees to add their ideas anonymously. At the end of the month, we vote on which idea will be chosen to be implemented.
The advantage? Regardless of the hierarchy, the employee with the chosen idea will lead the project and foresee the changes. This gives a chance to employees to stand out, show their talents, and gain respect and appreciation for their skills regardless of how long they’ve been working for the company. It also makes other employees strive to come up with great ideas and become more productive. Overall, we see great results.” — Mike Nemeroff, CEO and Co-Founder, Rush Order Tees
6. Remember the big picture.
“Don’t forget the big picture with the team. Work on a project, especially one with a longer timeframe, can sometimes become stopped particularly when team members lose focus. When this happens, it’s vital for leaders to remind their employees of the team’s and organization’s objectives. This can assist the group get back on track and re-energized and overcome any issues or difficulties that are keeping the project from moving forward.
A team may need to take a step back from their work and refocus on the end result. This enhances creativity and productivity.” — Lily Will, Founder and CEO, NiaWigs
7. Focus on recognition.
“One of the best ways for leaders to re-energize employees as we enter another uncertain year is to focus on recognition and appreciation.
Every person pouring their time and energy into a job wants to be recognized for their hard work Leaders can effectively motivate their teams by being more deliberate about raising up a job well done.” — Stephen Light, Co-Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Nolah Mattress
9. Good compensation.
“My favorite approach in re-energizing employees is rewarding their output with good compensation and half a day off. Before, the system used to count the hours an employee has clocked in and reward them for it. However, I have observed that it is detrimental to the team’s overall productivity. Those that completed 100-hour work may not be as productive as someone that gets the job done quickly and efficiently.
So, to aid that, those that finished with a satisfactory output can redeem rewards, either with care packages or gift cards. They can also take half a day off the next day, either choosing to go to the office later or leave early.” — Stephen Keighery, CEO and Founder, Home Buyer Louisiana
10. Take care of your employees.
Take care of your employees, and they will take care of your business.
Now, more than ever, it is important to show your employees that you value and care for them. Stay in touch with them. Ask them how they feel about working from home. Knowing the challenges your employees are experiencing, especially when working remotely, can help you determine better ways to optimize their work from home experience.
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy in employee engagement, so it is important to communicate with your employees and learn their motivations. Take time to chat with them and care about them professionally and personally. When employees see that their leaders care for them as a person, they feel motivated and valued. They feel like their job matters and are part of something bigger.” — Sean O’Neal, President, Onclusive
11. Encourage time off.
“Encourage employees to take time off. Employee burnout is one of the most serious issues affecting their level of energy and involvement.
Time off does not always imply a lengthy trip away from the office. It might be as simple as taking a day off to do some household chores or to take a much-needed mental health break. Take a day off every now and then to assist workers relieve stress and get some rest so that they can return to work rejuvenated and ready to support the team.” — Jeff Mains, CEO, Champion Leadership Group LLC
12. Create employee succession plans.
“The pandemic has created a sense of stagnation among employees, making them feel as if they are not moving forward. This is why creating a succession plan for each team member is critical in keeping them energized and engaged.
Succession plans, in which you are mapping out a detailed path to gain skills that can create new roles or advancement, send a definitive message that you care about their growth. Setting up mentoring programs, training classes, and regular professional development meetings are effective ways to communicate that the business values their contributions and wishes to see them continue with the company. By creating detailed succession plans for your team, you will provide them the skills and enthusiasm to benefit both them and the business.” — Cody Candee, Founder and CEO, Bounce
13. Provide flexible scheduling.
“After two years of working in a pandemic, a schedule change might be just what your staff needs to re-energize and reengage.
Try implementing a four-day week once every month or allow your staff to work from home once a week for a change of scenery. Working in new places or navigating a new schedule can disrupt the monotony of a regular work week, which then allows for more creativity and focus.” — Gabriel Dungan, CEO and Founder, ViscoSoft
14. Lift the weight of uncertainty.
“The challenges of the pandemic and the great resignation has left a lot of people anxious about their career. Let employees know that their service and trust in the company amidst these trying times will be rewarded with growth and security.
Lifting the weight of uncertainty will help keep them motivated and energized not only in the workplace but also in their lives.” — Parker Russell, Owner and CEO, Black Ink Coffee
15. Build a positive work culture.
“Creating a positive culture through team bonding events and learning new skills together is a great way to re-energize staff.
It’s important to create a sense of unity for employees who are working remotely, and in-person connections with colleagues is the best way to do so. Team activities, such as volunteering at a food bank or a company softball game, are great at fostering relationships and improving morale.” — Dino Ha, Founder and CEO, Kaja Beauty
16. Create a “let’s grow together” attitude.
“Arm your employees with purpose, not the purpose of helping your business grow but their skills for future endeavors. While your business may be the end game for you, it probably isn’t for most of the people you have employed. The best offer that you can make is to help them gain skills and expertise for better roles in your company or the industry.
This ‘let’s-grow-together’ attitude will draw people to your company. Employees will thrive in an environment that nurtures them.” — Anthony Martin, CEO and Founder, Choice Mutual
17. Share customer stories.
“One of my favorite approaches to re-energize and motivate employees is to share customer stories. How is the work we are doing and our products helping customers? I still see patients, so I have experience interacting with our target audience for our products. However, not all employees get to regularly interact with our customers.
Sharing that experience can help employees find more purpose in the work that they do.” — Dr. Bradley J Katz, CEO, Axon Optics
18. Pay attention.
“I can’t overemphasize the need for leaders to show concern for their employees as people. My hidden superpower is that I pay attention. I take the time to ask my employees about their holidays, families, and their interests. Showing interest in your employees is powerful. It can help you find the best ways to encourage and influence them to optimum productivity.
This goes both ways. My team gets the chance to know a little about me. It doesn’t mean you have to reveal anything too personal or be everybody’s best friend. It’s about connecting on a human level and showing them you think of them as more than just a worker.
When you make your employees feel that you care for them, and see them as more than a cog in the machine, you create loyalty in them. This motivates them to work harder. That’s the key to inspiring employees.” — Ouriel Lemmel, CEO, WinIt
How do you re-energize your employees? Leave us a comment below and let us know. Call us at 877-692-6772 or visit us at mycorporation.com to incorporate or form an LLC today.