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How to Motivate Your Team to Get Back on Track After a Crisis

Whether an external problem like a recession, a pandemic, a natural disaster or an internal crisis like an accident, a loss of market share or any other disruptive event, can create several problems for company leaders. Directly or indirectly they affect the economy, the consumer market as well as several industries. In times like this, leaders might not have all the answers; it is natural to feel overwhelmed. But putting in the time and effort to motivate your team should still be a priority.

Why? Because a crisis can make or break a team, but the team is also the reason you will recover from the crisis. With the right attitude and approach you will be able to keep your team inspired and motivated.

This motivation will push them to continually better themselves and reach for their, and in turn, the company’s goals. Team motivation, which goes hand in hand with the engagement of each team member, is key in retaining talent and developing as well as maintaining a strong and positive work culture. Motivated team members are generally more productive, they are capable of developing more engagement towards their company or team project. This of course leads to their team project achieving higher levels of output, as well as happier and more fulfilled members, in other words, team motivation is a win-win.

With the right people and a positive attitude you will be able to handle any crisis that comes your way. Here are a few ways you can motivate your team to get back on track after a crisis;

1. Identify the issue

Before you jump into solving the problem, you need to find the cause of the problem or problems. Work with your team members and note down the steps you required to resolve the issues. This could include the resources required, the effort needed, the processes needed, and how every member of the team can help.

Remember to really listen. There may be times when you are not able to take action straight away, but by taking the time to truly listen, you will be giving yourself the chance to gather feedback and ideas to think outside of the box to find solutions that suit both your team members and your company or project.

2. Communicate frequently

During or after a disaster, your team will need to know what the situation is at the office and what is expected of them. When helping your team deal with change, it is important to restore some sense of normalcy. You need to become the voice of reason and source of stability. Use a calm tone that conveys confidence and a sense of safety. Your messaging should be supportive and hopeful. Use every channel of communication available, like emails, text message video call or phone call, messages on internet sites, and even messages on social media platforms. This method can help you reach people wherever they may be. Encourage your team to do the same, keep in mind personal challenges like power shortages or lack of Wi-Fi.

You can open up and be honest with your team. This will create a safer environment for the team members to feel more comfortable speaking up and it will also make them feel like you trust them enough to tell them everything. The more they feel trusted, the more invested they will feel. The more they speak up, the more they can share new ideas and the more innovative and productive your team members become.

3. Put your team’s safety first

As a leader, you need to let your team or employees know that their safety and physical well-being comes above all considerations. So, you should try and d o the following;

  • Reduce their fear of having to choose between their family’s safety and their work,
  • Reinforce and remind your team members that they are relevant and important,
  • Make sure that your team is working alongside you to resolve the problems that you are facing during the crisis.

4. Manage your expectations

While getting back on track after a crisis it is natural to need to work harder, smarter and longer than usual. But even with the added burden, manage your expectations and realize where you need to draw the line. You need the team at full capacity for a long time to be able to bring the company back to former glory. So make well-thought out plans and deadlines with achievable goals and expectations.

5. Foster curiosity and get everyone engaged

This is a great way to motivate your team. Make it the norm to ask questions, and create an environment of curiosity; allowing your team to engage in open dialogue and become more comfortable speaking among the group. Asking questions without experiencing any judgement will also help create openness among the team members.

Get all your team members engaged in the planning and decision-making process. This way, every project becomes their personal investment and something they want to make a success. Ask for input and use their ideas as much as possible so they have an unconditional interest in seeing the project through and its success. This can not only motivate but will also empower your team members and can lead to new and more productive ways of working that normally would be overlooked.

6. Clarify each person’s role

Everyone on the team should be clear about each individual’s role and unique skills and they must support it. When they are clear on their roles, there is no overlap and the team members are more productive. Learn what special skills each team member has and have them coach each other and continue the process of growth and learning and will motivate your team.

7. Praise and acknowledge effort

At a time where extrinsic rewards might be difficult to offer, feedback costs nothing and often goes a long way in compensating team members who are still giving their all, in spite of the situation at hand. If your team members are mainly working from home, giving praise does not have to be a complicated affair. Regardless of how you choose to do so, fostering a culture of recognition and gratitude has been shown to positively impact a business as a whole.

8. One-on-one meetings

As much as you do have team meetings, also have the occasional one-on-one meeting. You do not need to make it mandatory, but give your team more opportunities to share their feelings about the challenges they may be facing, and their ideas. Aim and have weekly one-on-one sessions, to check on how they are coping and what they are working on that they enjoy.

Any crisis is hard on the whole team – individually, and as a whole. Once the crisis has passed, your team is what will get the company out of a difficult situation and back on track. So even though there might still be fires to put out everywhere, working to motivate your team to get back on track after a crisis should be your primary focus.

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