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How to keep your team motivated during stressful times

How to keep your team motivated during stressful times

April 28, 2020
by Yuliia Illiv

Everyone who’s ever wanted to establish a successful company must have asked themselves a question: “What does make a business flourish?” There might be dozens of right answers to this question, however, a truly remarkable company starts with a leader’s belief in the idea and his ability to awaken this belief in others.

How world-known leaders motivate their employees

Steve Jobs had brilliant ideas and a strong passion for changing the world by a groundbreaking technology. He dreamt big and taught his employees to share his vision as well. By inspiring Apple’s employees, he created one of the biggest empires that ever existed. For example, when the company was about to start working on a new model of Mac OS, he held a mock funeral for the previous model and even delivered a eulogy. This way, he emphasized that the team should leave the last project behind and make the new one completely innovative.

Once Jobs’s presentation was interrupted by an angry developer who claimed that Steve had no clue what he was talking about. Jobs said: “People like this gentleman are right in some areas”. The lesson? Even great leaders can’t know everything and acknowledging your critics makes you a leader to respect.

His ability to convince and motivate others has remained an example to follow. Do you remember the story of how Jobs persuaded the then-Pepsi president John Sculley to join Apple? Sculley definitely had something to lose but decided to follow Steve Jobs and eventually, joined an Apple company.

Though, the times have changed and some consider Jobs’s management style quite manipulative, the truth remains the same: motivation is the thing that keeps every business evolving.

Every company leader has their own “how to motivate a team at the workplace” tactics. But what if the team is not at the workplace? What if all your employees work remotely with their crying babies nearby and a long list of unwatched TV series? At the end of the day, the remote work mode isn’t a big deal. Speedy spreading coronavirus pandemic, terrifying economic forecasts take a toll on our mental health. We don’t know what to expect, afraid to lose the possibility to make a living, or get infected.

Motivation during stressful times is much more challenging and important than during peace because your kind words might serve a helping hand for your employees.

Here are three tips on how to motivate a team to improve performance instead of supporting collective panicking.

how to motivate a team to improve performance

#1 Stay connected

If your employees don’t stay at the office, it doesn’t mean you can forget about all the activities you used to do together. We used to have company breakfasts on Fridays at 9:30 am. Now, we’re having it online! We simply make a call and eat together. At the beginning of a working day, our HRs write warm greetings, and an office manager shares some facts about the impact of this day in world history. What’s more, we enjoy hot discussions about various books and movies on corporate chats. Our teams have regular stand-ups, and some folks are even planning to organize a tournament in CS at the weekends. All these aspects remind us that everyone at inVerita is a part of a big and friendly team.

#2 Offer work/life balance

Leaving your work issues “behind the office doors” is challenging when you work from home. In order to stay motivated and prevent people from burning out, employees need to relax. Remind your workers about the possibilities to take a day off when quarantine is finished and emphasize the priority of the employees’ and their families’ health.

Two weeks ago our company members received packages of fruits, sanitizers, masks, and encouraging cards from our CEO. It’s extremely pleasant to see your leader worrying about his people and their feelings first.

Be honest about your plans, ideas, and concerns

All companies are fighting with crisis fire now, and each has already lost some money and some clients. And your employees understand that. There’s no need to pretend that everything is as usual. Share your thoughts and plans with them.

On Fridays, our CEO sends us a newsletter about the changes that happen during the week. He describes the current situation, measures the company is going to take, and shows his appreciation for decent work and cooperation. He never forgets to emphasize the main priority at our company, which is people.

Final words

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk outlined one of the biggest principles of team management when he said to his managers: “Your team is not there to serve you. You are to serve them”. Make sure in times of crisis and fear, you are lending a helping hand to your company members.


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