September 2, 2020

Keeping teams positive through the pandemic

With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, for many businesses, it’s a new way of life. Temporary closures, changes to the way we work and social distancing are now the norm. In circumstances like this, it can be hard for business owners to remain positive. As someone that works in human resources, keeping team morale up and employee spirits high is something that matters to me. Here are seven things you can be doing to stay positive through this pandemic.

HR Tip 1: It’s time to let go

The reality is that a lot of what’s happening right now is outside of anyone’s control – we can’t control lockdowns, caseloads and the virus spreading (at a macro level – obviously, all businesses can try to do their part). So the first step in staying positive? Accepting this – we need to let go and realise that there’s nothing we can do beyond our immediate sphere of influence. Ensure this way of thinking flows through your organisation to each and every team member.

HR Tip 2: Only control what you can control

Instead of worrying about the big picture, you’re better off focusing on what can be controlled. What can you be doing within the workplace? Encourage mask-wearing? Ensure you’ve set up hygiene stations? Making sure employees are kept 1.5 metres away from each other? But also, you have the opportunity to control the atmosphere and culture of your workplace – keep things positive. If you’re constantly thinking of the ‘doom and gloom’, it’ll show and you’ll start to see a drop in morale.

HR Tip 3: When necessary, switch off

There’s no shortage of COVID-19 related news. Real-time blogs, constant media conferences and social media live streams mean we’re constantly bombarded by news about the virus. Yes, it’s important to keep up to date but if it’s all you and your teams are consuming all day, I can assure you, morale will drop. Encourage employees to listen to music and avoid the news – and, for you leaders, there’s nothing wrong with spending some time with your own thoughts. Clear your head.

HR Tip 4: Keep up the support

One of the best ways to stay positive is to think about how you can help others. In fact, studies show giving someone else the help can lead to confidence, control, positivity and optimism. The pandemic has hit everyone differently, so think about those around you who could do with your support. A little bit of kindness can go a long way.

HR Tip 5: Ensure everyone is still connecting

One of the most obvious ways the pandemic has hit us is our social relationships. There’s no – or very little – of face-to-face time right now. Social interaction in the workplace is important – it fosters friendship, boosts happiness and builds a sense of teamwork. If your employees are working from home, ensure you schedule regular Zoom meetings or encourage team members to stay in touch. Just knowing you’re not alone can go a long way to boosting your positivity.

HR Tip 6: There’s nothing wrong with a little break

For many business owners, their work becomes an extension of themselves – completely understandable when building and running a business can take so much time and effort. But, it’s important to be able to have a break. When you’re not at work, put energy into something that doesn’t involve the office at all – go for a run or cycle or consider trying a new hobby like painting or gardening. And, this is something that you should be encouraging employees to be doing as well. Having a focus outside of work can go a long way to staying positive.

HR Tip 7: Focus on the little things

Celebrate the small victories you’re having right now – the new client (or even the client who renews), the positive feedback for a job well done, the employee who goes the extra mile. These are the glimmers of hope that will keep you and your teams going through this strange period.

Need some more ideas to keep up the morale?

At Catalina Consultants, we understand the importance of keeping teams happy. If you’re a business owner that requires support with implementing some morale-boosting initiatives, then we’d love to help. Speak with our team today.

say hi to our author

Merilyn founded Catalina Consultants in 2012 on the belief that all organisations, regardless of size, should have access to top quality bespoke HR services. She enjoys working closely with her clients and believes that the best results are built on relationships of rapport, trust and authenticity. Growing up, Merilyn had her sight set on stardom and dreamed of becoming an actor. She also sang and played the piano, but ended up studying accounting and HR. Whilst she hasn’t won her Grammy just yet, she still loves a good karaoke night. Merilyn loves to travel with her family, with South Africa being one of her most memorable destinations.

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