Employee performance has always been the backbone of a company’s productivity. Happy employees don’t just contribute to their organization’s output, they are, in fact, the direct reflection of their workplace culture.
Company cultures have been facing constant challenges ever since the pandemic has hit. Even now, when we are transitioning out of work-from-home settings, it is an uphill battle to adjust back to the traditional office culture.
As the CEO of your company, it becomes your responsibility to help your employees settle back in the office culture post lockdown. Whether you continue to be a fully remote workplace, a partial one, or a complete office setting, this article will help you help your employees be the best version of themselves wherever they work.
6 Tips every CEO should apply to keep their team happy and boost their performance post lockdown
Moving forward, one of the most important decisions you need to take is to decide whether you will continue to operate in a remote setting or an in-office one. Hybrid work cultures are on the rise as they tend to offer the best of both worlds.
Your decision may depend on a number of factors such as the nature of operation you undertake and the number of employees you have. Small teams can continue to work remotely. Teams that need constant creative collaboration may be better suited to work in the office.
Ultimately, you need to do what is right for your organization. Once you have decided on a model, it’s time to focus on boosting your team’s performance. Below are some tips you can incorporate into your day-to-day work culture to get the most out of it:
1. Build a sense of community
Perhaps the most important aspect in any workplace is the sense of community it ought to invoke. It is also the one aspect that may be the hardest to get right because of the pandemic. It is admittedly tough to bring everyone together virtually.
Going forward, you need to work on making your employees feel involved in your company’s culture without it feeling forced. Team members should look forward to working together rather than feeling obligated to. You can try a few activities to achieve that:
2. Corporate Volunteering Programs
Corporate Volunteering Programs are an excellent way of engaging your employees while also contributing to the community. Employees volunteer for in-person or virtual activities that help the community. It can be anything from designing a newsletter to coaching and training people.
You can determine the activities for which an employee can volunteer based on their skills and expertise. Here is a detailed guide on how to start a corporate volunteering program to help you get started today.
3. Team building activities
Team building activities offer a creative way to help the employees relax while at work. They also help in resolving issues between them and promoting a casual and fun work environment. Socializing can improve communication patterns between team members by 50%. So, you can indulge in it even if you have a formal work culture.
You can go for any sort of activity from creative challenges that make people think to fun games that require no hard work. Even something as casual as a ‘movie night’ can turn out to be a meaningful bonding experience for the team. You may even ask your employees about what they would like to do. Such activities can be held both indoors or outdoors.
4. Set up communication channels
How a team communicates was mostly overlooked before the pandemic as everyone in a team used to work out of the same room. Then it became the biggest hurdle in operations when everyone was confined to their homes.
Post lockdown, the future of communication channels is in a somewhat tricky state. The best way to move forward is to have well-laid communication channels in your organization and leave it up to the employees how they want to use them.
Let them go back to informal face-to-face communication and not record everything digitally if that works for their productivity. The idea is to help your employees do their best without worrying about petty formalities.
What’s more important is to let them know who to talk to and how to reach them while working. This helps reduce friction in the work environment and ensures smooth workflow.
5. Set work boundaries
Whether you work remotely or in an office, it is extremely important to define boundaries in the workplace. More than 45% of the workforce strongly prefers flexible hours. Your employees might not appreciate rigid working hours post lockdown either.
To ensure a healthy work-life balance, follow the tips below:
- Give your employees space, trust them to handle matters on their own without intervention.
- Offer them flexibility in deadlines and work hours to allow them to work at their own pace.
- Check-in with them periodically to know how they are doing and if they need help with anything. This may seem opposing to the first point, but there is a difference between constantly nagging someone and checking up on them once in a while.
6. Provide relevant tools and facilities
Sometimes the root of a healthy work environment is in the technicalities. You can preach about morale and teamwork, but it will fail to make an impact if your team is having troubles with basic aspects such as a proper structure or tools they work with.
Focus on getting the basics right. It can be something as fundamental as getting the work structure right – setting up who reports to who and who works with who on a project. Or it can be about providing the tools and resources that help them work better.
Keep asking your team for feedback from time to time to know if they need anything. Try to resolve issues as soon as they arise. This would encourage the team to come forward on their own as well.
7. Show that you care
It is no secret that people, especially in a work environment, respond well to positive reinforcement. As a CEO, you need to let your employees know that you see and recognize their hard work. It motivates them to work harder.
a. Appreciate their hard work
Reward your team for their contributions in whatever way you can. You can grant them a cash bonus or maybe you can take them for a team lunch. Even a simple shout-out in front of the entire team can go a long way in motivating an employee to do their best as they now feel seen. This will also inspire other employees to do better.
b. Offer counseling sessions
With ‘burnout’ now being a recognized term, the conversation around the workplace environment has taken a much-needed turn toward mental health. It is your responsibility as a leader to ensure the well-being of everyone in your team. Start simply by ensuring that you are there for them should they need to talk to you.
If you can, provide the option of counseling and therapy at your workplace. You don’t need to have an in-house counselor if it is too expensive for you. You can assign certain days for it, say every Friday, or arrange sessions outside. You would definitely like to keep it anonymous as mental health is still not a widely-discussed issue and you have to respect their privacy.
Giving your team the opportunity to talk about their issues while on the job lets them know that you truly care about their well-being. It promotes a stress-free and productive environment in the long run.
6. Don’t be afraid to experiment
A work environment is a dynamic aspect of your company. Do not treat it as something rigid that once decided cannot be altered. Keep observing what works and what doesn’t, and make changes accordingly.
On your part, try to keep up with the global trends and keep yourself updated. On your team’s part, encourage them to come up with ideas and let them know that nothing is out of bounds.
Welcome their suggestions and discuss implementation with them. It will make them feel included.
Moreover, you can do a weekly meeting of sorts to discuss everything else but work. It could be a get-together that lets the team decompress, share their views, and bond with one another outside work relations.
Keeping your team happy and boosting their performances are not necessarily an easy thing to do for a CEO. But it is certainly not that difficult to achieve the perfect balance. Keep your attention on getting to know your employees and what works for them. Work towards making them the best versions of themselves.
The boost in productivity will come on its own as a natural result of an increase in morale. You will not even have to work towards it. Encourage your employees in your own unique ways and watch them flourish into their best selves.
Let us know in the comments section below what other tips you implemented as a leader to improve the environment around your workplace and lift your team’s morale.
Atreyee Chowdhury works full-time as an Instructional Designer and is passionate about writing. She has helped many small and medium-scale businesses achieve their content marketing goals with her carefully crafted and compelling content. She lives in Bangalore, India with her husband and parents. She loves to read, experiment with different cuisines, travel, and explore the latest content marketing and L&D trends in her free time. You can reach her on Linkedin or write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org for any content writing/marketing requirements.