5 Tips to Motivate Your Staff During COVID-19

5 Tips to Motivate Your Staff During COVID-19
  • CEO of Vistaprint Australia, Marcus Marchant gives leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs his tips and tricks for motivating staff.
  • Organised planning is necessary to keep teams operating effectively in a work from home environment. 
  • Marketing Director of Vistaprint Australia, Melissa Haywood offers advice on how to navigate social media during COVID-19.

In response to the unprecedented climate presented by Covid-19, businesses around the world have been forced to adapt to remote working environments.

During a pandemic that has generated uncertainty and fear, it is extremely important for leaders to set a positive and productive tone. If a leader can focus on the opportunities this crisis has presented to pivot, adapt to change and create deeper ties of communication across the work force staff will feel more at ease. 

CEO of Vistaprint Australia, Marcus Marchant said, “Although it’s an uncertain time for many businesses, leaders have a responsibility to guide their employees through this time. In my opinion, if a business can: create trust, foster open communication and confirm organised planning procedures are in place they are in a positive position to garner success and aid in implementing a vision for the future.”

A foundation of trust will help teams maintain a positive work environment. Leaders can create levels of trust through transparency and reliability. Open communication will help keep staff aware of their responsibilities. Organised planning is also necessary to keep teams operating effectively in a work from home environment.

Leaders should try to encourage their staff to have their ‘to-do’ lists completed the night before, proactively schedule meetings and keep patience at the forefront of the process. 

In order to keep their teams driven, leaders need to recognise their staff’s negative and positive motivators. An article by the Harvard Business Review stated, “The six main reasons people work are: play, purpose, potential, emotional pressure, economic pressure, and inertia.” It’s critical that leaders understand that in light of the current climate, the negative motivators are spiking and the positive motivators may be in danger of declining. Leaders can use these six motivators to check in on their staff and make sure the positives outweigh the negatives. 

Marcus Marchant, CEO of Vistaprint Australia, suggests:

“Get as creative as possible during this time with the methods that work for you and your team. As important as having the three procedures in place of trust, open communication and organised planning are,don’t forget to implement a rigorous work-life-balance system. It’s important to let your staff know you support them, believe in them and are keeping their mental health top of mind during this challenging time will help keep respect at the forefront of your business structure.”

There are many vital aspects of employing and retaining a talented and engaged team. No system will work perfectly for every team as each business is unique in its individuals and standard work flow. However, as a leader, ensuring your attitude is set up to maximise your staff’s talent and potential will catapult productivity to the next level and make everyone’s lives run more smoothly.

The Importance of a Positive Attitude 

During these unpreceded and challenging times, it is key to maintain a positive attitude.  Whilst internal staff and teams may be in a productive rut due to being separated from their colleagues, aspiring entrepreneurs are also feeling the effects of COVID-19. Marcus Marchant wants to remind aspiring entrepreneurs just because we are living in challenging times does not mean that you have to put your goals on hold. 

For the aspiring entrepreneurs of the world, it is critical to understand that success does not happen overnight. Any successful entrepreneur has experienced hard work, resilience amongst failure, passion towards their project and a vision for the future. The individuals who are prepared for the long journey towards success will not be dismayed when their plans go in different directions.

This approach helps to ensure that when a discouraging situation occurs, those challenged will have the ability to pivot and adapt. When analysing the entrepreneurs of the world, many find that there is a formulaic blend of entrepreneurial skills that can help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve their goals. 

Just a few of these entrepreneurial skills include passion, perseverance, prioritisation, patience and courage. Amongst these, one of the most important characteristics of successful entrepreneurs is their ability to be resilient in the face of adversity.

Rather than becoming overwhelmed and throwing in the towel, successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of delayed gratification and value the journey towards their goals. However, even the most acclaimed entrepreneurs have found themselves struggling to reverse a negative thought cycle whilst experiencing challenging times. 

Experiencing ups and downs as an entrepreneur is inevitable. The current situation of the world can cause many aspiring entrepreneurs to fall into a cycle of self-doubt. When stuck in a rut, Marcus encourages those who may need the encouragement to try these five tips to pull themselves out: practice gratitude, remind yourself of ‘why’ you started, focus on past victories, walk it off and make a new plan with a fresh attitude.

Why Gratitude is a Powerful Tool for Entrepreneurs 

Having gratitude on your side is a powerful tool to elevate yourself and utilise your potential to the highest ability. When feeling discouraged, focusing on the feeling of gratitude for your struggles, your team and for the constant learning experiences you are exposed to can aid in shifting your mindset.

If you find yourself completely unable to break out of your rut, try changing up your environment to help kick-start a refreshed outlook. It can be extremely helpful to change your scenery or set up your work from home space in a different room to try and snap out of your rut. 

Marcus Marchant, CEO of Vistaprint Australia further commented saying, “When on your journey towards success, it is essential to find the beauty in the process rather than getting lost in the inevitable frustrations along the way.” Marcus also commented on the challenging effects COVID-19 has presented to many aspiring entrepreneurs, suggesting that creativity can help to spark methods of productivity that work for you. Work life balance amongst efficient procedures of hard work will keep you healthy, inspired and on the right track toward your goals. 

As an entrepreneur, you are going to have to put in an immense number of hours into your business. Successful entrepreneurs take risks and maintain a hope for their future successes. No system will work perfectly for every aspiring entrepreneur as all individuals have a unique standard workflow. However, whether an aspiring or seasoned entrepreneur, ensuring your attitude is set up to maximise your talent will make the journey towards success an enjoyable one. 

For those staff members and aspiring entrepreneurs mentioned above, it is important that they stay connected with their friends, family and work colleagues. One of the best ways to continue to stay connected and informed is through social media platforms. 

Now more than ever, individuals and businesses need to use their social media platforms in mindful and intentional ways. Social media usage during this crisis is crucial as many consumers turn to online communities to stay connected. 

How to Motivate Your Staff to Increase Productivity 

Challenging times present an opportunity for brands to step up, adapt and offer a fresh perspective across their social channels. Melissa Haywood, Marketing Director of Vistaprint Australia, offers tips and advice on how to navigate social media during COVID-19.

There are 5 ways you can motivate your staff:

  1. Acknowledge COVID-19
  2. Continue Posting
  3. Provide Helpful Advice
  4. Do Not Sell Yourself
  5. Carry On

1. Acknowledge COVID-19

It's important that brands walk a fine line when acknowledging COVID-19 on their platforms. Pretending everything is normal will make a brand look out of touch while, overdoing it may come across as overbearing. If you are unsure how to approach this, stick to providing useful-business related tips.

As restrictions start to ease, be mindful of rejoicing too loudly over social media as many countries around the world may not be in the same position as you.

2. Continue Posting

Some of your consumers are likely to be using social media at increased rates during lockdown. Make sure your social platforms are a welcome space that help your audience feel engaged and comfortable.

3. Provide Helpful Advice

Use this time to step up and be a voice for your consumers. Be extremely careful to make sure all information you are circulating is sensitive given the current climate. If your brand chooses to post about the virus, it is imperative to do so in the most appropriate and sensitive way possible.

4. Do Not Sell Yourself

During this challenging time, keep focused on your consumers and not on yourself. Remember that the ultimate goal is to build and maintain positive relationships. Brands who are seen to be using the current situation for their own gain will become very unpopular amongst consumers.

5. Carry On

During this unsettling time, brands must carry on, find solutions and implement creative avenues to successfully connect with their target audiences. Whilst times are challenging, the coronavirus pandemic also offers an opportunity for businesses and individuals alike to rise to the occasion and make a memorable impact across their social channels.

Take time to listen to your audience and keep an eye on the comments across your page, your competitors and influencers in your industry. Exploring new ways of communication across social will help your brand seem more relatable, and in turn, will elicit a positive response from consumers. 

All in all, coronavirus has presented challenging times for everyone around the world. If you are a staff member, an aspiring entrepreneur or a business on social media, utilise the tips and tricks in this article to help inform your decisions. Try to maintain a positive attitude and seek out helpful information to keep yourself informed. 

Have any questions? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Meghan Weinewuth

Junior Account Executive at Frank

Hello! I work across the Vistaprint Australia brand.