Keeping team morale high is a challenge that business owners face at the best of times. But in times of crisis and uncertainty, it becomes a priority. With many businesses having to suddenly switch to remote working in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, understanding how to effectively manage your internal communications is going to be more crucial than ever. We’ve put together our top tips to help you keep your team positive and motivated, no matter where they are.
We’re big advocates of open and honest communication at Digital Glue – it’s one of our values, after all. At a time like this, it becomes even more crucial. With so many uncertainties surrounding the current situation, offering your team complete transparency is really important. Undoubtedly, your team will have anxieties about the future, and being vague and evasive will only add to these anxieties.
Ideally, share updates with your team on a daily basis and try to make them as personal as possible. It’s easy to send out a quick company-wide email, but this can easily be ignored. Consider alternative communication methods, such as a daily video briefing or a short video call with the whole team. Don’t hide behind emails; to build trust during a challenging time, your tone of voice and body language are useful tools.
Share the good stuff, no matter how small
We’re all guilty of glossing over achievements and instead focusing on what could have been done better. It’s human nature. However, in a situation that is already bringing its fair share of doom and gloom, celebrating the positives is a must. If you’re a leader in your business, look for opportunities to congratulate team members on their wins, no matter how big or small, and share them with the rest of the team. Encourage others to shout about their own successes and share a round-up in your daily video briefings or on team calls.
Explore different communications tools
Many businesses will be adjusting to a new way of working at the moment, which can have a big impact on both team productivity and morale, so ensuring your team have access to the right tools to help them get their job done is key. Of course, every business has different needs, but here are some tried-and-tested tools we recommend to give you a bit more than email:
- Slack – Beloved of team D/G when we’re in the office, and even more so now, the instant messaging platform helps teams collaborate through conversation, file sharing and much more. You can even conduct video calls through the platform.
- Google Hangouts – There are many video call platforms out there, from Zoom to Skype. It really depends on what your business and/or your clients prefer, but we like Google Hangouts for its ease-of-use and quality. For super simple minute-taking, you can add closed captions to your meetings and hit record.
- Trello – While monday.com is our favourite team and project management tool at D/G, if you’re looking for a quick fix that doesn’t come with a huge investment, Trello is a brilliant option. When you have people dotted all over the place, Trello is a great tool to keep track of what everyone is working on across different projects and encourage collaboration.
Make it fun
Your internal communications don’t have to be strictly business-focused. In fact, now more than ever, it’s important that they’re not. To try and keep things as normal as possible for everyone, it’s crucial you maintain the fun elements of working together too. Usually go to the pub on a Friday? Gather everyone for drinks on a video call instead. Usually grab lunch as a team? Book in a time to share your snacks over a video call. If you’re a leader in the business, pave the way for chats about nothing much at all by sharing pet photos, funny stories, Netflix recommendations, and whatever else. Studies have shown that laughter in the workplace is the sign of a trustworthy leader and a strong team.