How to Boost Morale During A National Crisis

Employee morale has always been a focal point of a successful business and that is unlikely to change.  What does change is the challenges posed to business owners to keep their employees happy and productive.  Today’s challenges are COVID-19 and a nation-wide divide over injustices.  Yes, that is a lot to overcome even for our nation’s leaders let alone a small business owner such as yourself.  While nobody expects you to solve the world’s problems, you can do your part to lead your team by improving their morale in the workplace and their personal lives.   

Social Hours

The tried and true formula to boost employee’s morale; social or happy hours.  Just because we’re in the midst of a pandemic doesn’t mean happy hour needs to end.  Even if your team is working remotely, schedule a weekly Zoom meeting for social hour.  Maybe everyone buys a beer or wine of the week to share over Zoom and talk about it.  Get creative, social hour doesn’t have to be alcohol related and there are many options to get your team together.  

New Hours

If your team is working from a remote setting, consider adjusting your working hours or even offer flexible schedules.  Productivity is hard to ensure in a remote setting and what may work best from a productivity standpoint as well as a morale booster is allowing your employees to choose their own schedule.  Obviously certain tasks and meetings will need to have specific hours; but for other tasks, the option to choose their own schedules will certainly make your employees happier as they too adjust to remote work.  

Everyone Likes Free Food

Seriously….even people on diets or restricted menus like free food.  You may have done this before COVID-19 and there is no reason to stop now.  Even if your team is working remotely, allocate a budget for each of your staff to order food and hold a weekly or monthly lunch over Zoom.  If you are able to work from the office, provide lunch in the conference room for your staff.

Talk Politics

That old adage “don’t bring politics into the office” is impossible to abide by in today’s political climate.  While I don’t advise you to hold open forums, which could get out of hand and decrease morale, I encourage you to hold meetings with your staff and allow your employees to talk about what is happening in the country.  This will give your employees a feeling that you and your company aren’t turning a blind eye to what is happening outside the window and care about addressing these issues by holding discussions.  I would of course ensure that you have rules in place during these discussions to keep them civil and not turn into a heated debate.  While it may seem like a recipe for disaster, it is important that your staff knows they have a place where they can talk about what is happening in the news and someone will listen to them.

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