COVID-19 and your team's morale

Thumbtack Employee
Thumbtack Employee
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How do you boost team morale in a time like this? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer because no two teams are the same. A plan for boosting the morale of your team consists of two steps that you can always analyze, adjust, and revisit as often as you need to.

First, check-in on your team.

It’s a unique time where most (if not everyone) is facing some kind of challenge. But not everyone is experiencing it in the same way, and that’s true for your team. Before you can know what each team member needs, you need to know what they’re facing and how they’re coping. 

  • Have one-on-one time to check-in, and give them the space and opportunity to tell you what they’re facing. 
  • Watch how they interact in group settings. Keep an eye out for changes in behavior.

Second, show your support.

Productivity can look a little different in times like these. Showing you support them as a person (and not just by the impact they have on your business), goes a long way. 

  • If possible, allow for flexible work schedules for teammates who are juggling home and work responsibilities.
  • Look for growth opportunities. Creating career development opportunities, whether that’s growth within the team or learning a new skill, can help them feel valued and motivated.
  • Give honest, human feedback. Instead of focusing just on areas for improvement, make sure to celebrate any progress they’ve made (no matter how small).
  • Have regular check-ins with the team over video or chat, leaving time at the start of the meeting for everyone to stay connected and be social.
  • Encourage regular breaks.
  • Introduce new employee recognition programs that celebrate what your team is achieving.

Even when social distancing, you can still come up with creative ways to stay connected with your team and have a bit of fun together. One team at Thumbtack has stayed connected and boosted morale by hiring a bartender to teach the team how to make a whiskey sour during a virtual happy hour. After learning how to make the drink in the comfort and safety of their own homes, they got to chat for a bit and get to know each other better as they sipped their drinks.

What has worked for you? How have you supported your teams and improved their morale? Share your ideas in the comments.