Work-from-home is great for many reasons. We get to wear slippers, save on lunches, spare time on commuting. But if there is one thing why work-from-home is not great, it is self-motivation. While some employees are more self-motivated than others, the responsibility of employee motivation still falls under the HR supervision. Sounds manageable, if you can see the work employees do with your own 2 eyes. Problem is, you don’t.
In order to fix that, one must start with the basics on what employee motivation is. The dictionary definition of motivation is “reasons for acting like you do”. Or don’t do, as some HR specialists would add these days. The scientific reasoning behind (not) doing is mainly twofold: either you do not think you can or you do not feel anybody cares. Having identified the main reasons for (de)motivation, let’s see what exactly can HR do about it.
Turn objectives into tasks
Employees give up on objectives either because they cannot do it alone or because they do not know what exactly they should be doing. These 2 reasons could become serious obstacles to employee motivation in the work-alone post-Covid workplace. The difference between objectives and tasks is the difference between greater company direction and concrete position-oriented functions. It is therefore the duty of the HR to make sure all levels of employees are presented with adequate chewable tasks that they can actually perform. What a lot of times HR do, however, is share the company vision and mission to all employees as it is. Not to say the corporate vision and mission are not important, but it is important to stress that every concept must translate into smaller position-relating objectives because it will keep employees motivated and engaged at work.
What you can do today. Copy your corporate mission on a blank sheet and break it down to departmental tasks. Share and discuss.
Celebrate daily work, not results
Everybody talks about the importance of making mistakes these days. Indeed, no improvement can be made without trial and error. It is now increasingly common to celebrate mistakes within the company and even reward the daredevils. Great, but how often do we meet HR specialists, who celebrate Mondays or Wednesdays? These are the ordinary days, - you would say, - so, why celebrate? The reason is simple: work is being done on those days.
In the work-from-home environment, HR specialists should be paying a lot more attention to their contact with the employees. And not only to celebrate their wins and losses, but to also appreciate the everyday work that they do from home. This type of appreciation has 2 main benefits: it fosters relationships and it gets employees accustomed to reporting on the little things that sometimes turn out to be the big things in the long run.
What you can do today. Pick up the phone and call that employee you’ve been remembering and forgetting a few times in a row. Don’t know what to say? Great! Make it quality ear time by asking open-ended questions starting with “how”. And let the conversation unfold freely.
Work-from-home is not easy at times, and employees should be given (Wednesday) credit for it. Every call or email does not have to be a call-to-action matter. Sometimes, all employees need to stay motivated is a human conversation on the small things that may be giving them a lot of sweat. If you don’t believe us, call them and ask!