How to Motivate and Appreciate Your Team During COVID-19

Q: How do I motivate and appreciate my employees during this difficult time?

A: The number one employee motivator or incentive businesses think of is money. And honestly, money does have an immediate impact to reward and recognize employees. However, money only motivates people for a short period of time because when you get more money, you spend it! Considering that most businesses don’t have the cash-flow right now to give out bonuses or incentive pay, we can’t get stuck in a rut thinking the only way to motivate our people is by giving them money. Instead, look for ways to motivate and incentivize employees that are simple, yet cost-effective.

Below are few ideas for motivating employees and showing appreciation for their hard work under very stressful and difficult circumstances:

  • “Our Partners in Blue”, “Expecting Mothers”, or “Mothers with Small Children”…we’ve all seen the special parking spots allotted at grocery stores and the like. Designate a few spots in your company parking area to recognize things you appreciate about your employees, such as “For Always Making Us Smile”, “Outstanding Effort”, etc. Make it fun and whimsical! Let’s face it, we all need a little fun and whimsy in this very serious and stressful time.
  • Find a special treat that they like and keep it in the office: a certain kind of soda, candy bar, fruit, etc. Put it on their desk with a bow if for an extra festive touch! Pay attention to the little things, because little things are what mean the most to employees.
  • Take a minute to write a handwritten thank you note for each employee. Stick it in the mail if they are working remotely, or on their desk if they’re coming into the office.
  • Pick a reasonable goal the whole team can work towards. Post the goal in a common area and track progress towards it. Give recognition to those who really help move the needle.
  • And when things DO get back to normal, work with your executive team to identify bonus structures or pay increases that reflect your appreciation for the people who helped get the company through this crisis intact.

Is your business struggling with employee issues related to COVID-19? We can help with that. Contact Jennifer Heylmun at 281-469-1800 or by email at to schedule a Discovery meeting.

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