top of page

Four Ways to Motivate in Critical Times

COVID-19 has negatively impacted businesses all over the world. Sales and revenue are falling short. Your best employee might be struggling to work remotely full time and your organization could be downsizing. It is your job as the manager or leader to lift team morale and get people back on track.

It can be hard to see the positive during times of crisis. But every company goes through tough situations, and it's during these times that a team most needs a strong leader to help guide them through storm.

Employees are highly susceptible to disengagement and may start seeking other employment during this volatile time. Especially the top performers. People need to feel heard, understood and appreciated by their managers and leaders.

Here are four ways that you can help motivate:

1. Communicate Openly

During times of crisis, communication plays a huge role in how a group reacts and moves forward. Your instinct might be to buffer employees from what's going on with the business and not keep them informed. It is critical to be as open, honest and transparent as you can be.

Employees need to know what is happening in the workplace, and they should hear it from the top.

Three key areas to address are:

1. What happened or is happening

2. Any decisions that have been made

3. The plan to go forward

In your communications, try to exude confidence and a positive outlook on the situation. Focus on the positive way that change will impact the organization and the employees. When employees see that the decisions that you are making are to protect the future success of the organization, it can help them propel forward.

If the employees see you showing strength, they will feel confident in your ability to make the right decisions for both them and the organization. You want them to trust in your ability as a leader.

2. Share the Vision

Being clear and communicative about how the team and company plans to move forward will help part the storm clouds for your employees.

The “Everything DiSC™ Work of Leaders there are some leaders that are naturally better at sharing their vision than others. In the profile, we give you a roadmap to help you uncover your best self as a leader.

Encourage all managers to ask employees, "How are you doing, and how can I help?" By asking how they can help, managers show that they view people as an asset in the organization and they are showing their willingness to be a resource for growth.

3. Celebrate the Wins

When your company is going through difficult times, it can be easy to dwell on everything that is going wrong, which will eventually result in low morale across the business. Remember to celebrate large and small wins to keep morale high and to remind your team that their work is valuable.

Whenever possible, break large company goals into smaller, more attainable goals and start tracking the team progress. Whenever your team achieves a small goal, such as meeting a project deadline or launching a new campaign successfully, celebrate the win. Be creative with online meeting events to celebrate with team members.

Reinvigorating your team with positivity will help boost morale during tough times. As a result, you will see more confidence and productivity in your team.

4. Ask for Feedback

Whether you're in a rough patch or a growth mode, be sure to ask for honest feedback from your employees. In other words, create an open communication culture for feedback. Prepare for tough feedback that you may not want to hear. Listening to the different perspectives of your employees will allow you to look at the problem and can result in a stronger team dynamic.

Get to the root of the issue by asking engaging questions, such as these:

  • How is this affecting you and your team?

  • What changes do you think would most benefit the company, division and team?

  • What can I do to better support you and your team?

This open dialogue will also help foster and instill trust. Edelman’s 2019 Trust Barometer finds 78% of people agreeing with this statement: “How a company treats its employees is one of the best indicators of its level of trustworthiness.” These four key steps can help you instill trust and motivate your people.

Patricia Darke, RCC™ Owner and Founder of Darke & Associates, Authorized Partner of PXT Select™, Everything DiSC™, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ is the author of DNA Professional Leadership Development Program™. Contact her at or 612.866.0692


Our Blog - Article

bottom of page