“One thing I’ve seen great organizations do is
communicate frequently and often, even if they’re communicating that it’s OK not to be productive.”
Laurie Ruettimann knows that businesses must earn their employees’ trust if they’re going to keep their teams productive in the wake of a major work disruption. “My best advice is that employees are motivated by people they like, know, and trust. If your employees don’t know and trust their managers and the leadership team, your organization is dead in the water. It’s important to implement programs that make the work of doing work a bit easier, but in turbulent times, it’s also important to double down on being radically human,” she says.
Begin by acknowledging that your employees have real, valid fears and challenges of their own. “During a crisis, so much is up in the air for your workers. They’re worried about themselves, they’re worried about their family, they’re worried about the future. Everything is uncertain. If you’re trying to motivate people to do difficult things under extraordinarily trying circumstances, if you want the best out of them, you have to realize that their attention is fragmented at best,” she says.
“To command people’s attention and motivate them to focus on what’s important for the long-term well-being of the organization, appeal to their innate sense of commonality, familiarity, and reciprocity,” says Ruettimann.