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How to keep employees feeling positive in 2021

It would be easy for us to fall into pessimism with all that 2020 has thrown at us. However, this mindset is not good or productive, and can really affect our wellbeing, personal life and working life too. As employers, we have a duty of care over our staff, and, after the year we have just had, it’s more important than ever to implement ways to keep our staff positive.

From finding out what it is employees need to succeed, to highlighting success in the business, this article explores ways that we can help employees feel positive in 2021.

Find out what employees need

Often, one of the best tips is the simplest – asking employees what it is they need from you. Employees may have spent time on furlough, they might now be working from home more than ever before, and in some cases, they may have been at risk of redundancy this year. These are all things that are bound to have an effect on mental wellbeing. With this in mind, ask employees to reflect on their year and talk to you openly and honestly about what it is that would improve their feelings about work moving forward.

It’s not just work-based events that you should discuss as well. The pandemic has hit everyone in different ways and, even if an employee might be putting on a brave face at work, there could be something in their personal life that needs to be addressed. Finding out how you can support someone with something going on outside of work – allowing flexible working hours to adapt for new childcare needs perhaps – can show them you are invested in them as a person, not just them as an employee.

READ MORE: Ways that 2020 will forever shape the way we work

Set goals for all

Having goals in mind is a great way to measure success and give your workforce a direction in which to journey and show them your expectations for a new business year. Making sure your whole team knows what they are working towards can help positivity as it means that they can see the purpose and end goal for everything they do.

Making sure these goals are well-known and easy to remember is key. Why not bring in an on-going bulletin that discusses progress towards each separate goal? Or, if you really want to keep goals at the front of employee’s minds, you could even create a goal wall in the workplace where they are listed for all to see.

Praise good work

Praising good work may seem like a basic step, but it can go along way in increasing office morale. Over the past year, staff have undoubtedly worked harder, and in worse conditions, than before. As a leader, showing your appreciation and recognising this can show that the work they are doing, even if a small part of a large organisation, is not only noticed but appreciated.

For this, you could implement a structured employee recognition scheme, like employee of the month, or decide to do it on a much more ad hoc basis. However you choose to praise good work, the important thing is it’s done publicly so everyone in the business can celebrate someone’s success.

READ MORE: The importance of employee rewards and recognition

Highlight good news

Whether it’s the business achieving its annual profit goal early, or a member of staff accomplishing a personal milestone outside of working hours, highlighting good news in the business can build a sense of positivity. Just as praising good work can lift the spirits, making your focus on the positive rather than the negative can build a culture of recognition and shift the communal thought process to focusing on the good rather than the bad.

So, if a member of staff fundraises for charity, why not make a donation on behalf of the business publicly, or just share updates on their progress with the team? If you’ve won some new business, why not make sure to tell every member of staff in a celebratory update, rather than just those who will work directly with them? Going above and beyond to point out the positives that are going on in the business can show staff that this is a positive place to be and work.

How to keep employees feeling positive in 2021:

• Find out what employees need
• Set goals for all
• Praise good work
• Highlight good news

Positivity is something that can feel hard to come by after a hard year, but with these tips, you’ll be able to inject it into your business with ease. Investing in employees and supporting their wellbeing will not only make your business more enjoyable to be in but can have myriad positive consequences including improved workflow and higher employee retention.

If you are looking to improve your HR Technology as a way to improve employee experience, we can help you determine the best software for your business needs.

For more tips and advice, make sure to visit our blog.

This blog was written by Simon Davis, Head of Partner Delivery at Phase 3.

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