As we are close to yet another year or so to our large-scale Covid-19 remote-work adventure, it’s no wonder that employees’ motivation, performance, and welfare are the main concern for many organizations. Months in, managers require new tools to rejuvenate their teams, identify and determine constant struggles precisely, and help employees handle their problems eloquently.

A large part of a leader’s duties is to offer structure, guidance, and motivation. Yet, many workplace studies focus on the fact that the most crucial gauge for a healthy work environment isn’t a solid external framework but whether employees can foster internal motivation.

Based on a well-established theory of self-determination, or SDT, below are three main psychological demands that leaders can focus on to help their teams stay engaged, confident, and motivated during any crisis.

#1 Fostering Relatedness

This means your team feels that they are cared for, and you’ve brought a sense of belonging in place. Make space to listen to your employees’ viewpoints and make them know that they are valued, and you have always cared for them. A few simple practices may help:

  • During an issue in hand, make sure to look into every possible direction and get full feedback from everyone and everything involved
  • Strengthen the connection and encourage communication
  • Highlight people’s contributions and emphasize that they are unique and necessary; do not ignore good work

#2 Nurturing Competence

When an employee feels effective and experiences growth, it is essential to hold employees accountable for their progressive goals, improving their performance in the long run. Motivational science suggests that trust begets trust. Try these methods and fuel the team’s internal motivation:

  • Collaborate with your employees and talk about decisions where their input could be valuable
  • Create a space for the team to voice their ideas and optimize an on-going process.
  • Learn about the mastery of a particular skill of an employee.
  • Check-in on them regularly and discuss progress on individual objectives and help them build strategies to meet them.

#3 Empower Employees

This suggests leaders should promote autonomy and be truly caring while also acknowledging that each employee holds the responsibility for achieving team goals. To help nurture a sense of autonomy, we suggest that leaders:

● Promote self-initiation and encourage the participation of the team.

● Minimize controlling language (“Get this done by tomorrow!”) and avoid coercive controls like surreal deadlines and constant monitoring of your team.

● Find ways to motivate your team through encouragement and giving them feedback

Any employee’s work environment plays a significant role in the success of a team. Therefore it’s no surprise that motivation and timely check-ins are mostly required in these Covid-19 pandemic times. No matter what the odds are, a person is most energized and committed when he/she is internally motivated by their values and growth, to be precise. Internal motivation helps us be a better version of ourselves.