As we start to wrap up our second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders/owners need to be conscious that even though we made it through the initial impact, we still have a long way to go on the road to recovery. Employees are still experiencing the devastating effects of this illness, and it’s up to the business leaders to set the example and standard through this difficult period.
Rebecca Finell, Founder & CEO of reusable containers brand Zip Top, has the following advice for entrepreneurs and business leaders looking to boost company morale amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, while also driving a high-growth company.
“We just jumped 10 years forward in digital years. Your team has been pushing through lots of personal and professional challenges for almost two years now. It has been emotionally draining, and they are tired just like you are. As leaders, we need to find ways
of helping lift those burdens and motivate them to continue to grow and thrive,” says Finell.
Here are Finell’s top five tips for boosting company morale while also driving a high-growth company.
TIP #1: Notice Personal Effort
Entrepreneurs know how important it is to take notice of the effort your team puts into their jobs. Letting your employees know you see and recognize their efforts can boost morale in a way that few other things can. Let your team know how valued they are, because without them, you wouldn’t have a successful business. The more you acknowledge your team, say thank you, and express gratitude for their hard work, the more they will continue to bring their best each day.
TIP #2: Share the Wealth
Having a great benefits and compensation package is one thing, but giving your employees bonuses or gifts when they don’t expect it can really show your team how much you value them. If you have an employee that goes above and beyond, or worked extra hard to meet a deadline, give them something to acknowledge their efforts! Also, always give your best employees stock in the company regardless of their role. You wouldn’t be where you are without them, so show them you know that! Your team will show up with more enthusiasm and sense of ownership even more when they know they have a true part in the company’s success.
TIP #3: Have Fun and Make Friends
When you’re an entrepreneur, you get to pick the people around you. So pick people that you like being around. At Zip Top, we grew quite a bit in 2020 and used this ethos to cultivate the exact team that would thrive and grow with us. For us, that meant hiring the right people, regardless of location. Since a good portion of our team is permanently virtual, we take extra measures to make it fun for everyone and ensure people are able to make real connections with their colleagues. We laugh, celebrate big wins and birthdays, play jokes on each other, meet pets and kids all in a remote work environment. You can 100% bond virtually. We did and continue to do it every day.
TIP #4: Take a Team Break
Create the time and space necessary to have real down time together as a team. Because of the pandemic and virtual work, it wasn’t until July 2021 that we were able to all meet in person, so we made it a mountain getaway in Park City, Utah. It was amazing to see the friendships that we formed in our virtual meetings come to life when we met in person. We played hard together hiking, zip lining, horseback riding, fishing, and more, but I think what we all enjoyed the most were the games we played together. We made some great memories and bonded even more. Give your team the break they deserve and celebrate all that you have accomplished together.
TIP #5: Listen to Your Team
Your team are experts in their fields and have experiences that you don’t: That, after all, is why you hired them, right? Listen to their advice and stay open minded. Let them be the masters at things you are not. The more you really listen to your team, the more your team will feel comfortable sharing their good ideas with you. Encourage brainstorming sessions and contributing ideas! The seed of a great idea can come from anywhere, so let your team know their voices are heard, and appreciated.