As things start to open up again post-COVID, there’s going to be a dramatic increase in people looking to travel and take vacations. While this is exactly what the travel industry needs after a difficult year, it’s likely to place a lot of strain on teams and individuals. We outline some ways in which you can keep your team positive and driven.
If your team has been working remotely, or you’ve been working less or more flexible hours, then it’s important to clarify how you’ll be operating now that things are opening up again.
Let your team know what hours you’re expecting them to work and whether these will all require them to come into the office or be on-site, or whether they can still do some work from home.
You may find that a lot of the admin and behind-the-scenes work can be done just as well remotely. But if you’re going to switch to a more permanent work from home set up then you need a proper structure in place for how that’s going to work.
Put together some guidance such as working patterns, core hours, and any overtime expectations so that they’re clear on what you’re expecting from them and don’t feel confused or taken advantage of. If you’re going to be expecting your team to put in longer hours, you need to let them know in advance.
Set clear goals and targets
You’ve probably got some big goals and targets that your business needs to reach in order to fully recover post-COVID. Talk your team through the top-level targets, and give them some insights into exactly why and how these need to be achieved. You can then break these down into smaller targets for your team that they can work towards in the short term.
Setting goals and targets is going to help keep your team motivated, with an eye on the bigger picture so that they know the work they’re doing is important.
Plan out workloads and deadlines
Alongside setting goals and targets, it’s important to plan out how you’re going to achieve them. You need to make sure everyone understands their exact role, distribute the workload, and create realistic deadlines.
This will help ensure that everyone has the time and resources to complete their work, without too much falling on one person. It will also reduce stress for your team as they have a clear understanding of what they need to be doing and when.
You could take a look at ProofHub’s blog for regular advice on organising your team’s work and keeping them productive. Depending on your business and the different roles your team has, you could either use a project management tool that assigns out tasks so that you can track progress and work to meet deadlines on time, or set up a clear rota for hours and responsibilities.
Look after the team’s wellbeing
You need to take some proactive steps to look after your team’s wellbeing as things start to get busier. Make sure your team feels like they can reach out to someone if they’re struggling.
You should also put together some resources and support to help them deal with any stress or problems. For example, this could include:
Podcasts: Share motivational content like Orion Talmay’s Stellar Life podcast. The Stellar Life podcast offers inspirational insights and helpful tools that can keep your team positive. Likewise, a podcast that shares advice on living a healthier lifestyle like Christy Harrison’s Food Psych podcast could also be useful.
Helpful articles and websites: The Headspace blog is full of information about dealing with stress and focusing on goals, or the Mind website has lots of insights and support for mental health.
Benefits that support welling: Offer a gym membership or organise workout sessions to help your team stay active and manage stress.
Looking after your team’s wellbeing will ensure they stay positive and more engaged with their work.
Ensure your communication channels are up to scratch so that everyone can stay on the same page. It’s a good idea to have a clear structure for how you handle internal communications. For example, using an instant messaging platform for quick queries and informal chats, but share regular company updates and news via email or an intranet system.
Make sure that everyone is kept informed of any changes and announcements, because if your team feels like they’re not in the loop or being forgotten about then they’ll lose motivation.
Schedule regular check-ins as a team and with each individual so that people have an opportunity to discuss any issues and work together.
Reward hard work and achievements
You need to recognise and reward hard work and achievements in your team, especially when it’s busy. Make a point of highlighting any particular successes or targets that have been met, whether it’s down to an individual or the whole team. For example, if you reach a certain number of bookings, or someone gets particularly good feedback from a customer, then do something to reward them.
It doesn’t have to be something huge each time, but acknowledging your team’s hard work will make them feel appreciated and valued so that they are more motivated.
While the post-lockdown tourism rush is going to be good for the travel industry, it’s also likely to be a stressful, busy time for businesses and employees. It’s important to take care of your staff, make sure they have the information and tools to do their job well, and help keep them motivated and positive. This will ensure you’re able to make the post of the rush, increase revenue, and grow the business.