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9 Simple Ways to Motivate Employees During Tough Times

Have you ever seen your employees express their anger, sadness, and irritation at work? Good chances are they aren’t trouble-makers. They’re just going through some tough times.

Staff that feel stressed may not deliver their best work results and can eventually affect the morale of other team members. How can you, as a leader, motivate employees and help them overcome those stressful times?

Here are 9 tips from Camelo to help you guide and inspire your employees through challenges and difficulties.

1. Listen to your employees

To motivate employees during a stressful time, you have to make listening a priority. Let your staff know that you’re actively reaching out to them and allow them to open up about their problems.

Employees may suffer from stress due to different problems at work, conflicts with colleagues, or a personal matter. Be prepared to hear all the good and the bad so you can enrich the understanding between you and your employees.

By communicating and listening to your staff, you are picking up on their low motivation, understanding thoroughly the foundation of their problems, and eventually helping them relieve stress. This shows you care about them, which results in better job satisfaction and employee engagement.

listen more to motivate employees

2. Ask thoughtful and considerate questions

Reaching out and listening to your staff are important. But do you know exactly how to handle the conversation with a stressed-out employee?

Make sure you are not only listening but communicating with them openly. You can ask them questions that are not too personal, address your own problems in the past, and give them advice on how to handle stressful times.

Make it a heart-to-heart conversation filled with thoughtful questions and honesty. Meaningful conversations are more likely to boost employee morale, lower stress levels, and foster trust.

3. Understand that each individual is different

Each individual contributes to the success of your company, so it’s important that you create mutual understanding with them.

Every employee has their own reasons to feel upset and every situation is different. Give your staff your time and keep your door open. Let them know you’re actively listening to them and engaging with them to relieve their stress and issues. This way they won’t feel neglected and left out among the team.

Even though you should be a helpful supporter, make sure to avoid making promises that you can’t keep and let them know there are specific things that you can’t fulfill.

4. Create a positive work culture

Employees’ satisfaction, motivation, and well-being are factors that contribute to the success and productivity of your company. There are various methods to boost motivation at work, one of them is improving the working environment.

Don’t monitor your employees too strictly, but do set a deadline for them to complete tasks. Give them space to develop their talents and creativity.

Create your work culture and environment to be something that motivates and inspires your employees. You can encourage them to work in teams or give them flexible options to choose tasks that match their strengths, as well as encouraging them to be creative and playful.

The positive and interactive work culture will remove the stress out of the way and at the same time, boost the productivity and efficiency of your staff’s work. Say goodbye to the old-fashioned work styles and motivate your employees with an energetic and fun working experience.

5. Provide time-management training

Too much workload and too little time might be one of the most common causes of stress. The solution to this is organizing time-management training sessions for your team. You can share your experiences or enlist an expert to give them advice.

Make sure that they know what to prioritize, how to multitask efficiently, as well as inspiring them to schedule their work using a to-do-list to stay on task, and not to miss deadlines.

There are also different time-management applications that can help them divide their time and workload, so they can actively control their schedule and dust stress off their shoulder. A good time-management skill will help employees approach their work with less stress and can also manage their own leisure time off-work.

time-management skill is needed to motivate employees

6. Delegate properly

Giving tasks to your staff doesn’t only help to clear off your busy schedule, but also creates opportunities for your employees to tackle new aspects at work. Your employees will feel motivated if they can engage and learn new experiences.

However, delegating doesn’t simply mean that you entrust them with a task and let them do it on their own. That will create more stress. Make sure that you’re always by their side, give them guidance and support whenever they need. Turn this into a learning opportunity instead of simply delivering a task.

Delegating is also a win-win situation as you will have more time to think about how to lead your team to success. At the same time, you’re creating a platform for your team to learn and grow so that they can enhance their skills and advance in their career. Learning new things is always fun and it motivates your employees to strive for the better.

Delegating is also about giving enough tasks in a fair way. Don’t give some staff too much work while others have too much free time on their hands.

7. Encourage time off and vacation

Anyone juggling work and home responsibilities can easily encounter stress. To motivate employees during a stressful time, you can give them a day off work to focus on their own issues or simply to take a break and relax. Encourage them to go on vacation for some wind-down time.

By doing this, you can ensure that they have time to take care of their well-being and have some time for their own.

Some employees might say that getting time off can make them procrastinate and disturb their working pace. Explain to them that having a break is essential as it’ll help them to be motivated and recharged. They can also feel inspired after going on a vacation to a new place, which can boost their creativity at work.

Don’t be scared of handling time-off requests and prevent your staff from taking breaks. You can manage time off easily by following our comprehensive guide here.

vacation is needed to motivate employees

8. Handle trouble-makers

You might think that it’s not the boss’ responsibility to handle all the drama and gossip in the company? That’s completely wrong. Problematic colleagues and rumors are some of the main problems that lead to stress.

These workers can bring down the work morale and have a negative influence on others. Try to listen to your employees, address the problem quickly with honesty and transparency. This will create trust among members of your team and motivate employees to work without unnecessary hassle.

You can consider moving the problematic rumor-tellers to another department or if it doesn’t work, letting them go can be the ultimate solution.

9. Acknowledge hard work

This is the simplest way to motivate your employees but it’s usually ignored by many leaders. Complimenting their performance is a way to acknowledge their hard work and recognize their efforts. Set them as examples for others to follow.

However, don’t try to motivate your employees to work harder by setting a reward or specific promotion as it will lay more pressure on them, which will subsequently lead to stress. Once they finish their work, let them know your gratitude and praise them for doing their best.


We all suffer from difficulties at some point in our lives, and so do your staff. As a leader, you should provide your employees with support and guidance to help them overcome those rough periods. Try out some tips above to motivate employees, and you’ll see all the differences.

Want to learn more about boosting your employee morale? Check out our 6 tips here.

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