We’re a fully distributed startup (30ppl) and things are not going too well and the non-ending pandemic isn’t making it any better. How do you keep team morale high - especially being fully distributed?
Do you know the reasons for less than ideal morale? Whether through talking to some team members, a poll, or some other mechanism?
The first place to start is to talk to your team and understand what is causing the low morale. There are many things that contribute to low morale, but I think one of the most important things for keeping morale high is to have a strong vision and strategy and ensuring that everyone understands how what they are doing connects to that. Sure, you can have social events or parties to try and boost morale (much harder remotely), but this will just be a sugar hit if everyone returns to work that they don’t understand how it contributes to the business.
Assuming that low morale stems from flat or declining business performance - been there - then it’s hard to rally everyone without a path to growth. Growth doesn’t solve everything, but having a strategy for the team to work their back to growth will be foundational to morale improvement. Simply doing things that make people happy in the short term can give the boost you need to rally them to contribute to this turnaround and energize them to reinvest in a new approach, but without a path out of the decline, then the enthusiasm will be short-lived.
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