HR’s Guide to Boosting Employee Morale During COVID-19 (And Into Our Next Normal)

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused global anxiety in almost every sector of life—but none so much, as the workplace. In fact, 69 percent of U.S. workers reported that the coronavirus pandemic is the most stressful time of their entire professional career, moreso even than other national tragedies like 9/11 and the 2008 recession. And according to our recent survey, HR professionals are well aware of the struggles that their employees are currently facing—with 45 percent of respondents reporting that employee morale is their top HR concern at the moment. While times like these are difficult for everyone, HR is facing more than its fair share of challenges. Supporting employees, pivoting to accommodate new business needs, having difficult conversations, cutting costs, and more—there’s a lot being thrown on this department’s plate. But through it all, everyone is doing their best to take these changes in stride and remain optimistic for the future. Now, as we reflect on multiple months of mandated virtual work, HR and people teams around the world are looking back on their most successful morale-boosting activities—and searching for new ideas to keep their teams happy, healthy, and engaged. Even as we do this, it’s important to remember that there are certain things that employees need more than others at this point in time. So, Namely & Blueboard teamed up to look at employee morale through the lens of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Read on to learn all about the psychological concept, how it applies to employee morale and HR, and—don’t worry—tons of practical tips and ideas for acting on it both today, and as we transition into our next normal.