Motivation to work during the Covid-19 pandemic

Nowadays, more and more attention is being paid to the importance of human resources in the context of a company’s development and market success. There is no doubt that the knowledge, skills and competencies of employees are key elements of an efficiently functioning organization. Therefore, it is extremely important to create such conditions that will allow the optimal use of the current capabilities of employees and the thoughtful development of their competencies. It is assumed that the main goal of human resource management is to develop such a state in which factors such as motivation, commitment and quality of work of employees as well as the organizational structure and tradition of the company will bring the company closer to success. In addition, human resource management aims to form the desired behavior in employees.

It can be assumed that employee motivation techniques are a specific type of management instruments that are an integral part of the company’s motivation system. Skillful application of such tools can contribute to increasing the level of motivation and commitment of personnel. In addition, the appropriate selection of these measures can have a positive impact on the satisfaction derived by employees from the fulfillment of their assigned professional duties1 .

For almost three years now, employees have been struggling with the occupational consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, it could be seen that initially employee engagement and motivation increased, as reported in many studies done at the beginning of the pandemic, but today it can be concluded that this was the result of fear of losing their jobs. In the long run, additional measures are needed on the part of managers to keep engagement at such high levels, because when a manager leaves things running on their own, usually engagement fades and employees lose their bond with the company. After the original boom, engagement declined even among employees who had been working in this way on a daily basis even before the pandemic. This was due to the fact that until then employees had treated remote work as a privilege, an employee non-salary benefit, which during the pandemic became available to everyone, i.e. it ceased to be a de facto privilege.

Today, employees need support and good communication. According to the theory of organizational support, employees who perceive their workplace as supportive are more favorable toward their organizations and are willing to invest more effort in their tasks. Such a strategy is simply profitable for the company in the long run. Another worthy practice to describe is to invite employees to an initiative where they can have a sense of meaning and purpose in their work. Besides, providing clear information in a crisis situation is very necessary, and the way it is communicated is also important for employee motivation. If an employee feels that the boss doesn’t trust him or her, and the company doesn’t care, there is no motivation to work with commitment. Instead of authoritarian and controlling bosses, people need and appreciate care. Not only to feel good, but also to be able to work well.

Referring to A. Maslow’s theory of needs. Maslow, it can be assumed that money as a motivator affects the employee effectively only up to a certain point, beyond which its motivational function loses its importance. Therefore, new factors are being sought in organizations to increase employee commitment to tasks. The most important intangible factors identified in science and applied in organizations are respect, appreciation and praise, flexible working hours, forms of work organization, clear criteria for promotion, opportunities for professional development, executive and decision-making autonomy and good working relations.

Human resource management approaches are evolving as the economic environment changes. As a result, solutions and management methods used successfully a few decades ago may not work today. Therefore, it is worth noting the issues that play a particularly important role in modern operations, especially in a crisis situation.

1 J. Penc, Motivation in Management, Publishing House of the Professional School of Business, Cracow 2000, pp. 227-228.

Author: Sylwia Skrzypek-Ahmed, PhD, WSEI university Lublin / Poland

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