Business leaders right now not only have the challenge of encouraging their (possibly remote) teams to continue to hit their targets and goals, but they also need to provide comfort during these uncertain times. If your employees are tired, have lost their focus, and just seem to need a morale boost, one great way to help encourage them is through your words. As you will learn below, it’s essential to express your appreciation for your team frequently and genuinely. Also, asking your team for feedback and how they are doing would be showing an interest in your team’s emotional state and well being. Having open communication can help them be more productive and feel more connected to the company’s mission. Here are some ideas on what to say to help inspire and encourage your team.

Express Your Gratitude and Appreciation

A Gallup study looked at the power of praise and recognition and found that employees who receive praise once a week have increased levels of productivity, higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers, and are more likely to stay with their organization.  Unhappy employees are also costly employees. The study found, “It costs the U.S. economy between $250 and $300 billion every year in lost productivity alone. When you add workplace injury, illness, turnover, absences, and fraud, the cost could surpass $1 trillion per year, or nearly 10% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)”. Expressing your gratitude and appreciation for your team on a regular basis is essential if you want a higher functioning and loyal team. Doing so will show your team that this is a group effort and their work and help is essential.

Feedback and Communication

For your employees to feel like valuable members of the team you need to encourage open communication and give them a safe space to express and voice their opinions. A collaborative environment where all team member’s opinions matter will spark creativity and help create out-the-box ideas that can help take your company further. Ask them for feedback on what they think would benefit the company the most and find out if there is anything you can do to help them with their goals and visions.

Show your Vulnerability

It’s also important for your team to see your vulnerability and that you don’t have all the answers. Brené Brown, who is one of the experts in this field, makes a strong case for vulnerability in the workplace saying “To lead is to be vulnerable every minute of every day; there is no courage without vulnerability.” In an interview with Salesforce, she suggests organizations operationalize their company values — take each value and translate it into three visible behaviors. This exercise helps you consider what kind of leader and human you want to be right now.

As we continue to collectively navigate these challenging and uncertain times, be the kind of leader you aspire to be. Show up for your team and express your appreciation for them, create an environment that fosters collaboration and communication, and be honest and transparent.