The global pandemic of COVID-19 has brought far-reaching implications to the workforce. Some businesses have closed for the foreseeable, while others try to reconfigure to having their employees work from home. As you grapple with the new reality that these days bring for your staff, here are four principles to help your team succeed:
Communicate thoughtfully. There is a lot of information to disseminate about new policies and shifting protocols. Be aware of the frequency of your communication: if you send three memos on scheduling updates in one afternoon, people may begin to tune you out. There is key information to share, so be strategic in timing. It’s also key to be attuned to the tone of your messages. This is a stressful and uncertain time. Your staff will look to you for leadership and direction.
Connect regularly. Your staff is scattered across your region. It’s natural for them to feel disconnected. Make space for times to connect. This can be both functional time (such as a daily check in call each morning to get everyone on the same page) and fun time. A weekly virtual lunch or a Friday online happy hour is a great way to keep up morale and keep connections strong.
Evaluate your systems. You will likely need to draw on some additional tools as you move to a remote workforce. Basecamp is an excellent project management tool that allows your team to collaborate on projects and keep details from slipping through the cracks. Slack enables strong employee communication in multiple channels. Beyond software, there are basic details that need to be attended to: if employees are all working from home, is there a central list of everyone’s mobile numbers now that they can’t be reached at an extension.
Revise as needed. We are working in uncharted territory. Odds are you won’t get things perfect the first time around. Be willing to adapt and grow as you learn and as the situation changes. Take time each Friday to reflect on what served you well and what needs adjusting. Check in with key members of your team to get their feedback as well.
What things have you learned about working remotely?
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