As employees around the world are embracing working from home, they’re also experiencing the incredible amount of stress levels that come with working remotely under uncertain circumstances.
Unfortunately, employees under stress are more likely to hide away than reach out — which means even the most engaged and productive teams might be struggling to feel connected and do their best work.
There are a lot of ways managers and leaders can help during this difficult time, including providing as much clear communication as possible and being sympathetic about what employees are experiencing. But in addition to building trust and sympathy, it’s more important than ever to invest in employee engagement.
Here are a few ways you can manage and engage a highly productive and happy remote team.
Regular Communication – Clear internal communication is critical for remote workers who don’t have the luxury of asking ‘what did he want again?’ to a person sitting next to them. It’s important to give employees clear briefing at the beginning of a task, ideally face-to-face through video conferencing, and that they can also dip in and out of open team communication channels to gather essential information and support as they work.
Good managers should check in with their team members on regular video calls and then listen to what they say and how they are. Because remote working can be isolating, these are helpful for anything work or non-work related.
Stay Connected To The Company – Whenever possible, give your staff updates on the organisation’s financial performance and long-and short-term goals, and explain what this information means for them and their jobs. Keeping your team in the loop will help them feel connected to the company.
Clear, Defined Expectations – When employees don’t have clear and precise instructions, it can become something of a challenge.
Every time you give your staff an task, spell out as many details as you can and verify your instructions and expectations. Also explain how the task fits into the company’s larger goals, and encourage them to ask questions if they need additional information.
Understanding Limitations – In such a short space of time, employees have had to relocate into home offices where they may be overwhelmed by a spouse, children, or any number of distractions. As a result, you may see a temporary sizeable change in your team’s productivity.
Instead of trying to maintain the levels of performance you achieved in the office, it’s important to provide a positive outlook that you must adjust your expectations. This is your new reality – you and your team members are stretched thin right now, with different levels of availability, and the only thing that can be adjusted here is how you choose to approach your work.
Continuing Office Traditions.
To keep everyone engaged, it’s important to continue the interactions and fun things that normally occur on any normal day. This is where good technology comes in.
Make video conferencing an essential so that people can interact face to face. Instead of launching straight into business, make time for some friendly ‘how’s it going?’ chat at the beginning and end of calls, and introduce some playful elements, such as virtual tours of everyone’s workspaces.BACK