In response to the developing health situation, more companies around the country are switching to remote work. Productivity applications and software have facilitated the world of remote work and made it more accessible than ever. Because 70% of an individual’s engagement is stimulated by their manager, it’s critical that leaders get creative and exercise proper communication to their team in order to best support them. Here are four strategies you can employ to effectively manage and nurture your newly remote employees.
Communication is Key
As leaders, it’s our job to direct team members towards official company information and clearly communicate policy, contingency plans and advice in a compassionate and logical manner. While the first week or two of managing your team remotely may initially feel like a welcome change, a lack of in-person contact may cause some of your employees to feel lonely and isolated.
Your organization should be ready and equipped to maintain a consistent flow of communication during this time. You can also set some time aside to shoot a quick message to each of your team members to ask how they’re doing and if there is any area where they need your support. These touchpoints can be critical in keeping everyone connected and focused on the task at hand.
Focus on Prioritization
Ideally, you’ll want to conduct a private video chat with each team member to discuss expectations and where they should train their focus. If that’s not possible, host a team meeting to outline top priorities and what projects may be left on the backburner for the time being. Keep in mind your team members may only have the mental stamina to juggle a few projects at a time. Consider directing your team to focus on two or three projects to keep the momentum going and reduce the likelihood of burnout.
Be the Voice of Reason
As a leader, you also serve as the voice of reason for your team. Be prepared to show up each day from a place of empathy, respect, and understanding. Go the extra mile to emphasize verbal support and encouragement with your team, and if at all possible, let criticism take a backseat in this unique transitionary period. Understand that your employees will need time to adjust, but by being a source of stability, you’ll ultimately maximize cooperation and productivity.
Establish a Routine from the Get-Go
During this period, your employees may struggle with the new balancing act of work and home life under the same roof. Help your team establish a routine early on by outlining clear working hours, maintaining contact with colleagues and setting attainable goals over a reasonable time frame. An established routine will also help to reduce anxiety over an unfamiliar situation and allow employees to feel a better sense of normalcy.