Keeping your team together, at home!
Keeping your team together, at home.
7th October 2020.
Currently, government guidelines allows workplace meetings or training sessions, providing we are following the correct cautionary measures. This includes wearing face coverings, frequent hand washing and sanitising, meeting only when necessary and social distancing. It is likely these guidelines will change, as they need to adapt daily depending on the COVID-19 alert status.
However, this should not affect your team’s work ethic and productivity. As a manager or team leader, it is your job to ensure that workplace relationships are created and connections are strengthened. Coronavirus has altered the way we interact with each other and it is important that your team understands that there are others in the same position. Weak relationships will ultimately hinder your work as ‘working from home’ means you rely on staff feeling comfortable to message each other questions and communicate on their own terms, without a meeting moderator directing conversation. For more information on the importance of building positive workplace relationships, visit https://positivepsychology.com/positive-relationships-workplace/ , where Elaine Houston, B. Sc. concludes her research on these relationships. As team leaders, you should note a few things, with social distancing in mind: https://www.zipcar.com/en-gb/blog/business/teams/engaging-remotely
1. Reset your expectations- The core concept of teamwork is socialisation and synchronous work. Working from home means that this becomes harder to achieve. Therefore, you may find that accomplishing tasks efficiently becomes difficult.
2. Stay in regular touch- Research shows that regular contact is more effective than irregular intervals. It should be imperative that each team member check in every few hours. Try encouraging instant messaging or daily video huddles that each members runs, on a cycle.
3. Model optimism and create a ‘No Fear’ atmosphere- Demonstrate optimism, as this is a contagious trait that will promote purpose in work under stressful situations. Using ‘release valves’ to alleviate members’ worries and concerns. The most common being; humour.
4. Gauge stress and engagement levels- Highlight the importance of well-being within your team and ensure they understand that this is your main concern. Ask the question: On a scale of 1-10, where are you in terms of your stress? Log this separately and track where members’ are feeling more stressed than usual. Then deal with this head on or assign ‘peer partners’ whose role is to encourage and help with work load where they can.
Read the full article here: https://hbr.org/2020/03/8-ways-to-manage-your-team-while-social-distancing
Whilst living in this new age of video calls and isolation, it is imperative that teams maintain some level of normalcy, in any way possible to avoid reduction in productivity and increased stress. These points above have detailed how managing this is possible.
Stay safe and stay creative.