Coronavirus has shaken up our lives & stirred up our work-lives even more. We barely see our colleagues except through the crystal frames of Zoom calls & last minute meetings that find us all sleepy, unprepared & tired.
In a time when we as a collective race are finding it hard to just get by… are there things you as a manager can do to put smiles on your employees’ faces?
1 . Planning – The saving grace for every team
From all the words we hear through the grapevine, there’s one thing that stands out when it comes to working-from-home. Most, if not all employees talk about how they are now working twice as much as before & have barely any time to themselves.
So let’s make sure we plan out the work & delegate & assign effectively. An overworked employee is an underproductive employee.
2. Engagement – Why wait for the HRs ?
That’s right. This one here is not just meant for the HR team. You know your team better than anyone else, you’re a family. So why wait for the HR to plan up some fun activities?
Schedule a session of collaborative gaming or just a session of pictionary or charades on Zoom.
A little goes a long way!
3. Flexibility – It’s not just for gymnasts
As managers, we need to be mindful of the fact that our teams are working out of their homes, with their families, constantly dealing with issues of the home & battling the worries of the looming Pandemic.
So when an employee requests some time off or a change in deadlines, let us not retort with snide remarks about being at home & having all the time in the world. Shuffle up the schedule if that will bring someone a sense of relief.
4. Ideate – Let creativity take over
Get the creative juices flowing! Have a new project? Got a problem to troubleshoot? Need a fresh perspective? Call on your team. Get everybody in a session dedicated to ideation & let them run wild & free with their ideas. Not only will you have found wonderful solutions, but your team is also left with the feeling of joy & happiness that comes with creativity.
5. Favouritism – Not ever, but definitely not now!
Be aware of the fact that every person in your team is different. Each of them come from a different background, a different work environment, different people around them. Unlike before, you no longer have the unifying factor of a common workplace. Some of them may be working out of nurturing environments while others face a constant battle.
So let’s not choose a favorite & give them all our time & attention simply based on performance & hours. Let’s take the time to understand & give everyone an equal shot.
6. Constructive Criticism – The first word is the key
Now we may have been staring at this phrase for years but it is ALWAYS important. When someone on the team falters form the right path, let’s take a deeper look. Pause, understand their side of the coin, speak to them, identify a way to circumvent the issues & give them suggestions that could actually change things up!
Yelling is not going to get us anywhere.
7. Feedback – Your team is your customer & they’re always right.
Take time out to request feedback from your team. Let’s face it, none of us were prepared to be on-screen managers! We have no training in this! So ask your team how they think you’re doing. Listen to them well & course-correct. We could all do with a little help right now.
8. Talk – Take a step back from formal communication & long emails
You have not seen your team in months, they are all over the world, you have no idea what they’re going through & you have absolutely no clue when things will go back to normal. Do we even know what normal is anymore?
So why not take some time out of our relentless email chains & check on our team. Ask them how they’re doing, build a relationship that nurtures (if you haven’t already)