The global crisis caused by the pandemic has tremendously affected all spheres of business. We all have found ourselves in an unfamiliar, unusual, rapidly changing environment. The new reality immediately created new demands to the management system.
With a forced transition to remote work, some managers face a complete lack of communication and a breakdown in employees' emotional connection. They urgently seek new strategies to ensure people maintain trust in management, loyalty to the company, and friendly communication within a team. When working remotely, the principles of interaction with the team does not change.
Whether working offline or online, leader must still perform four basic functions:
Below are eight steps leaders can take to effectively manage their remote teams in the future of work.
The first step is to make your remote team understand your demands, from the schedule to the expected performance level. Employees must realize they need to continue following company policies, guidelines, and procedures when working from home. Create the guidance documents explaining how staff can adapt to change. Remote mode of work requires clear time frames for completing tasks. A team with a precise understanding of deadline setup and online meeting schedule will switch to a new rhythm with less effort.
Leaders must ensure that their remote team has all the necessary resources to fulfill the tasks. Besides technical support [office machinery], it is essential to have remote access to paperwork: production reports and updates. Introduce cloud storage and corporate intranets, accessible only to employees. The more automated the company is, the less paperwork it has, and the easier it is to ensure the transition of employees to a remote mode. But be sure to take care of information security.
Not everyone remains equally efficient, working from home. Some employees are not used to work without a boss's vigilant supervision, and organizing remote work is a struggle. It can be challenging to check whether company policies and procedures are followed when you work with a distributed team. You will not avoid virtual internal audits to cope with this task. Constant adherence to company rules is critical during the period of uncertainty.
Separated from office life, employees need more support than usual. Many employees are depressed and reluctantly communicate via Skype or Zoom. Motivational emails about each team member's role in achieving common goals, their contribution to success can come to the rescue here. Newsletters with helpful tips, distance learning, online industrial gymnastics, and even stimulating entertainment videos can also help employees feel protected.
Each company should have an open environment where employees can voice their opinions. It is even more important when working remotely. Company values, expectations, and fears should be regularly discussed with the team, as well as plans - what needs to be done individually for the team to succeed as a whole. Luckily, modern means of communication like Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, etc. allow you to organize online meetings with a full effect of presence. You must not disappear from the communicative field even for a day or two.
During remote working mode, you can offer employees to time to devote to education:
People will feel inspired for the future when achievements are positively evaluated.
A manager cannot do all the work himself. In times of crisis, the ability to delegate correctly will save you an endless stream of urgent tasks. The main thing is to have someone to rely on.
George Mgesdyan, the founder of LA Lawyers, says: "The formula for responsible leadership can be passed down the chain. Develop leaders within your team by involving the strongest ones and paying particular attention to their emotions and intuition."
Delegation does not imply a complete and unconditional transfer of rights and responsibilities to an employee. Ideally, a manager gives their team the right to make an independent decision in certain situations and makes himself/herself responsible for the result of the work. It is worth making intermediate control over the work process to correct the employee's actions in an appropriate time in case of mistakes or miscalculations.
Instead of cutting off salaries, consider the ways to reduce business costs:
During the period of epidemic and self-isolation, the managerial activity of owners and managers does not decrease. On the contrary, it requires new efficient approaches for maintaining their team working remotely. The company owners and managers need to keep and transmit to employees optimism and hope for the future recovery and development of the business. It is essential to communicate with people daily, load them with work tasks, and set goals for the company's future development. The current context has its advantages too. So, crowded face-to-face meetings are replaced by online meetings, and it saves a lot of time for other tasks. Careful revision of financial spending can free up funds for future company development.
2020 has changed the future of work and workplace culture is at the forefront of these changes. The challenges of this year have taught us to value people; the people in our organizations, the people in our communities and the people in our lives. When you begin to put valuing people into action you can create a happier, more meaningful workplace and world.