The world of work has changed significantly in these past few weeks. From offices going completely remote, employees setting up desks at home amongst kitchen tables and living rooms, rightsizing teams, and supporting those that are sick. It has been a waterfall of change in a short period of time. We’ve been talking daily with small business owners about keeping a positive mindset, building teams, and coping with change. Here are some strategies you can implement to keep your team strong.
- Over-communicate. What was the “old” saying – in business: “location, location, location”. Well that has shifted to communicate! Frequently. Set up regular check ins with your team. Include one on one, all team meetings, and even daily 15 minute “stand up” meetings. Routine can provide a sense of security and safety, because we know what to expect. We created a remote work team charter for a client, which included things like: all web-cams are to be on during meetings, come dressed for work at home, and heck – brush your teeth!
- Capitalize on technology. Use online chat apps to keep the face to face and written communication going strong. We us apps such as Zoom, Skype, Slack, and Teams. You can create channels to easily streamline information (example, we have #COVID19 so we can see the latest questions and concerns that are coming from clients, and links to new information as it changes every 15 minutes.) We’ve also had success by segmenting communication so that internal communication is through the online chat and external communications are through email.
- Social Committee – Distancing Edition. Take a page out of your kids’ elementary school calendar. Implement theme days like Crazy Hair Day and Beach Day to break up the monotony of isolation, tap into creativity, and build team rapport. Add channels to your online chat for recognition and gratitude. Get to know one another better, by having an “icebreaker” question of the day, like What is your favourite charity? Or What’s your super power? Quick team building games like 2 truths and a lie are also fun ways to learn more about each other as humans.
- Remote Work Coaching. We know this isn’t going to be easy to work from home with all the other distractions that wouldn’t normally be at home. We encourage you to set up agreements with each team member and determine what success looks like; and in that “over communication” we noted above, ensure team members are setting themselves up for success too. Have they created boundaries, do they have good idea of time management techniques needed, do they know how to set up their day to get the most out of it? We have been working alongside clients during these times to support the accountability of team members and are already seeing huge success. Dedicate a resource to coaching and excellence will be sure to follow!
While it may be new territory for many of you, this truly is a great time to try something new. When we get to our new normal, it may be that we have found better ways to be productive, connected, and engaged with our team. Check out our other blogs with tips on how to stay healthy while working from home: