Making The Big Switch
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The coronavirus pandemic has forced many teams to work remotely. Read more for tips on leading your employees and technology solutions in times of uncertainty.
In a time of crisis, business leaders focus on the people. Keeping your business aligned during the COVID-19 pandemic means providing steady, clear and empathetic leadership.
You may find your employees suddenly working remotely, adjusting to new work environments, children and partners also home, and their uncertainty. Here are some tips for keeping your business and employees aligned during these turbulent times.
Most leaders have an established leadership team. It’s usually the right group to make decisions, advise and lead their teams. However, in some cases, senior leaders have teams of dozens of people. That can be unwieldy in a time of crisis. Just as basketball coaches shorten the bench in the playoffs, you may want to turn to a subset of your team as your inner circle, based on job function, area of responsibility, skills or personality.
You want everyone on your team to feel connected, especially when working from home for multiple days or weeks. Create a mandatory call for your team every day at the same time. This time provides some predictability, routine and sense of normalcy. When possible, consider using videoconferencing software so that team members can have a visual connection to colleagues. Make sure team members consider this a priority; it will become a touchstone in a swirl of uncertainty and a chance to communicate consistently.
Getting personal during times of remote connectivity is important. Don’t hesitate to share and ask others to do the same Blending the personal and professional provides a connection. At your regular check-ins, ask people to update about both professional work and, where appropriate, their personal lives. A personal story or sharing can keep colleagues up to date and maintain a sense of camaraderie.
At your daily check-ins, have an agenda and start with a situational update. This is the time when leaders need to share updates on how current events are shaping the business, the unit, customers and employees. In this quickly unfolding situation, employees crave information. The best approach is transparency and openness. If you don’t know the answers to critical questions, say so. If you are considering serious decisions affecting the company and its workers, be sensitive and honest.
Businesses today are no longer working from the playbooks they usually use. You need to think about how to support customers, maintain revenue and operations, and keep employees being productive. That means you need to deploy business continuity plans, create and revise contingency plans, and be ready to pivot quickly, in some cases daily or even hourly, as the situation merits. Involve your team in the development and modification of these plans. Encourage them to share and seek feedback.
Given the dynamic nature of the pandemic, it’s prudent to look at these plans daily to ensure they are still relevant, appropriate and actionable.
Some of your team members’ work may be very different than it was recently. You need to give team members real work that is meaningful and valuable. It’ time to look at the rainy-day list, the projects that never seem to get tackled and the tasks that you’ve never had time to address. For many businesses, there’s now time to tackle them. Identify the projects and trust your team members to do the work. They may be energized by having something different to do.
As the situation evolves, it’s important to communicate as quickly as possible. Pull together your team as necessary, knowing that knowledge is power. Be sure you’re clear about which information is to be shared deeply and by whom. Communication at all levels needs to be consistent and accurate.
At Tier One Technology Partners, we help businesses with technology solutions that enhance your business outcomes. We can help your business with technology that keeps your employees connected and productive as they work remotely. Contact us today to learn more.
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