We’re now several weeks into a whole new, unprecedented reality as the world comes to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to the myriad personal challenges, organizations are contending with the challenge of keeping a remote workforce just as productive and engaged when the majority of staff are now working outside of the office.
While this period of temporary transition can be difficult, there are, thankfully, many simple steps organizations can take to promote increased productivity and engagement among their remote staff.
We’ll share a few of them below:
Establish a regular check-in cadence among teams
One of the biggest challenges in managing remote workers is ensuring effective and efficient communication. With team members working in environments variably suited for optimal productivity (we’re talking about you, kids), coordinating meetings, and managing projects that involve multiple team members can be especially tricky.
Relying on healthy, consistent communication is more important than ever before. To the best of your ability, establish a regular check-in cadence among teams. Because we can’t simply saunter over to a team member’s desk anymore, everyone has to be even more intentional with their communication to ensure things are moving along smoothly and tasks are being completed. Having a regular meeting time (in the mornings, afternoon, whenever) that quickly becomes second nature will help provide additional opportunities for communication of deadlines, issues, etc.
More than just workplace productivity, providing additional opportunities for communication can help increase morale and engagement. While the effects of isolation affect everyone differently and at varying levels, even small windows of social interaction can have very positive implications.
Even if it’s as quick as 15 minutes, a daily morning hangout meeting allows everyone to get to facetime with their fellow coworkers. You can choose to divide the time between the above work agenda and personal chat, or set two separate meetings; it’s up to you. We can’t stress enough how essential even small steps like these are to ensuring healthy, effective communication, productivity, and a broader sense of connectivity.
Whichever internal communication software you use (Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.), we recommend encouraging everyone to use the video feature to help simulate a real meeting. Just promise not to judge anyone wearing sweatpants.
As we’ve already mentioned, communication is one of the most significant tools at your disposal to navigate these potentially tumultuous times.
More than just the group meetings, though, we recommend organizations take it one step further if it’s feasible. Individuals are all affected by this pandemic differently and are all coping with differing personal, familial, and professional stressors.
Giving everyone an opportunity to have a one-on-one meeting with a supervisor, department head, or senior leadership member to air out concerns, address issues, or simply just to check-in can help employees feel supported and united with the usual goals and visions of the company.
Depending on company size, this may have to be divvied out among managers and department heads, but for those who can, getting in front of each individual contributor to check-in, address any questions, and air out any concerns personally can drastically promote employee engagement and promote productivity.
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Get in touch with us today to hear how we can do it for you.