Uncertain times usually bring unexpected changes. As we continue to navigate through this sudden change, working from home has become the new normal. Although it's easy for some to continue working from home, for others it can create a difficult working environment. Leaders in particular need to go the extra mile in order to help employees stay on track and continue running a business under unprecedented circumstances.
Here are some ways you as a leader can manage a team that successfully gets work done from home:
1. Communicate New Expectations
Discussing expectations with your team is crucial right now. The only way they can get stuff done is if they know what they're trying to get done. If you review your numbers and realize you won't hit the goals you set at the beginning of the year, it's important that you let your team know. There's already enough panic and confusion as it is and you don't want your team to be scared to let you know that content views have decreased, subscriptions are low, and that products aren't selling like they used to.
You as the leader have to keep things running smoothly. Let them know that those numbers are being adjusted according to the times and provide them with new numbers instead. Discuss expectations that are realistic with current circumstances. Talk about these new expectations in a clear and concise matter in order to make sure everyone in the team understands. Hold a Zoom web conference where everyone can share their new action plan. Then, send a company-wide follow-up email to keep everyone in the loop.
2. Move Meetings Online
Although work has transitioned home, meetings must still go on. Your one-on-ones and regular team meetings shouldn't be cancelled. Luckily, technology and apps allow us to hold such things remotely which means your team meetings shouldn't be compromised.
Successfully managing a team means keeping everyone updated at all times. After all, how will a business run smoothly if some of your team members are behind? Schedule all meetings and send calendar invites to corresponding attendants. Don't expect your team members to just remember a meeting is happening. Creating a calendar invite and scheduling meetings guarantees that people will attend and prepare accordingly. Host your meetings via Zoom or on other video chatting platforms like Google Hangouts or Skype.
During your meetings make sure to not only share any updates, but also ask your team members to provide their action plan and communicate what they will be working on. Hold everyone accountable in order to help them stay on track and be productive. Having these meetings will push your team to work towards their goals and hold work at the same level of priority as they did back at the office.
3. Create a Space for Discussion
Once all the new updates have been established and expectations have been set, create a space where your team members can discuss updates and any roadblocks they encounter. In order for a business to function smoothly, tasks have to be completed in steps in order to give way to the next department. If one department hasn't done their job, then the next department won't be able to do theirs until the first task is done.
Roadblocks can also include software problems or questions that have yet to be answered in order for the process to begin. Obstacles are always going to exist so it's important that you as the leader create a space for these obstacles to be discussed and resolved immediately. There are several work management platforms, like Monday and Asana, which help keep the office updated according to what tasks need to be performed and by who.
4. Communicate Strategically
Unless you want to create workflow distraction, avoid checking up and questioning your team every 5 minutes. Instead, send a message or email at the beginning of the day and at the end. This will establish expectations for the day and then help you gather an end of the day recap once the work day is over.
Having a strategy to effectively communicate with your team is essential for a successful day of work. Effective communication is crucial now more than ever with people working from home. It paves the way for a productive and strong team. Keeping everyone in the company informed during these times is what will help businesses thrive through these uncertain days.