During this Covid-19 pandemic, staff whose work is not classified as “essential services” will have to conduct their duties from home. This brings about a spectrum of challenges for managers and their team members. Team members have a variation of situations to deal with at their respective homes and the lockdown may cause feelings of disconnect and loneliness.
Some of the team members may also fall through the cracks and get overlooked. Strategies need to be developed in order to keep team members goal oriented, motivated and to simply get the work done especially for teams whose work is co-dependent.
Here are some strategies:
Clearly defined goal and Roles
It is important for each team member to know and fully comprehend where they fall within the work process i.e. retail and food chain industries will need to ensure that everything flows properly and timeously so a process flow should be created and readily available.
- Once roles are defined, it also underlines the importance of communication between team members, this further makes less work for the manager.
- Communication is key so that team members are always aware of what the other member is working towards, who must do what? and what is expected of team members? and by when?
Streamline tasks in line with capacity at hand
During this time multiple new projects may come up, this also mean that team members will have different roles in different tasks. The manager must be careful not to put too much on each team member’s plate and also ensure that each role for each task is streamlined ensuring that all the members for a specific task are essential and not redundant to ensure cohesion in the team.
Communication is important, it ensures that team members do not feel lonely and disconnected. It also motivates team members and keeps them goal orientated.
- In other instances, we might need to swap emails for more real time media such as Zoom, Gotomeetings, Skype, etc.
- Managers must also ensure to keep all team members in mind at all times. A helpful tool is for the manager to keep the names and photos of all team member on hand at all times to avoid neglecting other team members.
- Having regular meetings is also very helpful, allocate time for personal updates, usually at the start of a meeting to preserve the sense of comradery.
In order for team members to understand each other better, it is important for each team member to know what the team members working environment is like, each team member can conduct a virtual tour for the team member and the managers. Working from home also means that some people may only be able to work at certain times which may be outside normal working hours. Managers should allow for such as per each member’s living situation.
During this time, it is imperative to keep one’s assumption and stereotypes in check as such can be counter-productive. Managers should deal with the realities presented by their team members and use the strategies listed above to adapt and get the work done.