And for many managers, not only are they trying to lead people in a highly uncertain time, but they’re also getting a crash course in managing a remote workforce at the same time as many businesses shifted to working from home where possible to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Here, we look at 7 tips for managing your staff in the midst of a pandemic – and how you can harness technology to make your life a little easier.
- Coordinate healthy workplace practices. Educate employees regularly about to prevent the spread of the virus, and establish and communicate a cleaning protocol to help decrease the risk of infection. Establish an easy location for employees to answer questions, or implement a chatbot to help answer and route questions in real-time to keep employees informed.
- Establish a contingency plan for sick time and unexpected time off. Not only are we in the midst of a pandemic, but many employees are also balancing caregiving responsibilities and administering online school to children. Your business should plan ahead to reduce the burden on existing employees and the business with a spike in absences. Implementing a people management software solution can help plan at both a department and organizational level and spot trends before they become a problem.
- Refine your focus on deliverables and KPIs. You should be able to quantify your work and clearly measure how individuals on your team stack up against the KPIs. Staying close to these metrics can help you focus on team members who may need additional support – and stop micromanaging. Analytics software can enable you to identify and analytics patterns and trends in the data to predict outcomes and make adjustments to improve overall business performance.
- We meant it: stop micromanaging. Transitioning to remote teams can make even the most empowering manager feel tempted to micromanage since it’s impossible to track your people. But fight the urge. Establish which metrics really matter to indicate performance (probably not how often an employee is active on Slack) and hone in on those. As a manager, your end goal is a high performing team – even if they appear “inactive” on the chat system every once and a while.
- Communicate effectively and frequently. With fewer to no facial cues and no ability to meet team members for coffee, you’ll need to lean on your productivity tools to help you communicate. Video conferencing and instant messaging are effective ways to do this. You may even consider establishing set “office hours” where you’re fully available for video chat.
- Be critical of adding new tools just for quantity. ZD Net dubs this mindset of “more” tools a curse of remote work (even nicknaming it YAT – Yet Another Tool). As employees grapple with a remote environment, it can be tempting to roll out a bevy of new tools. But be a stickler about each addition – or find a technology consultant who will be – because too many tools tend to be more overwhelming than empowering.
- Be intentional with check-ins. To ensure you keep in regular communication with your team, Forbes recommends, you should:
- Establish regular meeting times for team updates.
- Schedule 1:1 meetings virtually
- Create opportunities for teambuilding and casual conversation
- Coordinate large scale efforts with IT and other relevant departments. Why? You don’t want to spend the first 10 minutes of your update fighting with the technology or begging a rogue attendee to mute.
Would top-notch IT talent make your life easier in this challenging time?
Business leaders are fighting to keep their organizations competitive and employee engagement, not to mention fighting back personal worries and challenges ignited by the coronavirus pandemic. The last thing you need is a fight to get the technology you need in place. Whether you’re looking for a new IT outsourcing model, IT staff augmentation or just a technology expert to shape your strategy, TechGenies is here to help you with the technology solutions you need to make it through this time. Contact us today at email@example.com to get started.