Now we are a few weeks into our ‘new normal’, organisations have become accustomed to operating with a predominantly remote workforce: pushing through technological difficulties and taking stock of what employees need to be successful, productive and connected.
A number of steps lie in navigating the nuances of deploying a remote workforce: from adapting recruitment efforts and scheduling virtual happy hours to communicate honestly and working through the realities of everyone’s living situation. ConnectWise CTO Jen Locklear gives us 5 crucial rules of lockdown leadership.
Sharpen your recruitment efforts
Companies still in the process of recruiting must lean on phone calls and video conferencing to conduct interviews. Taking the time to learn how to master the necessary technology. Sharpening recruitment efforts in spite of technical difficulties is key.
When onboarding new hires, leadership and HR teams will need to consider how to provide the necessary equipment and ways to welcome them into the team. Employers should make a concerted effort to connect them with their colleagues whilst we’re all out of the office environment.
Remain firm with economic forecasts
Leaders are responsible for ensuring every decision they make will allow their company to sustain and survive this pandemic, which might mean having difficult conversations with employees about expenses. Previous company financial benefits, such as providing a stocked communal kitchen, may no longer make sense and leadership teams must remain firm when planning their economic forecasts. Executives should also use this experience as an opportunity to educate colleagues on the importance of balance and flexibility.
It is important employees are engaged and motivated during the lockdown. Without the ability to check-in face-to-face, organisations should over-communicate. Sending motivational messages, hopping on a 15-minute video call, frequently asking employees how they’re doing or sending a funny meme will help lighten the mood and calm anxieties – bonding the team.
For parents who are having to balance the important needs of educating and entertaining their children, and employees who are caring for ageing relatives, lockdown may be taking its toll. HR teams should provide their employees with resources to help reduce the added stresses that come from staying at home week in, week out. Show empathy and take the extra steps to understand what employees are going through.
Find new ways of working
Take the lockdown as an opportunity to learn, grow and challenge old habits. Now is the time to stop saying, “this is how we’ve always done it” and start embracing the possibilities afforded to us when we embrace technology and adapt to the benefits of a remote workforce.
Ask your employees to provide ideas for ways to stay connected and engaged. Discuss flexible working hours for those who need it. Explore fun online games and every chat tool available. Although we might feel contained by being at home, many of us are just now scratching the world of virtual experiences, so give your business the opportunity to explore.