We don’t know how long the current measures of social distancing will last – so everyone is currently being required to get used to this new reality.
For many, the disruption to their usual mode of operations can be very difficult. As leader in your business, one of your biggest jobs is to keep the boat afloat while keeping your team motivated.
Here are a few recommendations that come from our clients that are keeping their teams connected, happy and productive.
1. Maintain Your Rhythm of Communication
Every successful business leader I know has got a clear rhythm of communication with their team. Whether that’s a weekly Monday morning huddle, a monthly company-wide update, or quarterly sessions to reflect and plan.
While remote working, it is essential that you do not lose the discipline you’ve had thus far and maintain that same rhythm. This will not only keep the momentum of work flowing, but also provide a sense of stability for your team.
2. Do a ‘Check-In’ and ‘Check-Out’
Scheduling a regular check-in in the morning can help your team maintain a sense of routine while working from home. This can be a simple round robin of what everyone is focusing on via video chat, or it could be a written check-in via your Slack, Microsoft Teams, or whatever communication tool you are using.
This can also be an opportunity for you to discuss any changes, and for you to invite your team to provide answers – you don’t have to be a hero or give all the answers all the time.
Equally, at the end of the day, have a check-out in the same form. This allows your team to bring up any obstacles they’ve faced and unload before they take rest for the day.
It also allows you to provide a positive end to each and every day and maintain a sense of them all being in it together.
3. Organise Group Training Sessions
Whether at a time of crisis or not, people want to feel proud of their work and accomplishments. If it makes sense for your team, schedule in some short (no longer than 15 minutes) trainings, where your team members take turns in teaching everyone else. This not only upskills everyone, it also gives your team members confidence and pride.
You may also want to include topics that are more personal or individual rather than business-related. This could be financial (mortgage / rental / loans) support, mental health, dealing with housemates or family members or any other topic relevant to your team.
Your team will feel a greater sense of belonging when you mix both personal and business into these trainings.
4. Schedule 121s
Having private, individual calls with your team is critical at this time to maintain a sense of connection.
It is also a good idea for you to request that they step away from their desks for this call – whether that’s a walk-and-talk while they’re walking their dogs or a step out to their balcony, or even just to the kitchen.
Step out of the work space to get them out of their seat, and also to bring the conversation to a more personal place.
5. Have Open and Optional Virtual Lunches
Some of your team might be keen to just get on with their work, or some might choose to eat at stranger hours than others. But for many people, working from home all alone can be profoundly lonely.
When you schedule an open lunch, which is just to hang out and eat with no agenda, it gives a boost to your lonely team members.
Let conversation happen naturally and let people drop in and out as they wish – it can do wonders for the midday push to get back to work.
6. Create Weekly Challenges
A great way to keep people motivated is to introduce an element of fun into the work environment.
Some of our clients have had a lot of success with running weekly challenges such as:
- Bake Day – everyone needs to bake a cake or something delicious and present it.
- Hat Day– at all meetings that day, everyone has to wear a hat!
- Best T-Shirt contest
- Dress Up Friday – instead of dress down Friday, on Friday everyone has to make an effort to dress specially.
- Virtual Pub Quiz
You can ask your team members to create challenges themselves to get even more engagement and make it more fun for them.
7. End the Week with Virtual Pubs
Congratulations! Your team made it to the end of a hard week of remote working. It’s definitely time to celebrate.
Organise virtual drinks / pizza / cake (maybe leftovers from Bake Day?) and have a less formal chat.
As leader, be sure to recognise the challenges people have faced, but then steer them towards the progress, achievements and the bright lights at the end of the tunnel.
Include some humour and fun to ensure that no matter how dark the week has been, you’re ending it on a high note.
For some of us, adapting to working from home will be easier than for others. I hope that these tips will help you lead from the front and keep morale high.
If you have any further tips that are working for you, please comment below, or let us know at email@example.com.
Equally, if you’re struggling with keeping your team’s spirits high, drop us a line and I or my team will help you in whatever way we can.