Business leaders are facing a challenge. How do you ensure that your currently high performing team stays that way now you’re all working remotely? Particularly when this is new ground for many of you and most of your teams. Here’s our guide to keeping teams productive and pushing forward in the months ahead.
Set Clear Expectations From The Start
If you don’t have clear goals for productivity and performance, you’ll not have anything to benchmark against to see how well you’re doing. Also, your team won’t know what they’re supposed to be shooting for. In a time of uncertainty, knowing exactly what’s expected comes as a relief to most individuals. If you want things to be a certain way, set out your stall from the get go, don’t expect your team to just know what you require of them.
Brilliance Requires Basic Needs To Be Met
Whilst you’re worrying about keeping your team on their A-game, chances are they have a whole different set of worries. By recognising that, empathising with their concerns and trying to offer practical suggestions you’ll win a lot of loyalty and renewed effort. It may be worth having 10 minutes at the start of each one to one to just check in on how they’re managing with their health, their mood, childcare, elderly relatives, access to supplies etc. This not only shows you really care about the individual, but also gives you a chance to bring any underlying issues that might affect their performance to the surface and deal with them head on.
Set Aside Time For Socialising
This might feel counter intuitive, but allocating specific slots where you all get together to just talk or allowing a set period at the start of a meeting for small talk will help keep team cohesion. We’re social animals and allowing for a bit of non work interaction will be great for morale and allow you to more easily keep your team on task when you get to the important stuff like productive meetings and keeping projects moving.
Review Your Systems And Processes
What worked when you were shoulder to shoulder in the office may not be fit for purpose over distance. Taking a detailed and objective look at your current workflows will allow you to identify weak spots and request the necessary tools and resources to address them. Embrace all the best that the digital world has to offer you, even if that wasn’t part of your annual strategy back in January. Give any changes a couple of weeks to bed in and make sure you’re consistent and rigorous in adhering to them, you’ll be back to running like clockwork in no time.
Great Communication Is Key
When working remotely, you’ll need to be more proactive and thorough with your communications as a whole if team performance is to stay at the required level. You should also consider your communication channels carefully. It might feel easier to just send another email, but this can rapidly lead to inbox overwhelm and a feeling of disconnectedness, so try to use video conferencing or at least phone whenever you can and keep email for sharing documents etc.
Flexibility Is Essential For High Functioning Teams Of the Future
It’s highly likely that your team will have as much time, if not more, to devote to their work than normal and will embrace it to stave off the inevitable boredom. It’s important for business leaders to understand that this time may not always be during conventional office hours and to embrace the overall effort offered by an individual rather than when that work actually happens in the course of a day. Caring for children, friends and relatives tends to intrude on the standard 9-5 and allowing for this will win you a higher degree of dedication and effort when the time to work comes.
We wish you and your team the very best of luck adapting to your new working reality and if the idea of a digital investment platform is suddenly making even more sense than it was already, we’re ready to help you realise the benefits this can offer to your remote working team.