5 Ways To Build A Strong And Inspired Team Working From Home
The global pandemic of 2020 has forced many companies to restructure their entire organization and look at ways to adapt and move with regulation while keeping their business afloat.
These unprecedented events have had an impact on businesses of all sizes, not just the solopreneur or small business, but the big corporations.
As someone who worked in corporate America for years, I know how much attention and focus executives place on ensuring their employees are inspired, happy, and motivated at the workplace. Simply put, executives believe their employees do their best work at the company office.
But now things have changed. With restrictions still in place and an end nowhere in sight, how do we make the most of what we have, and build strong and productive teams while working from home?
There is something about the process of waking up every morning, commuting to work, and entering the workplace. Not only is it routine, but it is discipline. You feel more in tune with what is going on, you can have a talk with your boss, you can be more open and expressive in person.
You see, while you are at work, it is time to work. When you are at home, it should be a time to unwind and spend time with your family and friends.
So how do we ensure that our employees and contractors remain disciplined and inspired to continue doing a great job while meeting and exceeding our customer's needs and wants?
In this article, I will outline five ways that I have used as an online entrepreneur managing remote teams all over the world.
- Build Communication Channels:
Working from home means that your meetings, one-to-one conversations, project work, etc fully move online. Without communication, there is no way that you are going to get anything done.
I recommend picking one channel that you can direct communication through so that your team is not only versed on what the goals and objectives are but what is getting done and who is responsible for each action item.
There are many great tools to ensure fluid and secure communication but my favorite is slack. Slack allows you to ensure clear communication across all of your departments.
Let’s say you are the owner of a clothing company. Obviously, you have many different departments that you need to manage and control. Creating channels inside Slack will allow you to departmentalize your business. You’ll end up having dedicated slack channels for marketing, sales, operations, finance, and human resources. This allows you to add the relevant people and leaders into each channel.
Not only are you ensuring smooth and clear communication but you can also integrate other apps like Trello, Google Drive, and Dropbox to connect work tools with the communication flow.
Slack will allow you to optimize your workflow and communication into specific channels rather than having your individual staff members create their own separate conversations, which will often lead to duplication of effort, and a lack of prioritization on the most important tasks at hand.
- Be Flexible:
For most people, working from home is new territory. It can be stressful and uncomfortable for those that are not tech-savvy or may have kids to manage or be in an area that is not well equipped for a home office setup. In the early stages, be sure to be flexible and considerate in helping your employees get familiar with this new way of work.
Working from home brings distractions that typically don’t exist in the workplace so do be considerate of your employees in the early stages of setup. As your employees become more accustomed to working from home, do be open and flexible to events or unforeseen situations that may arise while your employees are carrying out their daily work duties.
- Employee Needs:
Just like a mechanic needs a good set of tools to perform their job at a high level, working from home will require additional resources like laptops, desks, chairs, and good wifi. Employee comfort is important for creating a productive and enjoyable work environment. Employees who aren’t comfortable are more likely to get distracted, complain, and be in pain rather than focusing on the work at hand. An ergonomic desk setup and good wifi can 10X your employee’s productivity and happiness.
- Set Expectations:
I look at everything in life with both a positive and negative. While these times are difficult for everyone, it is also a way for your employees to show up and prove themselves. Now is the time where you should see your best people show up and perform.
Because interaction between you and your employees is now virtual, it may be good to schedule one-to-one weekly video sessions to monitor individual performance, This can be done through a zoom call with reference to a simple google document that you and the individual create and track over time.
On that document should be a list of expectations and deliverables along with feedback on performance. Often our employees do not have the direct feedback to know if they are actually performing in a way that is in alignment with a manager’s expectations.
- Daily Huddle:
Because work is remote in nature, it is vital that you create a daily huddle. This is usually a 30-60 minute meeting that goes through the key priorities for the day.
It is also a chance for the leader or visionary of the company to emphasize where the company is heading. It may also be a good opportunity to do a round table discussion where each of your employees discusses in five minutes or less what they are working on and the challenges that they may be facing.
I have no idea if we will return to normal this year, but for now, keep focused on your goals and be aware of how critical your team is to the success of your business.
"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." --Michael Jordan.
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