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Helping Your Team Stay Level Headed When Nothing is What It Was

Monica Webster

The year 2020 has changed the rules of the game for businesses. Ever since March 2020 came along, nothing is what it was. The challenge of migrating all operations online is not only a question of infrastructure but of understanding and managing the needs of personnel.

Making sure that the team stays productive, maintains a positive outlook, and feels as normal as possible under circumstances that aren’t actually normal is arguably a bigger challenge than simply establishing an online infrastructure. Let’s have a look at the ways to thrive and adapt in these challenging times.

Open communication

Uncertainty continues to prevail. The unknown we’re forced to face during the COVID-19 pandemic affects us all. It harnesses fear, anxiety, and even panic. And that’s natural. Communication here is key. When thinking of your team, you need to realize that, while you as a business leader might not have all the answers, your focus should be on providing avenues for direct communication and empathy. Keep everyone in the loop. Inform your employees about how the company is responding and planning to continue the effort. Honest communication will allow your team to feel less alone and comforted. In times like these, this is important. Also, be reachable in case anyone wants to bring in their concerns, and treat communication as a two-way street.

Outline expectations

This goes hand in hand with the previous point. When facing the unknown, understanding what is expected of you can be a game changer. Take the time to set goals – realistic goals – and communicate them clearly. Provide insight and guidance and openly discuss the ways to achieve those objectives. Your team shouldn’t be confused about what’s expected of them and how they should navigate their ways to meet those expectations. Remember — the feeling of accomplishment is a powerful motivator. If all of this is done right, your team will feel motivated and relaxed, which is a core component for any organization that wants to maintain a productive output at the present time.

Establish a convenient infrastructure

To achieve goals and objectives, any business during the COVID-19 pandemic needs to provide a convenient way for their teams to work and operate online. It’s not just about moving everything online but also about the tools you use to get the job done as effectively as possible. Few things are as annoying as not having access to files and documents that are essential to completing a task. In a remote work situation, your team doesn’t have immediate access to each other, which is, as we now realize, often the magic ingredient that makes things work. Additionally, consider adopting hybrid work modes if your team is having trouble working only from their self-contained bubbles at home. Hear your team out and ask what they absolutely need to feel as comfortable and effective as possible. Consider adopting tools such as cloud-based file sync and share solutions for quick and convenient access to files. Project management and project collaboration tools, as well as cybersecurity and video conferencing solutions, should all be on your list when establishing a remote workspace for your team.

Prioritize your team’s well-being above all else

As businesses send their employees to work from home, some businesses operate in industries that might not have the opportunity to operate entirely online. Some organizations have a model of operations that obliges them to continue to have their teams on premises physically. If your company falls under this category, take action to ensure that you do everything in your power to provide an environment that is safe on all possible fronts. Take the time and resources for redesigning the work space, improving the room booking system or even relocating certain premises if that's what is necessary to ensure the health and safety of your staff. Contact the appropriate regulatory agencies to get help and guidance on how to do that and let your employees know that their health and well-being is your priority.

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Organize team building

Keep your workplace “social” even when your employees are socially distant. Remember that your team chose your organization for more than just money. Company culture is important. Feeling welcome and having good people surrounding you is a recipe for success. Preserve that culture by organizing team-building activities. You can use video conferences to play online games with your employees. Wine tasting could also be fun. Whatever you choose, remember that such activities should not revolve around work-related subjects — it’s about fun. Remembering that we can still have a good time in difficult times is often the key to maintaining a positive outlook.

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