Managing teams whilst social distancing is the new norm now that COVID19 has become our normal day to day life.
The virus disrupted the workplace like never before. Within weeks, organisations moved employees to work from home – across industries. Without warning, preparation and time – managers were leading virtual teams in stressful and uncertain times.
It’s challenging to manage oneself during quarantine – let alone the additional task of managing a team under these conditions. However, uncertain times can lead to unprecedented positive outcomes.
With the new normal being social distancing and some teams in the office and others remote it’s important to put in place a strategy for managing interactions.
Read our top 5 tips to manage your team while social distancing to support their learning and well-being:
- Reset expectations – Let go of earlier methods of when and how tasks are accomplished. Allow team members to decide and accomplish their responsibilities on their own terms. Focus on results, not methods, and offer more flexibility.
- Keep in touch – Update even if there is no update. Leave no space for information vacuum within the team. Use instant messaging via your intranet or Zoom chat to stay in regular contact. Think if you want to hold a team huddle every day at the same time. A good idea is to have a different team member each day leading the huddle.
- Support continued learning – Share short lessons in a 10 – 15 minute segment. Cover specific tools, behaviours or skills that might need to be learnt due to current times. Ask the team for their suggestions on identifying the learning topic.
- Prioritise wellbeing – Make it clear to the team that your chief concern is their well-being. Fix up one-on-one catch ups and block that time. It’s harder to read emotional cues when you aren’t in the same room. Pay close attention to the tone of written communication and any physical gestures in video communication. Noticing changes in work behaviours will help you identify the need for additional support requirements, early on.
- Model optimism – Optimism is contagious. Help your team find purpose while working remotely by demonstrating confidence and hopefulness. Remember constraints are often enabling factors to spark innovation. Invite your team to use the current conditions as a stimulus for new ideas and efficient process changes.
When you create and sustain positive work conditions, you enable your team members to perform and contribute.
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