The business landscape is changing daily as we learn more and more about Covid-19. Chances are, you have recently transitioned into a telework situation within your organization or you are rapidly preparing to do so. Beyond the setting the tone of the organization, how can business leaders promote productivity and accountability during this time of crisis? Here are some suggestions:
Communication is Everything
There is bound to be a communication learning curve if you and your team have never teleworked before. You will experience some hiccups as you figure out the best way to communicate with each other, and as you explore the best practices for your specific business. Be patient. Be understanding. And communicate – perhaps even more than you think you should.
Set specific expectations for your employees. You will not be able to observe the process of the work happening like you normally would within an office. Give yourself (and your employees) clear, specific goals and deadlines, but be compassionate in this strained time.
Establishing clear goals and a protocol for accountability will have you teleworking like pros in no time.
Be a Leader
There is much we do not know about Covid-19, and it is a frightening time for many. As a leader, this is not something you can expect or prep for – but now you’re here.
An important part of teleworking is the tone you, as a leader of your organization, set. Be aware of what is happening. Be prepared, but do not panic. Your employees are feeling, naturally, very vulnerable. It will fall to you to set the tone of your teleworking community. You are going to have to trust that your workers will do just that: work. No one wants to work in a place where they feel expected to fail. Your trust will empower your employees to do their best.
Celebrate the wins. Have a newsletter? Share with the team the successes you see going forward. Using one of the aforementioned project management platforms? Start a thread where people can post what they are excited about. Encourage healthy connection with one another.
It goes without saying that successful telework hinges on the use of technology. There are more platforms than ever before that will aid you and your employees with this transition. Even pre-coronavirus, plenty of companies had built extremely successful teleworking methodologies. Here are some examples:
Project Management Platforms: (Teamwork, Slack, Asana) These will help you keep a consistent thread of communication up with your employees. To do lists, relevant links, updates on work done – these platforms offer communication for all your needs.
Audio/Video Conferencing: (Zoom, ScreenLeap, Slack) Software that can be used to screen share and will also support multi-person video conference calls. Need to explain how to do a task like you would if you were training in person? Screen sharing and audio conferencing will get the job done in no time at all.
Time Management Tools: (Time Doctor, Toggl, Timely) It can be challenging to manage your time when teleworking, and stressful to think about other people managing theirs appropriately. Some of these platforms even integrate with the project management platforms mentioned above!
When a crisis breaks, an organization will look to the CEO for guidance. The CEO needs to be the strong, decisive voice of the company, handling external and internal challenges promptly and effectively. Read my article How CEOs Can Help in a Crisis Situation to learn more about a CEO’s need to step up in a crisis like the one we are facing today.
As always, if you have any specific questions or concerns, please contact me today