Managing Staff in a Remote World

Among the most challenging elements of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the transition to working from home. Office leaders in all industries feared that they lacked the resources to work remote, and those with the technological means to acclimate were concerned that productivity would decrease in their teams. While many practices have adapted in these changing times, we recommend these 4 tips to appropriately manage your staff remotely.

Hold Daily Huddles

Start each day with a 10 minute ‘stand up meeting.’ Use this time to review daily tasks, go over client meetings, and discuss roadblocks your team is facing. This meeting can be used as a source for accountability, or a chance to connect with your team for a few minutes each day.

Utilize a Task Management System

Working from home takes away the ability to walk across the hall in the office to double check that work is getting done or to lend a hand. In teams we coach, we have digital tracking systems that we recommend that allow you to follow the tasks that your team is managing. Applying dashboards in an online forum allows you to have appropriate checks and balances needed to ensure that work is being completed.

Keep a Pulse on Your People

In a normal office environment, you can use non-verbal cues and inter-office chitchat to stay in the know on the status of your team. That ability is taken away in a virtual world. To fill in the gap, set up 1:1 calls and use an online feedback systems to stay connected to your team. Ask them questions like what is working well, or how you can support them? You may use meeting time for additional learning, to help them through a particular case, or simply to be a listening ear. There may not be a work-related need to meet but asking someone about their day could go a long way for a team member who could use a pick-me-up and connection.

Trust Your Team

Just because someone shows ‘Do Not Disturb’ as their status message does not always mean they are preoccupied with inappropriate tasks. They may need that time to focus without distractions, or they could be on the phone with a client. Likewise, be understanding to background noise or children passing by—everyone is doing their best to adapt to the situation.

Being a manager has always been challenging, but now more than ever, people are looking to strong leadership to guide them through this crisis. The most impactful form of leading is by example. The routine that you set for yourself is likely to be reflected by your team in the way that they go about their day. While we recommend the above tactics to manage your team, remember to manage yourself, too. Give yourself a day off when you need it and encourage your team to do the same. Stepping away from the craziness of this year can give you and your team the rejuvenation you need to continue moving forward.

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