It used to be easy to walk outside of your office and check on your team members. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this management style has had to change. Instead of walking out the door, you use technology to manage your team. While this might seem more difficult, you can still be an effective leader. Follow these tips to manage your team remotely.
Have Daily Check-ins
Some people work well without much supervision. They get their work done on their own and without any problems. Others require regular managerial feedback. If they can’t ask questions or update managers on their project status, they risk getting off track and fail to meet deadlines. Also, they are likely to get stressed out due to the lack of feedback. You can avoid this problem by having daily check-ins with your team. Be sure to check in with everyone, even the team members who work well remotely. Make individual or group calls and use the time to answer questions or provide direction. This will make it seem like you are in the office, managing your team, even if you’re at home, in a different city, or in a different state altogether.
Use Video Technology
As a manager, you know the importance of body language. People often say more with their bodies than they do with their mouths. If you only rely on telephone check-ins, you won’t get to evaluate nonverbal cues. For example, let's say a team member is having trouble with a project. When you ask for an update over the phone, he says it’s going fine. You take him at his word. Later, you video chat with him, and while he says it’s going fine, his face turns red and he runs his hand through his hair, which you’ve noticed he only does when he’s nervous. You ask him about it, he admits that he needs help, and you avert the crisis. This is just one example of why video communication is so important. Use Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or another tool to connect with your team using video.
Offer Remote Social Interaction
People feel more isolated than ever before. Shelter-in-place orders prevent people from engaging in normal social activities. The isolation and loneliness can bleed into your organization. When people feel isolated, they are likely to become depressed and anxious. Also, if they feel isolated at work, they won’t feel like they belong. That means they are more likely to burn out or leave your organization. You can combat this problem by arranging for remote social interaction. Some companies plan virtual happy hours or office parties, but you can keep it simple by socializing at the beginning of virtual check-ins. People will enjoy catching up with one another, and this will make them feel like an important part of their team and the overall organization.
Use Different Forms of Technology
Since you’ll stay connected with technology, you need to explore your options and embrace different tools. You will likely use both your phone and computer to check in with employees. Consider adding messenger apps to your work devices so people can reach you when needed. Let everyone know when you’ll be available on the platform and then let them message you as needed.
Be Free with Positive Feedback
Anxiety levels are high right now, so your employees may need you to reassure them. Dispense positive feedback often to boost your employees’ morale. This type of feedback will help them relax and excel at work.
Solidify Your Team During the Pandemic
This pandemic is unlike anything your team has experienced before. You are also likely anxious and a little confused, but as the leader, you need to put on a strong front for your employees. That includes continuing to succeed as a manager. Use these tips to continue managing your team.
The world is facing a crisis right now, and working remotely isn’t always easy. If you need help with tasks related to your marketing, graphic design, and print work, we’re happy to help. Contact the team at Ironmark and let us know how we can help you and your team through these challenging times.