Covid19 has indeed shaken up our whole world right now.
Many organisations are finding their way to pivot and trying to find magic pills can solve their headaches now.
Here are what many managers are currently facing…
- Team productivity seems to be on the decline and cannot accurately be measured.
- Employees aren’t engaged properly due to stress.
- Management doesn’t have a proper strategy or way to manage uncharted tasks.
Last but not least the manager’s job is on the line and uncertain what their career will look like…among all the uncertainty. The number one question I have been getting during this crisis is:
How do you keep your employee or team engaged?
I mean, it is all well and good to have a process in place. But it is more than just a process manual they will need.
In order to increase productively, you must ensure employees are engaged; and in order to keep them engaged you must…keep your employees HAPPY!!!.
What do I mean by that?
Good leadership is about understanding the needs of the employees as much as the clients. It’s a basic human need.
We all seek happiness, from our work, from our life, and from our relationships.
And when an employee does not feel happy coming into work, how do you think that is going to reflect on productivity and engagement?
“The true measure of productivity and performance are momentum and trust”
In uncertain times like these, when we are all working from home, we get that it can be quite overwhelming and stressful. Especially when you still have to home-school your children, doing your day job as well as looking after household duties as well.
Let’s not mention you sometimes get confused if you are at work or at home since your home becomes your COVID-19 emergency office!!!
So really, the whole momentum and building trust with teams are probably the last thing on your list.
However, being a leader, especially during a time of crisis, sometimes it is important to go back to the basics.
Which is connecting with your employees and inspiring by leading change.
We get that dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis is a very unique situation and that you have to be accountable for the greater good of the company.
But here is the silver lining, this could be your opportunity to shine as a great leader.
So, in a time like this, working from home, the need for active communication and an accurate measurement for productivity is higher than ever before.
Here are three golden rules that work like a charm.
1. Allocate a check-in time
Whether it is different times of the day or week, run a quick meeting in the morning, after lunch or at the end of the day.
This not only keeps your employees accountable but it also allows you to keep track of their performance. This allows you to know who you need to support more if they are facing a bottleneck. Especially during this time. This helps you measure the work done and put a time frame on it.
Communication is key here, so keep in touch with the team. As a leader, it is important to give support when they need it and make them feel that they are being heard.
2. Simple Acknowledgement and Recognition
Build a relationship with your employees especially during this time.
Spend that extra 5-10 minutes a day to acknowledge the effort that your team puts in their work and congratulate them on the little victories. Individual recognition is so understated.
When your team feels recognised, they will go that extra mile and meet that target for you. If they know that their efforts are going to be appreciated and recognised.
Create a valued relationship with your employees by expressing gratitude and appreciation towards them. A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way. Let them know that you are the leader and that you care for them. Especially in times like this, they need to know that their work is being recognised.
3. Work Hard and Play Hard Balance
You might think team building exercise might be a waste of time during this pandemic. When everyone is just so busy running around and getting everyone to just work!
But it is these human connections we are creating that will keep employees to be more engaged and be reminded of what your values and vision that your organisation uphold during working from home period.
We all seek happiness from our life, be it our work, our home or our relationships. Team building creates better trust and enhances relationships among the teams.
It opens the doors to better and transparent communication that not only helps your team grow but build a better virtual culture for your organisation too.
Encouraging discussions and considering opinions is the mark of a great leader. and there is no better way of doing this while having a bit of fun.
“You don’t build a business- you build people- and then people build the business.” – Zig Ziglar
Every now and then, it is also your job as a leader to keep a track of the team especially when working from home.
Your Leadership during this time will decide your future in your company.
Instead of thinking about managing this situation, ask yourself if there are some measures that you can implement to become a better leader during this time of need.
Remember your team will only be as productive as you are.
So setting a standard for maintaining expectations will let the team know what is expected of them.
Engagement is not something that is implemented in one day.
Keep away from micromanaging and start building trust.
After all, engagement in simpler terms is about building better and stronger relationships.
Focus on your people and you will 10X your team performance offline and online. As Simon Sinek says, ‘Leaders Eat Last’.
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Iris Du is a leadership strategist and human behaviour expert who thrives on helping individuals, leaders and businesses achieve the success they deserve. Drawing on leadership, attraction and manifestation strategies, Iris works with organisations to help them leverage their natural talent to create highly engaged and high-performing leaders and teams.