By | Parna Bhattacharyya | Manager – Learning and Talent Global Business Services at ABB and Writer
Yesterday in a WhatsApp group I ended up chatting with a friend whom I knew from my previous organization. He was a wonderful team leader. Many a time I sat down with him to learn many tricks of managing a team from him. However, I was amazed to know that he was struggling to manage his team. His team’s performance slipped, and he had no clue as to how to pull them up. As per him, this is a unique time and that he never handled a team remotely ever for such a long time. What was so easy face to face is such a daunting task for him now.
This made me think. In fact, many other friends did complain of a similar issue. Managing a team under one roof is always so easy. It was easy to keep track of work and get a feeler of the team’s needs.
But the future of work is no way much under a roof. This time is such that many old ways are needed to be tweaked.
Many old habits are to be discarded. Hence, I have 6 tips that will work during this time and I will highly recommend all people managers to try out.
Tip #1: Practice daily standup meetings
Every single day choose a common time (preferably during the early hours of the shift time) to discuss for quick 10 – 15 mins
– The most important items and what needs to be completed to look successful at the end of the day
– What support the team will need
– Announce a new small yet powerful virtual team building activity.
Tip # 2: Announce daily a small yet powerful team-building activity
It can be a small fun quiz. It can be a photo competition. It can be a dress-code for the day. Color of the day …you can be totally creative here and allow your team to be creative too.
Tip#3: One-o-One call and connect:
Make sure to connect with every individual at least once in a week. Try to understand if they are relaxed or they will need some help in making them relax. This is a very difficult time and not all will be able to cope this time with equal strength. Do this preferably over a video call so that you get to see them.
Tips #4: Be specific and be clear when you communicate:
1. Remote work needs communication to be more specific, precise and clear. Use audio conference/web screen sharing as much as possible.
2. Do not use emails as the only mode of communication – in fact, use email for post-call documentation – or as a document of reference for later use purposes.
Tip# 5: Keep all channels of communication open:
As the leader of the team, you will have to be reachable every moment and make sure you are available when your team needs you the most
Tip# 6: Daily summaries and celebrations
This is the mark of a leader. The ability to do a daily summary and write praiseworthy notes to your team members is the key !! Working from home has also left the team vulnerable and deprived of warm smiles, acknowledgments. Make sure you do it without fail. These small nudges will keep the team going. They will know that their favorite leader is there beside them.