This is the challenge all businesses are facing in 2020.
Ensuring their team stays mentally resilient in turbulent times.
It is all too easy to presume your team are ok, because they aren’t telling you any different. But our role as a leader is to ensure that well-being is integrated into the business, and that our team really are ok!
It isn’t as challenging as you would think, for most businesses it is simply a case of tweaking what is in place already.
How to manage well-being in a remote team
- Put a face to the name. I know we all feel zoomed out to a degree. However I am still an advocate for using face to face calls wherever possible. Seeing and reading emotions is far more powerful than a standard call. If you would have addressed something face to face before – then keep following that trend.
- Consider office hours…. When we moved to a virtual world, we eradicated the “quick question” and the “do you have five minutes” chats. People are isolated from each other, and worried about disturbing “the boss” now we are all out of the office. A fantastic idea is to hold an office hour every day. Simply tell your team that every day between a set time, you will on a video call and open for any queries that should take less than 10 minutes to solve. When a team member joins you on the call, simply “lock” the room. Anyone else with a question or a query can simply hang fire for 10 minutes before trying again. A perfect way for your team to bring problems and solutions to your door without them feeling like they are disturbing your time.
- Show flexibility and give it in return. Dare I say the traditional 9-5 is dead? With home working becoming the norm, school pick ups and lack of childcare being usual. Can you demand a 9-5 day from your team. Or can you agree core business hours such as 10-3, with the understanding that the rest of the job gets done outside of those hours? My feeling is most teams would relish this flexibility when they have other commitments that 2020 has interrupted.
- Your stress levels. As a leader, and business owner, how are you doing? Because now is the time to take care of yourself. If you don’t look after your own mental health and well-being, then how can you practice this in your team? As the saying goes – put your own mask on first. How are you finding time to destress, and how can you manage a team in a time of crisis without them taking the pressure. This is vital, when you are rattled, teams get anxious. When teams get anxious they don’t perform. When they don’t perform, the business doesn’t hit target. You have to find a way to manage your own stress; and work overload probably isn’t the answer. Fasten your seatbelt first, then your teams, and always present a calm, confident front.
- Check in, not check up… Repeatedly texting or calling your staff and asking are you ok is liable to get the same daily answer. So be different, find a way to communicate daily with your direct line reports in a way that encourages communication rather forces a “I’m good” reply. Text and Whatsapp tend to be more informal means of communication; consider texting something you saw that was relevant to a team member and telling them you thought of them. Ask not how you are, but how can you can make their day easier? Remind them you are free for office hour catch ups, and ask after their spouse, kids or family. Encourage a conversation and be human – 2020 is all about re discovering what is important to people.
Firstly, I think this is the right thing to do. Your employees right now are your companies biggest asset, and what will get you through this pandemic. They have been scared and scarred by this year, it has created uncertainty and stress. Neither of these two conditions bring about a productive workforce. If you can replace those with security and wellbeing you are far more likely to have a performing team delivering results through 2020 and into 2021!
For more support managing remotely and onboarding a new team please download our free e-guide
We regularly run well-being and leadership events, to find out more please visit our events pages.