HR Snapshot #29: Being the Boss when you aren't with your team
Posted on 18th January 2021 at 15:47
As we head into the third week of Lockdown 3.0, it’s worth reminding ourselves as business leaders how we can best lead our teams even if we aren’t with them.
When this lockdown was announced, the Prime Minister stated that wherever possible, we should work from home. Of course many bosses now have to balance, more than ever, the interests of the business with the wellbeing of their employees.
Here is a quick reminder on 4 strategies to ensure productivity:
Keep in contact with your team. Hold regular team meetings via Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Skype. Create the opportunity for staff to ask questions, update other members of the team and discuss any issues they may have. It could be useful to offer staff members the opportunity to speak to you on an individual basis in case there are any issues they don’t want to share with the whole team.
One boss we know holds twice-weekly team meetings over Teams as a light touch to ensure vital projects are kept on track and communication is healthy. Another checks in with his new starters personally on Fridays: starting a new job in a pandemic is tough, and he doesn’t want to lose his investment in these future stars.
Encourage members of staff to look after their own mental health and wellbeing. Ensure that your staff are aware of the guidelines for protecting mental health during the outbreak that were published by the WHO recently, which include:
That everyone takes a break from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
Employees need to take care of their physical health.
Make time to unwind.
Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Knowing that they have this support will help your staff if they are struggling with ‘the juggle’.
Give feedback. If your staff aren’t with you then you need to let them know how you feel they are getting on and that their hard work in the face of a very difficult situation, is appreciated.
As an example you could send an end of the week email to say thank you, highlighting something they have dealt with particularly well that week.
Bring staff together as a group (virtually). If possible, why not consider creating a WhatsApp group or similar safe space in which colleagues can maintain the feeling of community that they have created in the workplace? Working from home can be isolating; some staff members may have children but others may be alone. Both of these situations can be difficult to deal with and to have a more informal space to communicate any concerns, or let off steam, can be invaluable.
It’s useful to remember that everyone is doing the best they can in very difficult, unusual circumstances. After almost a whole year of various levels of restrictions, people need to know that they have support out there to keep motivated.
Humber HR People has also created a practical guide* for small businesses on how to keep business afloat during the Coronavirus outbreak has been produced in response to questions from small business owners in March 2020. Contributors include Kellie Calvert, MCIPD Director of HR, Humber HR People and Kate van der Sluis, FRIP, Managing Partner. It is intended as a practical guide only - for specific advice for your business please contact a suitably qualified professional.
You can read the guide here or for a FREE PDF copy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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