Just last week the majority of your staff worked on-site and now your entire team is working remotely, potentially with a whole family, including pets, in their home offices! You’ve tested out the technology and applied the wage and hour laws, but how do you continue engaging your team and sustaining your workplace culture?
Engaging Your Team.
- Set Clear Expectations. Communicate with your team members if you expect them to be available and on-line during specific hours, accessible on certain technology platforms, and meeting certain deadlines – just as if they were working in the office.
- Provide the Necessary Tools and Resources. Arrange for your team members to have access to the technology, files, and office supplies they need to perform their jobs. Offer flexibility for childcare, taking care of ill family members, taking care of themselves, or basic physical and mental wellness during this time of social distancing.
- Communicate Related Policies and Any Other Temporary Policy Changes. Remind employees that policies, such as attendance, request for time off and leaves of absence, still apply and some, like anti-harassment/discrimination and use of technology, also pertain to email, chat, text, video, social media, etc.
- Continue Coaching & Development Conversations. Continue regularly scheduled 1:1 meetings, encourage on-line learning, and be accessible to your team. If working remotely is new to your team members, ask them if they need help navigating the new work situation.
Sustaining Your Workplace Culture.
- Continue Regularly Scheduled Workplace Gatherings. If you normally have daily stand-up meetings, weekly staff meetings, etc., continue to hold them using technology.
- Consider a Daily Message From Leadership. During any time of change, regular communication is important. Consider a daily video call, email or chat post from a leadership team member to communicate most recent changes, status of company, etc.
- Consider Daily Department Meetings. If your team is used to being together each day, consider implementing a daily department conference call so the team can connect, communicate deadlines, and collaborate.
- Live Your Values. Continue to support your values by implementing new practices aligned with your mission, vision and values.
- Celebrate and Have Fun. We are all navigating our current situation together and learning as we do. It is stressful and uncertain. Have fun, laugh, connect and celebrate as often as you can. If you celebrate milestones (birthdays and anniversaries) in the office, continue the tradition virtually. Now may be a great time for your Engagement/Wellness Committee to create some fun virtual activities!
- Trust. You hired your team members because you believed they could perform their job. Allow them to do what they excel in, support them during this change and see how your team can become stronger yet during this time of uncertainty.
- Stay well, be kind, and grant each other grace. When we get to the other side of COVID-19, we may have more best practices to implement in our daily work lives.
Keep watching for blogs from your Lake Effect team for important legal updates and HR best practices. The attorneys and HR professionals at Lake Effect HR & Law are ready and willing to assist and advise if you have questions related to engaging your remote team. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-844-333-5253.