The Outbreak of Covid19 has created social devastation and economic disruptions in the country. Pretty much all the workers across various sectors are in lockdown, and some are self-quarantined. The concept of Work from Home has therefore become an essential part of most organizations.
You need some proactive strategies and tools to create social bonds, connections and motivate employees that are working from home. So here are some pointers on how to do this effectively:
- Set Clear Expectations: Flexibility in schedule is an advantage for working from home employees. But if you want your employees to be present and more responsive at a certain time, you need to communicate this to them in advance. Encourage employees to maintain a calendar to know their online and offline availability.
- Communicate and Stay Connected: Try and connect with your employees over phone or video/audio conference. Your voice and tone will typically communicate your thoughts much better than emails.
- Recognize: Recognize the efforts made by the employees and reward them with praise, whenever appropriate.
- Create a visual scoreboard: You can create a visual scoreboard for the week and ask employees to tick each and every pointer on the scoreboard. This will help the employee understand their goals, progress and potential on an ongoing basis.
- Convert Phone calls/Conference to Video conferences: Use technology to the utmost. Organize Video Conferences instead of phone calls to have a stronger connect with your employees. Agenda of what will be discussed in the meeting should be sent well in advance to allow the employees to prepare themselves. The call should always start with small talk by the Manager to make the employees feel connected.
- Use Gifs: While chatting or on a group chat, in order to praise and congratulate, you can use gifs to make employee feel more connected. After all, comfort of the employee is most important. Often having an informal conversation with employees can be constructive.
- Group Breaks while you work from home: Whenever you take a break, consider connecting over video conferencing with other employees to have an informal chat. Be as creative as much as you can with your team.
- Have a Development Plan: Make sure you have a development plan for each employee for one week. Have video conferences every day. Here are some points you can discuss as per the day:
- Monday: Cover the following stock-taking and planning points:
- Did we finish and meet the deadlines of the last week?
- What are the new tasks for each employee this week and how are they planned to be done?
- How can we help each other in the tasks?
- Who should improve and in what areas?
- Tuesday- Thursday: Have a conversation with each employee (if possible) or have a conference with small groups to help the team tackle the tasks and any problems they face. This would help in increasing coordination among the employees.
- Friday: Friday should always focus on Reflection. Here the manager should ask about how the team felt while doing tasks, what problems they faced, etc.
While there are many advantages to working from home, managing employees over the wire presents unique challenges. While the work environment has completely changed, the goals are no different from the traditional workspace because you require the same results as what you needed at the office workspace. Remember, a little planning, help and praise for hard work can go a long way in keeping your team motivated while working from home.