Organizations have a mammoth task in front of them: unlearning the physical/offline ways of staying in teaching that created a lot of dependencies and learning how to keep their teams engaged with each other in times of remote work. The need to collaborate in a better way has become even more critical than before and the challenges to stay productive isolated from each other have increased manifold. So, what can you as a leader do to handle this situation?
In our experience of working with new demands from the organizational leaders, we have come across interesting ideas that forward-looking leaders are experimenting with. We share 4 tips from what we have observed.
1. Emphasize on following a workflow instead of organizing too many virtual meetings
Online meetings can be even more draining than offline meetings. It is also tempting to be on multiple tabs and windows while attending an online meeting – just as it was tempting to check
the phone or doodle something in the offline meetings. There are simply too many distractions that each one present in the meeting faces.
We have come across leaders designing programmes to help the entire team take care of the status of a task and the people it is assigned too. Their focus is on live updates on all components of the task to avoid confusions.
2. Tuning into everyone’s working style
There are some who work better when they are left alone. There are others who feel focused if they collaborate. Leaders would need to pair the right kind of people with each other so that tasks are met, and issues are sorted.
Some employees face tech challenges, connectivity issues and so on. But some don’t.
As a leader, you’ve got to identify correctly what is whose cup of tea and design workflow as well as team structure accordingly.
3. Use meetings for decision making rather than communicating decisions only
With a well-set agenda circulated among team members in advance, you can engage everyone to contribute their thoughts.
This way leaders can ensure they have everyone’s inputs before formulating a decision. Once you have these inputs, you can work towards building a consensus. That is more likely to help you do better and ensure everyone co-operates with each other.
If you use meetings to just promulgate a decision, you are not likely to see many people enthusiastic about it or understand the process/thought behind the decision. This lack of understanding interferes with productivity of teams.
4. Rethink KPIs of everyone on the team
Think about how remote work has changed your deadlines, deliverables, expectations, and workflows. Then decide what everyone’s KPIs are going to be in the new normal. Ensure you have communicated the rethought KPIs with everyone on the team. This will help them in self-evaluation too.
We have noticed leaders become more focused on outcomes rather than time spent on work. Tying KPIs to results can help you estimate if work has been intrusive on people’s family time as well. Overwork during the pandemic has caused more mental problems because of work/life imbalance than the pandemic itself.
With these 4 ideas in place, you can think about what works best for your team and your goals. Which of these have you been experimenting with?