Leading in Lockdown: How to support your team while strengthening your business

In 2020, with new norms emerging post-COVID-19, the world saw the rise of WFH culture.

Creating common goals and giving each team member a specific role in achieving them can make their daily work meaningful. (File photo: IE)

By Zafar Imam,

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, both individuals and organizations have been going through trying times. Today, leaders are presented with new challenges as well as opportunities to strengthen their teams.

In 2020, with new norms emerging post-COVID-19, the world saw the rise of WFH culture. As with anything new, change is not so easy. New norms have added to the stress, affected team morale, and cohesion. Now, there are two major challenges for any leader, i.e. helping the team in making a smooth transition to the WFH model and taking care of their health and well being. So, if you are also facing this challenge, here’s are some tips using which you can support your team through a crisis.

Stay connected with your team

Interact with your team regularly to ensure that you establish ongoing communication where the team is updated on the company’s developments and their progress to keep them motivated and productive. A five-minute zoom call can keep your team focused and well-informed about their responsibilities.

Create short-term objectives

While working from home, your team may lose momentum in pursuit of the bigger picture. So, to keep your team aligned to the long-term goal, it’s best to break it down to achievable, short-term objectives.

Give space

The pandemic hasn’t been kind to anyone working from home or heading back to workplaces. Employees are struggling to adjust to the new normal. Micro-management will make them second-guessing every choice they make, only multiplying the stress of every action an employee undertakes. Your team needs space to work with ease and deliver the assigned tasks in a timely manner.

Motivate with rewards

You can bring the best out of your team by putting an employee reward system in place. A reward system that taps into the psychological needs of workers is one of the best ways to encourage new and innovative ideas. The economic slowdown, which followed the COVID-19 pandemic, left many organizations in a financial crunch. However, not cutting down increments, bonuses, and special gifts will be beneficial for the business in the long term. Your team can do wonders if you recognize their hard work and show your appreciation on a regular basis.

Understand and address individual needs

In India, remote workers belong to a mix of villages, suburban, and metro locations. Employees, living in different locations, face a different set of challenges. It’s important that you acknowledge their challenges, accommodate them, and help them to be productive within the respective limitations.

Take care of their health and well-being

In the current scenario, ensuring the safety and well-being of the employees is paramount. It’s important to monitor the health of each employee through a system.Make sure everyone is aware and that they receive the best attention when it comes to their health.

Keep them engaged

The pandemic has separated people from their family, friends, and colleagues. Conducting employee engagement programs on a regular basis will help employees connect with their colleagues, keeping them from feeling isolated in their work lives at the same time helping them relieve stress ensuring better work performance.

Create common goals

Creating common goals and giving each team member a specific role in achieving them can make their daily work meaningful.

While driving the transition into a new model is tough, remote work can benefit both businesses and employees. With these strategies, you and your team can keep the workflow uninterrupted and seize the opportunities that the new WFH model has ushered in. The company and it’s members are a part of a family that stands by each other in times of crisis such as this pandemic and hence, the only way a team holds strong is by sharing support to each other mentally and emotionally.

(The author is CEO of Finshell. Views expressed are personal.)

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