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Running a productive team and keeping them motivated during such a major crisis is a challenge for even the most experienced managers.

 

When you are managing a team you have a responsibility to ensure that your team members are happy, healthy, well-equipped, trained and supported. Along with financial pressures and targets, it can be a lot of pressure on your shoulders as a manager.

 

With no clear end date, all we know at the moment is that the workplace may be different for some time to come. We may even find ourselves facing different challenges to adapt to in this ‘new world’ once offices and workplaces fully re-open and functional.

 

How can you lead a team during chaos and uncertainty? How can you support and mentor staff when you may be feeling stress and worry yourself?

 

We share some top tips for managers adjusting to a new working climate.

 

#1 Be Human

Your team may be looking to you for guidance and support during these unprecedented times, however they will also appreciate you showing sympathy, compassion and being understanding of their personal situations. It is important as a leader to remain in control of your emotions, but you can certainly show humanity to your team in a time like this.

 

#2 Communication is Key

More than anything your team want to be in touch with you and each other. Working from home can make people who are used to working in teams feel disconnected and unmotivated. Arranging for daily, weekly or monthly video calls through solutions such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams can help provide support and some human connection. In addition to group calls and video meetings, you should also make time to call your employees individually to check in on them and ensure that they are managing their workloads. Some workplaces have gone a step further and organised social events online such as quizzes, Friday afternoon drinks and informal catch ups via video call.

 

#3 Trust in your Team

Trust is always important in the workplace, but now, more than ever having faith in your team is vital. You need to be able to trust your team members to work effectively and adhere to company procedures away from your watchful eye. You may find that this pandemic highlights some weak links in your team. There are practices that you can put in place to build trust. Regular catch ups, work logs and hour recording can help build rapport and transparency with your team.

 

#4 Flex to Adapt

A lot of workplaces already operate flexible working and those that already have these practices in place are reaping the benefits now that the whole of the world has had to quickly adapt. Employees with children at home, for example, may need to work different hours. It is important to facilitate employees needs and make reasonable adjustments to allow them to work in a way that works for them and the business.

 

#5 Be Mindful

With team members looking to you for guidance and leadership, it is important to remain calm and approachable in the face of challenging times. It is very important to understand that people in your workforce may have health concerns, financial worries, relationship problems or be struggling with bereavement or their mental health at this time. Being mindful is essential and you may have to adapt your management style to get the most out of your team.

   

Getting Your Processes Right

If you need to adapt your working processes and procedures going forward then you may need to review your HR documents (contracts, handbooks and policies) to ensure that they reflect new working practices.7

 

As we (hopefully) start to re-open businesses and phase back into ‘normal’ operations, you may need to think about what you need to communicate with your staff. Lots of businesses have used this time to reflect and restructure.

 

If you need assistance with re-organising your business, amending contracts, making redundancies etc then please reach out to our Employment Law Team who are here to get your business organised and ready to go once lockdown is lifted.

 

Call us on 01256 844888 email enquiries@lambbrooks.com or speak to our online Chat Assistant via our website at any time of day.

   

Other articles you may be interested in reading:

Can I Make a Will From Home?

Furlough Pay Explained

Home Working Procedures During Coronavirus

 

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.