We’ve already covered how the coronavirus pandemic has caused major shifts in the way companies do business, and you have likely seen for yourself the challenges of operating your company amidst this global crisis. However, have you also considered how the current changes to your workplace could cause a permanent, positive change for your team? In his article “6 Ways to Come Back from the Pandemic with a Stronger Team” on Inc.com, Keith Ferrazzi details what areas leaders can focus on to ensure that the positive impacts of the rise of telecommuting affect their companies long after the virus is gone.
The first piece of advice Ferrazzi gives to entrepreneurs is to adopt weekly or monthly “sprints,” where all teams are focused on and dedicated to measurable, short-term goals. This focus on agility within the workplace promotes decision-making and prioritization of customer value. As part of this concept, Ferrazzi also explains that leaders can have their team do daily “scrums” where everybody answers the following three questions:
- What have I done?
- What are the challenges I need help with?
- What am I doing next?
This helps employees focus on assessing their own strengths and weaknesses and ask for help from colleagues who are trying to achieve common goals.
Ferrazzi points out the fact that 74% of employees report feeling like they can’t share their ideas with a large group in a business setting. To combat this problem, he suggests making use of Zoom breakout rooms to encourage problem-solving in smaller groups. This can also be applied to smaller team meeting in the workplace when your staff is no longer telecommuting.
Focusing on Empathy
The pandemic has broken down a lot of professional walls. Employees dealing with school closures might mean children popping in and out of your Zoom meetings. Those experiencing illness in their family or financial hardship have likely needed accommodation and/or emotional support from their colleagues. Carrying the new vulnerability and openness that your team has fostered in this time back into the traditional workplace can help them stay close and feel heard and understood.
Working from home has in many cases meant more flexible work schedules. If you have defined objectives for your staff and are holding them accountable to meet their goals, maintaining this flexibility for both hours and work environment can lead to increased employee satisfaction and retention.
If your team, like many, has adopted a “how can we help?” mindset amidst the pandemic, continue to foster this attitude among your employees. Encourage them to get involved in assisting one another as well as your clients or customers.
Keeping the Dialogue Open
These days, transparency and honesty are more valuable than ever. Your staff will thank you for being open and candid with them not only during the pandemic, but also once it has subsided.
We’ve all learned that adapting to the COVID-19 crisis and this new way of working is a must for entrepreneurs hoping to keep their businesses afloat in these challenging times, but don’t underestimate the importance of also carrying the positive changes to your company culture forward into the future, and continuing to adapt to the needs of your staff.