The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of life. Work, school, and social interactions have all radically changed in the blink of an eye, requiring flexibility and quick thinking to adjust to new ways of living and working. Employees now have additional stressors on top of their commitments to their organization and if you’re a team leader, you have an even greater responsibility to keep the business running and ensure your team is staying healthy, happy, and productive.
In the best of circumstances, leadership is not easy, but with the many restrictions necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19, most companies have been navigating an entirely remote workforce, some for the first time. Leaders in organizations have had to face the many challenges that come with managing a remote team, including less productive conversations, a lack of camaraderie and motivation, and struggles to maintain work-life balance.
While there is no out-of-the-box solution to address the many challenges the pandemic has presented to businesses, there are things leaders can do to make their jobs easier and boost the morale of remote teams. Keep reading for tips to support a team during these challenging times.
Talk with Your Team
Take the time to talk with members of your team to understand the struggles they may be experiencing. Right now, some may be facing financial challenges despite their employment, struggling with mental health problems, or balancing work with caring for family members in their home. Understanding what your team is facing will better inform how you can support them.
Offer Resources to Your Team
While it’s important not to overextend yourself or make promises you or the business can’t keep, you can identify activities, opportunities, or gifts to address some of the more common problems your team may be experiencing during the pandemic. Here are a few examples:
Gifts & Resources
- Share your favorite uplifting or humorous book to keep the team entertained and their minds off their tough circumstances. You can also curate a list so team members can choose what resonates with them.
- Not everyone likes to read but audiobooks or podcasts are always good resources. Many podcasts cover relatable topics in an entertaining and enlightening way, and they’re available for free. Curate a list of podcasts to share with your team.
- Send small gifts to brighten people’s moods. A subscription to a meditation app, curated care packages, or gift cards are always appreciated by employees.
- Coordinate virtual events such as book clubs or happy hours where the team can talk about topics not related to work and staff meetings if employees are interested in talking about company matters.
- Provide opportunities to acknowledge and celebrate individuals’ accomplishments with the full team. The goal is to celebrate wins – big and small – and provide encouragement to the team. Use this opportunity to discuss challenges too and brainstorm how to collaboratively address them. If you think that one-on-one meetings would work better, make time for short conversations with your team members.
- Provide regular updates about the organization and its employees. This could include how the company is addressing COVID-19 challenges or exciting updates on employees. These updates could give employees something to look forward to amid the 24-hour negative news cycle.
While life is more challenging because of the pandemic, there are things leaders can do to enhance employees’ experience. Remember, employees are the reason for a company’s success, so it’s important they’re of sound mind, body, and soul to do their best work.
In some cases, making work easier (especially remote) through software can be a big help. If you have custom software development needs, AscentCore can provide you with end-to-end product development for any company’s needs. Contact us to learn how we can help your business.