As we return to our workplaces, things will be very different during the second half of the year.
The way that we work is different, and this significant change has the potential to be problematic for your team.
Whether your team are continuing to work from home, or if you are now back in a socially distanced workplace, post-pandemic changes must be addressed.
In a recent Harvard Business Review article related to our current situation, grief expert David Kessler states that ‘leaders must recognise people‘s grief and assist them in finding meaning‘.
Today, we look at six of the most common post-pandemic problems and how to help your team overcome them.
1. Uniting A Disjointed Team
The most obvious way that teams have changed is the form of physical distance; from actual location to the 2-metre rule. Many individuals are still working from home, but even those who have returned to the office remain apart. Our new, socially distanced world will take some getting used to; it is up to you as a leader to unite your team.
Reach out, send appreciative emails, encourage collaboration, and importantly, spread positivity throughout your team.
2. Low Morale
The threat of uncertainty has been present since the coronavirus outbreak unfolded. Low morale might be a challenge you will have to contend with as teams get to grips with a world that is more difficult to navigate, for themselves, their families, and friends.
To improve morale in your team-
- Give appreciation often, even for ‘small wins‘.
- Have honest conversations with your team, they need you to be a strong leader, but they also want you to be human.
- Don‘t ignore frustrations – if you can sense something amiss with any team member, talk to them about it right away.
- Be a positive role model. Don‘t complain, look for the good in every situation.
3. Communication Challenges
Expect challenges in the way you communicate with your team and the way they communicate with each other.
A lack of adequate communication in your team can create further problems, such as increased stress, a conflict between employees and unsatisfied customers.
To overcome this issue, and to get teams communicating with each other as they were pre-lockdown, implement the following in your organisation-
- Set specific working hours – for those in the office and at home. You can be flexible to allow for your team‘s home and family life but aim to arrange for a specific time in the day when teams need to be online so that collaboration can continue.
- Introduce time limits for replying to messages or emails – don‘t expect that every team member will be able to respond straight away, but consider a 24 hour limit for non-urgent messages so that communication doesn‘t become a prolonged affair.
- Be clear with your language – avoid unnecessary abbreviations and ensure your team, and yourself, always double-check messages and emails before you send them so that they are clear, and they make sense.
4. Lack of Focus
In every organisation, alterations have been implemented to reflect our changing world.
While you and your team will be eager to get back into your normal working routine, it is understandable that your team might be lacking in focus, with everything that‘s going on in the world right now.
A lack of focus can affect both employees working from home, due to increased distractions, but also those who are back in the office.
Aim to provide every member of your team with clear goals and targets to help them stay focused while getting used to their novel working situation.
5. Keeping Track of Accountability
With some team members back in work, and some still working from home, it can be an increased challenge keeping track of accountability.
If you don‘t already, invest in project management software such as Monday.com or Wrike, which allow you to effortlessly see where every team member is with their current projects.
If the pandemic has taught businesses one thing, it is that the ability for your team to work digitally is an essential tool for the 21st century.
6. Maintaining Team Relationships
While you will be grateful that your team have been able to continue working from home, you might not realise that this could be affecting their relationships too.
If some employees plan to continue remote working for the foreseeable future, what will this mean for your team dynamic?
Encourage socialisation within your team with a dedicated chat room or social media channel for non–work–related chat, and short meetings (socially distanced or via Zoom) with every team member to see how they‘re getting on.
Many leaders have had to manage remotely for the first time, and this has created a worldwide learning curve.
With workplaces opening up, businesses can now take tentative steps back to ‘normal‘; this guide should help you deal with some of the challenges that team leaders are facing right now.
Until next time,
Zestfor specialises in developing Training programmes and resources scientifically tailored for technical markets – including Pharmaceutical, I.T., and Life Sciences.
Our blend of in-classroom, online, and virtual live-stream delivery methods will engage and assure even the most introverted team members from the first meeting – whether face-to-face or virtually. To have a brief chat, call us on 0845 548 0833. Alternatively, please email our team here.