Are you struggling to lead and manage in this virtual workplace environment?
Are you feeling disconnected from your team?
Are you seeing your team’s level of stress and anxiety raise as they sit at home and try to work?
Are you watching your culture disintegrate right before your very eyes?
This is happening to many organizations because a remote work environment that we have been thrust into.
COVID-19 has changed the structure of many businesses and organizations.
People are working from home and you, as a leader, as responsible for keeping your team productive and motivated.
This will be a struggle if you do not have a game plan or a process to put in place.
Here are six simple tips for leaders to build a world class digital culture.
1. Invest in technology.
This seems pretty obvious, but is often overlooked.
If we want people to be comfortable working from home, they need to have the resources to be productive.
Frustration can come when their Wifi connection goes out, or when they are receiving calls with no good signal at their home.
You job as a leader is to make sure that you inspect the technology that your team has and ensure they have what they need, so you can expect the best out of them.
Inspect the tech so you can expect the best.
2. Create space for your team to manage their lives at home.
People have pets, children and family members in their home that need to be taken care of.
It’s going to be hard for them to be invisible to all of those people and be present at work one hundred percent of the time.
The best leaders will expand the work day of their team.
If eight hours is required for a full work day, allow them 12 hours to get it done.
Lay out the non-negotiable times that they are needed on calls or working on projects, but give some flexibility.
Allow them to spend time with those in the house with them.
Maybe go check the mail, maybe go spend some time with the kids or take care of an ailing parent.
The best leaders will create this kind of space.
3. Create a schedule.
Create an intensive schedule.
You can’t just have a regular once a week staff meeting when your team is now working remotely.
It’s easy to become isolated when you don’t get to see and talk to your colleagues for five days.
Find a regular cadence, maybe three days a week, to connect and check in on your team, face-to-face.
There are several platforms that allow us to do this.
The best organizations are the ones that find a schedule for teams to check in and connect.
4. Hold your team accountable
Implement the buddy system.
To keep people productive in the work environment, make sure that they’re not working alone.
Pair another team member with them.
The Navy seals would call this a swim buddy.
You don’t let your buddy down and your buddy doesn’t let you down.
In the work environment, every team member should have someone else attached to them.
Put people on joint projects.
Make sure there’s mutual accountability.
That’s how you keep people engaged and productive.
5. Have some fun.
Have a regular virtual happy hour with your team.
Find a way to connect online that doesn’t have anything to do with work.
Set up a group messaging application and give people a chance to share a little bit about life.
Make it an intentional channel where you’re not talking about work.
This is a great way to build relationships and learn more about your team.
6. Focus on work-life balance
Make sure that your team has balance.
It’s easy to work from home and get stuck in 12 hours of zoom meetings.
People don’t have time to exercise, eat, have some fresh air or just be able to think about something different.
Your responsibility as a leader is to create the kind of environment that everybody owns their work-life balance.
This means you‘ve got to own your own work life balance.
You have to encourage people to take time off.
If they’re sick, they shouldn’t be coming to work.
If they don’t feel well, they shouldn’t be productive or focused on work.
They should be working on getting healthier so they can come back at full speed.
It is your responsibility to focus on work life balance.
If you focus on these six things, you will set the stage to build a world-class digital culture.
You will be a digital leader that inspires your team and puts them in the best position to be productive.