Challenges for the Post-Pandemic Manager
At Realise, we know that managers face a new raft of challenges since we have begun to live with the changes wrought by the global pandemic. Here you’ll find practical advice on how to troubleshoot some of the unique demands managers are now tackling in this new hybrid/remote working environment.
Remote work is here to stay – in fact 53% of people who never worked from home previously now plan to work from home more often in the future. As a manager though, knowing what is really going on with remote workers and their work can be tricky. Try these tips to stay in touch and offer support:
- – Maintain regular 1-to-1 meetings. These will allow you to keep your team updated and ensure they update you too. Let your report direct the meeting. Simple questions like “What have you been up to?” and “What can I help you with?” are all you need.
- – Create social time with your teams. Even if it is online. This allows for informal chat that can tell you a lot about morale, as well as boosting connection between team members. Marc Benioff, the boss of Salesforce, discussed whether spending less time together with colleagues was reducing the tribal spirit felt amongst his employees.
BUILD A CULTURE OF TRUST
You have to grant remote workers autonomy and flexibility and learn to trust them based on their output.
- – Avoid micro-managing those working away from the office. Showing trust in their autonomy and productivity will go a long way to securing quality work. Recent research from Microsoft shows that 85% of managers aren’t convinced their team members are getting enough work done (but 87% of employees say they are productive).
- – If there is any negative gossip around what colleagues are doing at home, nip it in the bud as soon as possible. Keep everyone’s workloads transparent to avoid unhelpful speculation
ONBOARDING NEW EMPLOYEES
New hires have traditionally settled in by being exposed to what is going on around them. With hybrid and remote teams, you have to onboard in a different way. These tips can help:
- – Ensure you have effective systems and procedures in place for new remote employees. Make it easy for them to understand expectations and settle in.
- – Get them involved as much as possible by letting them sit in on meetings and calls as an observer to see how things run, without pressure to participate.
- – Take note of their feedback. A new pair of eyes can be very useful in terms of refining your management style and systems to ensure everyone feels supported.
Those who do work remotely can experience feelings of isolation and struggle to maintain a work-life balance. More than half (58%) of those aged under 35 say they find working from home challenging. As a manager you need to ensure the wellbeing of your employees:
- – Encourage employees to establish boundaries between work and personal time. Be clear about the boundaries you are setting for yourself too.
- – Check in with employees – just asking “How are you?” can help.
Remember that adapting to new working practices is also an opportunity to make positive changes. If you’re facing any of the above issues, pick one tool to try and see how it works for you. Just one small tweak could make a big overall difference to your workplace.