The best comparison I can do with it is moving the bottom blocks of a fully stable structure in Jenga. You need to change or add new processes in your organization with the utmost care and patience in the time crunch.
Wiping out all the concerns, the transition for us turned out to be way smoother than I anticipated! It was all about quick decisions of management and an excellent cooperation from all departments that powered our move towards a distributed workforce seamlessly. Our employees now work from home, and the organizational workflows and processes are executed virtually. That’s the brief success story of our adaptation to the new normal.
The transition was a success, but there’s still a more significant challenge ahead.
Yes, I’m talking about ‘productivity.’
With work from home, lines can easily blur between work and personal life that lead to declining performance. To help employees sustain productivity, we set up a framework contemplating the real-time scenarios. It not only helped in maintaining productivity levels but also strengthened our remote work culture.
Here I am going to share the methods and measures you can practice in your organization that give you promising results. For a better picture, I would also share the experience of how these practices have impacted our teams.
STICK WITH YOUR DAILY MEETINGS AGENDA
Review calls are channels through which employees learn and align with their goals. Sometimes, these calls get really noisy. A lot of ideas and information get shared which goes beyond the agenda of a single meeting. This over-sharing sucks a considerable chunk of employees’ work hours, and the overloaded information can startle them too. Direct your reporting managers to create a well-defined agenda for the meeting and stick with it. Remeber, sharing of ideas and new plans is essential, but don’t lay it on thick.
Team Impact: Our marketing team has a daily huddle among themselves wherein they share the progress of on-going tasks, challenges, and take up new assignments. Usually, the call ends in 20 mins but could go up to 1 hour depending on the discussion of priorities. Here’s the thing about them, whatever needs more of their time, they schedule in advance. It makes sure that everyone is available and prepared for it, thereby not messing up their work time.
SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS AND REALISTIC GOALS
Times have changed, and so have the way goals are achieved. It’s important to realize that the business eco-system is evolving, and it’s necessary to relook at existing objectives set for an employee. Assess the real-time scenarios, discuss what can be and cannot be achieved with the employee, and set feasible expectations and goals. Failing to do this will put the employee in a loop of running behind impractical goals. It not only hurts your workforce’s morale but also disjoints the cohesion of organizational level efforts.
Team Impact: Reporting managers in our Sales team foresee the business fluctuations, and accordingly, they get into a discussion to decide on the steps to compensate it. Consequently, the team’s goals and objectives are prioritized. It further helps in aligning other teams such as Engineering and Marketing for designing solutions in demand and produce collaterals that clients and prospects can consume.
RENOVATE VIRTUAL ACTIVITIES
A study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research says that an average workday during COVID-19 pandemic is 48 Mins longer. Career coaches say employees working amid pandemic feel that they need to perform even more since travel time is saved. It implies that employees are losing the balance between home and work needs, which often results in disengagement and sometimes causes burnout. While it’s a manager’s responsibility to understand and help team members to cope with the stress, the virtual engagement activities can be of a great help. Sharing experiences, informal conversations, and gamified tasks will bring out the unexplored personalities of employees. It’s also essential to continuously explore and include out-of-the-box activities to win employees’ attention.
Organizational Impact: I took an initiative to connect with teams as per their availability on every Friday. I prefer Friday because people can say adios to their work and start the week-off with positivity. During the call, I encourage them to share their experiences, stories, and conduct quizzes. The main goal is to have fun, and I make sure it happens. I suggest you to pursue the activities that employees can relate with, as a start and later on the interest builds in whatever you do. In June, we conducted PUBG tournament within our organization and many employees tuned in for it.
There are many ways to boost your workforce’s productivity. You just need to explore to find them or maybe think on your own to devise a few practices that fit your organization during remote work. I hope these practices benefit you or at least help you in finding the gaps. I would also suggest you to read 10 Initiatives for HRs to implement post lockdown to discover strategies to keep your team’s spirit high.