Has your virtual leadership position been extended indefinitely? Are you struggling to keep your remote employees engaged and motivated? These common challenges due to COVID-19 can leave many mid-career professionals feel frustrated and unfulfilled. We understand these challenges and we work with professionals like you every day to overcome these roadblocks. The truth is, you don’t have to dread your Monday mornings because you’re over constantly hosting Zoom calls.
We want to help you with three tips we share with our clients that can help you be a more effective virtual leader.
Help your employees with their career values. One big way to be a more effective virtual leader is by checking in with your employees or your team about how they are feeling during this time. Depending on your industry, company culture, and circumstances, you could do this on a one-by-one basis or in a team meeting. Ask them about their overall job satisfaction, what is working for them virtually, what isn’t working for them. Ask them what their ideal day at virtual work looks like. See if you find any common themes in what your employees tell you. From there, you can determine if you can make any adjustments to the current processes to enhance your employees’ overall fulfillment. While for many working virtually is not ideal, making even small changes to help your employees with their overall job satisfaction will go a long way.
Help your employees to stay connected. One of the biggest things our clients mention to us is that they miss their in-person work environment. Without personal connections, work can feel isolating and even cause burnout. As a leader, you can help your employees maintain their personal connections, it just requires taking a little more initiative. For example, some companies use team chat platforms such as Slack and have dedicated channels for co-workers to get to know each other better. You can also plan a weekly virtual coffee break or happy hour for your employees. Choose a few topics in advance, keep things light, and ask them to bring their pets. Again, depending on the company culture, you can stay and join in the fun or just let your employees mingle with each other. Do a scavenger hunt in their home. Have them send in pictures in advance of a call of their pets or kids to create a collage.
You can also stay connected with your employees by making small but kind gestures. During this pandemic, things like sending a card or flowers mean more than ever. Did you recently find an inspiration quote? Email it to your team. Did an employee recently have a work anniversary or life achievement? Send a hand-written card.
Help your employees maintain work-life balance. As a leader, try to be respectful of your employees’ personal lives and help them maintain work-life balance. Just because your employees are mostly at home doesn’t mean they don’t have lives outside of work. Unless it’s an emergency, try to refrain from emailing on nights and weekends. If you decide to work at nights or on the weekends and need to get some emailing done, try using the scheduling feature. You can get your email written, but schedule it for Monday morning instead of Saturday night.
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