With many teams now adopting a hybrid or remote working model, we explore how employers and line managers can prioritise the mental health of their remote workforce, from implementing a digital wellbeing programme, right through to communicating at team-level.
It’s now more important than ever for managers to implement best practices to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation that can manifest in employees when working remotely. We have outlined 8 tips to help managers best communicate with their teams to stay connected and protect their wellbeing. Take a look here:
Whilst communication is key, it shouldn’t be around the clock. Try and keep a degree of separation between work and personal - think for example around conducting social chat around WhatsApp groups and respect the boundaries people have between work and home life.
One-to-one, personal conversations are just as important as team meetings to get a sense of how your remote team is feeling. It’s also a chance to intervene early if you’ve spotted any red flags that suggest a team member may be struggling, such as fewer e-mails, not responding to messages, inhibition or complete withdrawal in group communications.
Use the communications platforms at hand to highlight outstanding performances to the team and the wider business that make your employees feel valued. When working remotely, it can be difficult to visualise the impact you’re having, so providing a short ‘good job’ note, highlighting their contribution internally, or even rewarding staff with a thank you lunch delivery can boost morale and help team members regain that sense of purpose.
To minimise uncertainty, keep your team up to date with what is going on at an organisation level during group meetings, and send official updates around any specific company news (especially news that affects them) so employees have it for reference. Professionals are beginning to think COVID-19 will have a long-term impact on jobs and unemployment, so do your best to provide clarity on how the business is navigating the situation to stop speculation and panic bubbling to the surface.
A lack of face-time or conversation can be isolating for remote workers, so leverage the communication tools you have available so your employees aren’t firing off emails all day. Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype for Business are examples of the video conferencing software that allow teams to stay connected and collaborate, with screen-sharing and IM functionality to make calls both productive and stimulating.
It’s important that team meetings go ahead. Be inclusive during your group meetings - aim for inclusion and balance so everyone feels heard; encourage as much participation as you can so everyone feels involved.
Use the communications platforms at hand to highlight outstanding performances to the team and the wider business that make your employees feel valued.
Consider how you can keep your collective team spirit alive by being inventive about the ways you communicate. Are there any office-based rituals you can recreate remotely? There’s no reason why your team coffee-breaks, team lunches or after work drinks can’t continue virtually!
As well as scheduling regular team meetings, let people know how and when to contact you, and provide best practice on how communications channels should be used. For example, emails for non-urgent requests, IM for quick questions, phone for urgent queries, scheduled calls for project updates and text when you can’t reach a team member by call.
Where remote working is new for your business, encourage feedback from you staff about what might improve their experience and make them feel more engaged with the business. Knowing their opinion matters helps employees who may they lack a voice in their team.
Want to learn more? See how you can support the wellbeing of your teams remotely.
Managing the employee review process
Most employees have an annual performance appraisal with their manager – but what are the benefits and potential pitfalls facing the employer? The crux of a successful appraisal is ensuring that the managers who are conducting them are well-prepared and trained in this area. Employee retention has yRead More
Managing poor performance
When it becomes apparent that an employee is not performing to the standard required it is important to identify the underlying causes for poor performance. Poor performance could be related to: Lack of application to the role and tasks Lack of capability/skills in general Lack of capability due toRead More
Is your business geared up for smart working?
Today’s modern working environments are fluid and casual whereby work-life balance is championed, replacing the old-fashion strict and rigid working culture of the pre-1990’s. The working culture has evolved the workplace to enhance efficiencies and collaboration between office workers. As a leadingRead More
Come join our global team of creative thinkers, problem solvers and game changers. We offer accelerated career progression, a dynamic culture and expert training.