Navigating the new work-from-home ‘normal’ has been an adjustment for teams and their leaders. Here are a few tips on how to lead your team effectively, even in the most challenging times.
As many companies implement work-from-home strategies, many leaders are not only adjusting to working remotely, but also to leading their teams remotely. While we continue to adapt to new routines and remaining productive while working from home, here are a few tips from our team on how to manage people remotely—and effectively.
1. Hold virtual team meetings that are both productive and enjoyable.
Communication plays an essential role in any team, but it becomes even more critical when that team is remote. To ensure that their teams are in constant communication, leaders should hold touchpoints throughout the week to discuss everything from ongoing projects to how they’re adapting to new ways of working and living. The key is to keep these virtual meetings productive while adding some humor to the conversation and keeping it professional.
Bring some positivity and allow your team to decompress by opening up the meeting with an ice breaker or group activity. Neville H., a senior manager in Verizon Consumer Group, organizes voluntary virtual walks with his team. Located in Tennessee, he says this helps his team stay connected no matter how far apart they are. They keep each other motivated by sharing what their work-from-home spaces look like.
“We sometimes meet in our backyards (via video chat) and show off our gardens, or meet in different places in the house to show our living rooms and dens,” Neville said. “We also throw in some best practices on meal preps and recipes in the kitchen.”
2. Check-in with your team individually and let them know you’re there for them.
Being a good manager means making it a priority to ensure your team members are handling the new work from home ‘normal’ both in their professional and personal lives. Show that you’re there to support them by checking in with a quick message or a phone call.
V Teamer Tony G. suggests replacing walk-by office interactions with instant messaging: “With everyone working from home, it’s critical to replace normal walk-up engagements with purposeful connections on instant messaging apps, group chats, and one-on-ones with your team.”
3. Stay engaged by creating a team group chat — but remember to keep it professional.
Group chats are a great resource for communicating updates, providing an additional outlet for support, and helping your team maintain a strong work-life balance. Your team's chat will give everyone a chance to ask questions on current projects while maintaining much needed social connections. Managers should encourage everyone to drop in with a quick, "Hello," every now and then to keep the team connected.
Through touchpoints like these, LaShonda H., a supervisor in Verizon Consumer Group, has seen her team act as a great support system for each other. She says they often take additional time in their daily team meetings to share their best work-from-home practices and tips with each other.
As a leader, it’s important to serve those who serve your customers. Visit our COVID-19 resource page to learn what steps Verizon is taking to ensure the safety of our V Team and customers.