Helping team members thrive in a virtual work environment
COVID-19 has transformed the world we live in and the way we work. Schools and businesses across the country have been operating virtually over the past several weeks as the pandemic continues with no clear end in sight. Our teams are dealing with the challenges of working from home along with fears and uncertainties around what life will look like after COVID-19. In this unpredictable climate, communicating with our virtual team and understanding their needs is more important than ever.
Connecting one-on-one with employees can help shed light on gaps that may exist in the wake of our evolving workplace, helping you see the right actions to take to move forward more efficiently.
Here are some tips for reframing questions in your virtual check-in sessions with team members amid the COVID-19 crisis.*
1. CONNECT PERSONALLY
How are you and your family doing – is everyone well?
Quick tip: Create an employee preference card for all of your employees to help you get to know what matters to them. Update it often.
2. CAPTURE THE WINS IN OUR VIRTUAL WORK
What’s working well in terms of our response to COVID-19 and our adjusted work?
3. SEEK INPUT INTO POTENTIAL PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS
What isn’t working well for us in this environment, and what ideas do you have for improving?
4. PROBE FOR OBSTACLES TO WORKING VIRTUALLY
Do you have what you need-tools and resources-to do meaningful and impactful work in this environment?
5. CLOSE WITH REASSURANCE
What do you need from me to help you be your most productive? What support can I give you?
Connecting with your team members one-on-one as they adjust to virtual work life is also an opportunity to show that you care and want to make sure they have what they need to be successful in their work amid change and uncertainty. This kind of engagement shows you’re in tune with their needs and are working with them as they navigate and move forward in a new work environment.
*The questions were developed jointly between Studer Education coach Dr. Karen Owen and Jon Malone, Executive Leader/CEO of Northwestern Illinois Association. NIA leaders have implemented this process of virtual rounding for their leadership team.
Valued employees are engaged employees The relationship between an employee and their leader directly impacts employee satisfaction. For 93% of employees, trust in their direct leader is essential to staying satisfied at work and over 50% of employees surveyed say if they aren’t satisfied at work, they can’t put forth their best effort.