Recent reports claim almost 60% of the workforce will be looking for new jobs once ‘normality’ resumes. Much of this is down to how employees were engaged with during Lockdown. What we have to remember is that many may have been unhappy prior to March 2020 and the crisis only accentuated the issues. At the same time, many simply feel forgotten or taken for granted and you need to combat this – otherwise you could lose the vast majority of your team.
Whilst unemployment is on the rise, certain sectors are still incredibly candidate short. This includes Public Practice and Part Qualified Finance.
Flexibility & Trust
Unless you are working in a stringent area, work hours should be flexible. You MUST have trust that your team will complete their duties in the allotted time. Without TRUST and FLEXIBILITY, you are only making their lives tougher than they already are. With your trust you will be rewarded. By giving flexibility they will feel both understood and valued. Those with childcare and home-schooling must have flexibility – otherwise they will be working from 08:30 till 21:00 and this put simply – is unhealth and not sustainable and children will always come first. Just allowing WFH is not flexibility.
Everyone is having a tough time right now so showing compassion is key. We are wired to remember the negative more than the positive so if you do not show it in times of need, it will be remembered. Also – ask how everyone is and listen without response. It may be uncomfortable but as a leader you are there to do this.
Procrastination and distraction is easy right now, so a clear focus is key for success. We all want to achieve our goals throughout this period. Utilising software such as Trello, Asana or Monday.com allows you to create boards, set tasks and give peoples a clear focus on what they need to achieve. Waking up each morning to this makes life all the easier.
In the first lockdown I kept in contact with my team weekly, if not twice a week. Even if they were furloughed. I wanted to make sure they knew I hadn’t forgotten about them and if they had any worries or concerns, they could raise them with me. It’s important to keep communication channels open as without them, teams will become disassociated.
I always liked to set my team challenges and right now this can keep everyone engaged. Something out of the norm, somethings from your ‘clear focus’ board or maybe just something fun. Challenges will always keep teams engaged. I’m not talking about KPI’s I am talking about something like doing 10000 steps per day. Maybe even sponsor those steps. So the team walks 1000 miles by the end of Lockdown Mark 3 with £1 per mnile going to the charity of choice of the team member who compeltes the most miles (this also aids my next point)
Make sure they get outside
Nobody wants to be stuffed up inside all day, so get the team to go outside or do one hours exercise each day. Doesn’t matter when, just ask them to do it and ask them to let you know when they are doing so.
Keep it fun
Work should always have a sense of fun. So alongside my first two points, think of ways you can keep work fun with work and non-work related activities (NO KPIS!!! – these are not fun)
DO NOT SNOOP
Per my first point, trust is key here. There is a lot of software out there used to snoop and track clicks on computers. No matter what the developers say – they can be found (coming from someone who found and deleted such software due to a small slowdown…). Anyone who knows about computers can find this software and not only does it show a lack of trust – If you are working from home it can feel quite invasive. Only in extreme circumstances should this software be used (finance, crime, etc) but an amendment to a contract with details on what the software does and tracks should be signed and agreed.