It has been a week today since the Prime Minister called for a complete lockdown, the situation due to Corona Virus in the country. There is so much stress and anxiety, many not used to the concept of working from home.
But we have coped well, MediaNews4U continuing the series on ‘Stay Positive’ spoke to Leaders in various sectors on how they are motivating their teams in dealing with this crisis.
Rubeena Singh, CEO, iProspect India
Managing a team working from home requires managers to double down on the fundamentals of good management, including establishing clear goals, communicating and leveraging team members’ individual and collective strengths.
Here are some things to keep in mind while managing teams that are working from home
Lead with patience, empathy, and compassion – Leaders need to anticipate and accept, WFH obstacles. Shifting from working in a co-located office to a WFH environment isn’t always simple even in the best of times.
Be mindful that team members will be juggling family and personal obligations, especially whilst we are unable to rely on other help for childcare to food to cleaning, etc. In addition to those distractions, there’s a physical element to this issue. Not everyone has a home environment conducive to work, whether they’re in a small apartment, or living with families or other roommates who are also suddenly working from a crowded home — and that’s just a few examples.
Develop Processes – Form routines like daily stand-ups, daily scrums or huddles—to foster productivity, transparency, and collaboration. Having an informal group check-in each day keeps the team on the same page and holds everyone accountable for their daily tasks and ongoing projects.
Boost the morale – Even if you don’t recognize signs of morale decreasing, it’s valuable to put effort toward maintaining or improving it.
Celebrate contributions – big or small. Recognizing, rewarding, and celebrating great work is one of the most simple, cost-effective, and direct ways to boost morale
Establish Close Bonds, Help and Support Frequently – Empathize and appreciate the life of teammates by discussing family, commonalities and shared beliefs. On the management end, check-in frequently (daily) using collaboration tools, shared docs and spreadsheets, phone calls, chat, and video to invest in the relationship. Show you are supportive of their success by using inquiry to help them achieve their goals rather than check on their progress and numbers. You can never over-communicate. You can never over-communicate.
Ashit Kukian, CEO, Radio City
We have always been an employee-driven organization and taking care of their well-being and safety is of utmost priority. All our employees across 39 stations are currently working from home. We have ensured that our RJs and employees are digitally enabled and have access to company software’s and systems for on-boarding of advertisements and servicing clients online. A personally penned note from the CEO’s desk is being shared at regular intervals with the employees to keep them motivated and engaged. We are also personally getting in touch with employees staying away from home to ensure emotional support during this time of crisis. In addition to this, regular work updates and virtual team meetings /calls with the reporting managers are being done to track the progress. Hence as a responsible brand we are trying to maintain a work-life balance of our employees
Tarunjeet Rattan – Managing Partner Nucleus
We endeavour to keep the mood positive while interacting with team members. Weekly video calls over Skype / Zoom / WhatsApp over coffee to catch up on things or brainstorming works very well. Before we start we take time to check up on each other. When you see each other, you have a higher chance of developing rapport and empathy rather than messages and emails. Team members staying alone or away from family are checked up upon every other. As a PR agency, we monitor multiple news channels for our clients for relevant information. With corona on every news medium, we restrict the discussion / forwards on the subject on our official whatsapp group save it give way to depressing doomsday mindsets. If it is relevant to a client we put our thinking cap on and pitch in with ideas. We also actively use our WhatsApp group for fun contests, jokes and lighter conversations to keep our team motivated. We are currently running a fun #WFH challenge that has seen multiple entries.
Vishal Gondal, Founder & CEO, GOQii
At GOQii, we understood the criticality of the situation and immediately implemented Work from Home in early March. The idea was to help employees adjust to the scenario if we had to do it for a longer period of time. The message communicated to the employees was that of the 3Ps -to prevent, prepare and protect. We were early movers in starting work from home as we could foresee the severity of the situation given the scenario in other parts of the world. In the current situation, we are all in it together. We had a collaborative work environment at the office that has now become virtual and all teams are working smoothly with each other. The team managers talk to their team members daily to ensure that everything is smooth, to maintain a level of positivity and to make sure that the team is not demotivated. Considering we are a preventive healthcare company and all employees are on the APP, they have a personal coach too who keeps a watch on their exercise, diet, sleep pattern etc. These personal coaches talk to employees on an almost daily basis, to ensure emotional, mental and physical well-being at a juncture when people can get carried away with lethargy, negative thoughts and loneliness. GOQii Doctor is also available for employees for consultation. Almost all employees follow a health goal and have a daily routine, what we have done is to ensure that they work from home does not hamper their daily routine of exercise in any way and they continue with it. Here is where our video coaching platform GOQii Play comes in. The video coaching platform programming has been now changed keeping in mind people in self-quarantine and social distancing. The programming consists of loads of home workouts, nutrition shows-telling what and how to eat right to build immunity, doctors giving the right information on COVID-19 and how not to panic, along with Yoga and Meditation shows to keep the mind composed and stress-free. There is also an Emotional Wellness class wherein the emotional wellness coach is helping the employees get over their anxiety, how to use screen-time more efficiently to just name a few. These coaches are helping the employees be focused, motivated and happy. GOQii, as an organisation, encourages employees to take time out and follow the videos available to ensure emotional as well as physical well-being. The emotional wellness coach is also available to all employees in case they want one on one counselling, apart from the common sessions being conducted. Lastly, all medical expenses related to coronavirus will be covered by GOQii for employees.
Kamal Johari – Managing Director, Nobel Hygiene
Communication is the key, and listening is the most important aspect of it. We are ensuring that all teams come on conference calls multiple times a day, just to stay connected. Keep talking to your managers and keep listening to their concerns and maintain positivity across all teams. It is also important to keep daily achievable tasks, thus all our planning for the next fiscal is happening with teams spread out across the country.