The pandemic has swept across the world, changing established norms and forcing everyone to adapt to newer ways of living and working. As remote working and WFH become the norm, leaders are trying to build efficiencies and drive business continuity to ensure that situations come back to Pre-COVID levels. This, however, is easier said than done. With teams scattered and working remotely and no end to the pandemic in sight, productivity and efficiency need to be monitored and team-collaborations need to increase.
However, there are some tried and trusted ways to increase the collaboration between team-members and drive outcomes:
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Manage and Coordinate better
With WFH becoming the norm, scattered teams may end up working in silos – often at cross purposes. In these circumstances, it is up to the leader to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working cohesively – towards organizational goals and to perform better. Leaders will need to break down the objectives into tasks and delegate accordingly to each team members, taking updates & charting the progress regularly, to enable course correction if required. It is very different than being under the same roof, working in an office – hence more coordination and communication is needed. Hence leaders will need to be regularly taking feedback, monitoring outcomes and setting milestones to ensure that objectives are achieved.
Share and Empower
In working away from the office, quite a few team members will have different ideas and suggestions. Encourage dialogue, regular discussions and feedback. Not only will this ensure that everyone is in the loop, but also some ideas can help to drive efficiencies. Seize these ideas, give credit and action them. Empower the person concerned – the pandemic is the ideal time to experiment with flatter hierarchies and new structures. Maybe that 1 idea is something you can institutionalize, if it helps to increase efficiency. Encourage your team members to speak up, the question set norms, and be frank. This will result in stronger bonding and team spirit plus everyone will be motivated to think of ways to drive efficiencies. Nothing builds teams like sharing and nothing works better than empowering.
Communicate with clarity
WFH and remote working have had their own impacts on the work rhythms and patterns of teams. With everyone working in silos, frequent, scheduled and clear Communication serves as the bridge between team members. Regular calls, video-calls, or skype meetings should be helmed by the leader to communicate clearly with the team – to discuss work done, what is planned next, and the outcomes. Teams that communicate better, collaborate better. When the flow of information and communication is smooth, efficiency results. Precise and clear instructions, feedbacks and regular communications across the team will help to build a cohesive framework – essential when everyone is working remotely. Clear and purposeful communication is the best way to build synergy and enable teams to work towards organizational goals.
Experimenting and Learning
For growth and continuity, it is crucial to question set norms and conventions. Who knew that we will all be working from homes and meetings will be virtual instead of real? We never expected this. This is precisely the time when leaders can do everything they have dreamt of but never tried – try collaborating with partners, newer ways to work, innovate in organizational processes, learn from competitor playbooks or try a new approach to L&D in the organization. This pandemic is a time of change and leaders would do well to take full advantage – experiment & see what succeeds and what does not. The learnings and takeaways will be of immense use in the future.
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Businesses and organizations that are willing to embrace change and try new things have a greater chance of survival in the Pandemic. As the new normal dawns, it demands a different response from everyone. For businesses to build efficiencies, newer ways of thinking and adapting to change will be the key.