Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living #174 May 2020

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onn e c

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r Team u o

n and by René Johnston

Navigating these extraordinary times can be challenging to say the least. One challenge, front and center, is adapting to the dramatic shift in our daily work environments. Many of you have been transitioning to leading virtually, and certainly the dynamics are different. So how do you maintain productivity and develop ongoing engagement? The good news is you can overcome this challenge with a little planning. Become well-versed with all HR policies regarding managing and working remotely, and know leveraging certain approaches will result in a more highly functioning team. Below are five strategies to help you keep your team engaged and connected while working remotely. 1—Schedule Active Connection Beyond Meetings Send a “Good Morning” message. Reach out to all team members at the start of the workday. It’s a small gesture but can really set the tone for the day and signals to team members that you are accessible. As a leader, this simple action also puts you in a position to begin the day tuned in.



2—Keep Online Meetings Tight Working remotely can involve a lot of video meetings. Although we want to use this tool in ways that helps us connect, we have work to do. If the meeting structure is not delivered effectively, team members will begin to dread online engagements and it will sabotage the efforts to connect we are trying to infuse. So, for the business portion (which is still going to be the majority), set clear expectations and keep things on track. And probably most challenging, resist the urge to micromanage. 3—Do Something Fun In a physical work environment, we typically connect with colleagues by talking about things that are not work-related— children, pets, and other interests. When you are no longer in the office, you can miss those personal connections. Explore ways to move these types of interactions online. Have team members introduce their pets, a favorite recipe, or share an item in their home that has a story behind it.