As a people manager, I have prioritised these actions:
1. Recognise that every employee is different
Every employee has felt disruption in some way. Some welcome the opportunity to work from home and avoid the commute, and feel more productive. Others, like one member of my team, miss the camaraderie of the office.
I’ve listened and observed, and as a result, am making sure that at least once a day, we connect via video chat so there’s face-to-face time. Not every employee wants or needs this. This is one way to address the unique needs of different people. Know what inspires and motivates every member of your team, and tailor your approach.
2. Keep listening and building trust
Show your employees that you care, through words and actions. Flexibility in how work gets done, gives your people a feeling of empowerment, and builds trust. Prioritise relationships. Our teams are working together as never before. Ask people how they are doing; listen to the answers so you can find ways to support your employees in each unique situation.
Be the resource people need. As your employees talk to you about building their careers and their skills, offer resources (that honestly, might look different than they did six months ago) and opportunities. Even without travel or in-person training, show employees that you still value and encourage growth and development.
3. Celebrate and recognise
I continually look for ways to acknowledge employee efforts. While we’re remote there’s no chance to give a shout out to the group around the conference table or a spontaneous thanks in the hallway or at lunch.
As our work has changed, so too has recognition.
Schedule regular check-ins. Start or end one-on-one and team meetings with recognition. Celebrate small victories and the way people overcome challenges. Encourage your employees to praise and acknowledge one another to fuel engagement, innovation and a sense of belonging. Time spent with an individual can be as effective a recognition of their contribution as an award.
4. Keep the balance.
With so many people working from home offices, it’s easy to lose sight of things other than work – since it’s always there. Model balanced behaviour for your team – don’t send emails or texts after normal working hours and expect an immediate response. Take time off. Encourage people to have a few minutes of social time on video calls, just like they would in person.
We want potential and current employees to know that this is a place where people can bring their authentic selves, and that their work will be valued and recognised in a way that matters to them.
You can get a sense of what it’s like to work here and #LifeatROK.
When we take care of our people, our people take care of our customers and our company.