When crises strike, resiliency becomes an invaluable asset.
It’s the stuff that allows us to adapt, recover, and grow stronger from adverse situations. In the workplace, resilient teams generally have greater clarity of purpose, stronger connections, and a can-do attitude. They’re optimistic, aligned to the needs of internal and external stakeholders, and they get things done. The good news is that you can support resiliency among your staff members even when they’re working remotely.
The coronavirus pandemic has demanded a new way of life for the global workforce, but the following five strategies can help you build a resilient remote team that can withstand any crisis.
Nurture connectedness. Interacting with others fosters a sense of community. It’s easy for people to feel removed and disoriented in this new work reality. When your team members are lacking that daily dose of social interaction from the workplace, it’s important to keep them feeling that they’re part of something greater than themselves. Do whatever you can to build connections with your employees and maintain a sense of solidarity. That might mean sharing positive feedback on a daily basis, playing remote games, or enjoying virtual happy hours together. Nurturing social engagement is particularly critical for those living alone or who struggle with feelings of isolation.
Communicate regularly—and not just about work. It’s crucial that you routinely communicate individually with your remote staff members to keep them apprised of expectations, deadlines, to get their feedback, etc. While your employees don’t want to feel micromanaged, they do want regular opportunities to discuss work issues and non-work-related topics. It’s best to ask each team member how they prefer to communicate while they’re working remotely. Extraverts who thrive on interaction may prefer lots of video calls, while more introverted employees may find that off-putting. You could also encourage your employees to routinely communicate among themselves. They might use these exchanges to discuss successful experiences, problems they’ve encountered and how they’re tackling them, and lessons learned during the crisis.
Reinforce the power of collaboration. During challenging times, there are benefits to building a supportive network and reminding people that they’re not alone. Encourage your employees to rely on one another and work together. When a staff member is faced with a dilemma, for example, ask him or her to consider who on the team or within their network might be able to help. Colleagues who lend a hand stand to benefit as well, because assisting others is also helpful in building resilience.
Seek out learning opportunities. In his book Crucibles of Leadership, Robert J. Thomas described an approach he termed ‘reframing the tension’, which focuses on the learning opportunities that lie within adversity rather than despite it. You might go about ‘reframing the tension’ by helping staff members recognize skills they possess that are especially useful while they’re working remotely. For example, is there an employee who excels at dealing with distraction? Ask him or her to share their tips and guidance with the rest of the team. As each employee sees how his or her unique skills and talents contribute to the good of the organization, everyone’s confidence and morale will grow.
Go the extra mile to make your team members feel valued and appreciated. The human side of the digital workplace is just as important as the technology that’s used to support it. Encourage the appreciation of each team member’s gifts. You might start your team meetings by acknowledging and commending each individual for their specific accomplishments. Take the time to pay attention to your employees and create a culture that celebrates the whole person. Look for opportunities to host sessions on self-care, yoga, or meditation. Remind your staff members that their contributions matter and that they are valuable members of the team.
Every challenge holds opportunities to build resilience. The remote workplace can be a taxing environment for a variety of reasons. By successfully implementing these strategies, you’ll find that your employees will not only bounce back from difficult times but will emerge stronger because of them.
If you would like to learn more about building a successful remote workforce or enhancing your team’s resiliency, The HR Team is here to help. Please reach out to our knowledgeable professionals.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.