How to successfully help your team adapt and collaborate during COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 has undeniably had an effect on teams and organisations globally, it’s forced many into new ways of working such as working from home for the foreseeable future. For some people, working from home can be a big change and a new concept to adapt to. For those who work from home occasionally, or even frequently, it can still be a new experience if their entire team and organisation is also working remotely too. When it comes to working from home, some people may thrive, and others may struggle. It may result in some employees feeling lonelier and more isolated, which could lead to lower productivity levels. At Achievers, we’ve created the COVID-19 Critical Event Response Survey and Toolkit, which helps managers and leaders to look at how employees are being affected and supported during this difficult time.

To ensure that teams are adapting and collaborating effectively during this current situation, below are some solutions that businesses can implement:

1. Increase communication

Working alone can make some people feel lonely. Therefore, it’s important that teams communicate more than usual to keep in touch. This could be a 15-minute call to kick off the day and run through key priorities or frequent check-ins to see how employees are coping. We have more technology than ever before at our fingertips to keep us in touch with others so use team chats, video call tools, phone calls, and emails to stay connected with your team.

2. Encourage taking breaks

When you’re working from home it’s easy to lose the set structure of the day and work-life balance can easily blur. It’s important that employees are encouraged to take frequent breaks that fit into their new schedules, whether it’s going for a walk outside (while observing Government guidelines) or having a virtual hangout with a friend or family member. It’s important to use these breaks to relax and take your mind off work and focus on your well-being and mental health. Managers should work with their teams to see how they’re adjusting; they may find that some employees with children may prefer a different working pattern – or may even prefer to put in hours on the weekend.

3. Recognition, recognition, recognition

Employee recognition is a high-impact strategy that increases employee productivity and engagement. When employees are going above and beyond, it can be difficult for that hard work to be noticed when working remotely. A recognition platform allows employees to easily send and receive recognitions acknowledging the contributions that are being made. Recognition is infectious and could encourage others to send words of appreciation and encouragement to others, creating a positive cycle of appreciation, which motivates others and lifts spirits across the business.

4. Create an environment where feedback is taken seriously

While it’s critical for managers to communicate with their teams in terms of daily operations, it’s also important that employees feel that they have a voice and are being heard. Remote teams and employees should be encouraged to share if they have something on their mind or have a concern. Understanding your employees’ feedback and ensuring that they feel heard will make them feel empowered and are more likely to perform their best work.

5. Be compassionate and understanding

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Significant changes at work can have a huge impact on employee morale, motivation, well-being, and performance. Some employees might be more open to change, while others may struggle with anxiety and stress. It’s essential that managers look after their employees, making sure that they feel heard and supported – looking after your team becomes even more important during times of uncertainty. Take the time to provide employees with the necessary tools they need to tackle challenges, which will help them to build resilience. During times of difficulty, mental and physical wellness will need to be prioritised – motivate and encourage employees to try and stay healthy, eat healthy, drink plenty of water and get regular exercise as well as practice mindfulness.

Click here to find out more about Achievers’ employee engagement platform.