Just last week, one of our clients realized they needed to slash payroll. Instead of working this all out in the front office and sending out layoff notices, they called together a company-wide meeting and explained the problem. Several people volunteered to be furloughed—to be home with their families. Others volunteered for pay cuts in the short-term. But the icing on the cake came from their newest employee who had been researching sales and marketing techniques when you can’t visit with clients and prospects. This led to a discussion about building sales instead of slashing costs. Our point: Being open and involving more people in the problem-solving process not only brings new and superior solutions, but engages your team in a way that will pay dividends into the future.
This was already on your radar, but it’s now the “new normal”. Don’t expect it to go back to the “old normal”. The key to keeping remote workers productive and engaged with the team, is maintaining weekly touch points to be certain everyone is getting what they need and hearing each other’s concerns. It‘s also an opportunity for them to hear from the rest of the team, even if by video, and reaffirm your business culture and beliefs. We’ve had this conversation hundreds of times with managers and owners who assure us there’s no time for that level and frequency of communication. So, try these ideas:
- Bring a representative group of people together to discuss the challenges of remote work and put new ideas on the table.
- Ask your team what they can take off your plate to allow you to stay in regular contact with remote workers.
- Explore ways to free up everyone’s time by employing technology, and ways to reduce unnecessary meetings and paper handling.
Communication is Leadership
When this crisis subsides, where will your company be? Rethinking basic challenges and coming up with new solutions will put you ahead of the curve. This sounds easy enough, but one of the biggest obstacles is taking that first step because bosses, owners, leaders are supposed to have all the answers, right? We would argue that you do have all the answers, but you need to orchestrate your employees, leadership team, advisors, and even your customers in order to reveal those answers. Bringing people together to solve problems they didn’t know they had the answers to, is leadership. If there was ever a time for leaders to step up, it’s now.
We have more ideas to start these important discussions and would be happy to discuss them with you by phone or video, so get in touch when you’re ready. For now, take the time to figure out how to get these concepts working for you. Here are a few a links about turning these good ideas into action:
- Leading Change
- 10 Steps for Managing Change in Your Business
- Sometimes it’s about getting back to the basics, here are 15 questions to launch some good internal discussions from one of our most popular blog posts: 15 Questions to Ask Before Writing Your Business Plan
Need help getting started?
We have more ideas to start these important discussions and would be happy to discuss them with you by phone or video.