Keeping your team working effectively together will be one of, if not, your key priority over the coming weeks. You will want to ensure that you are able to look after your people and you’ll be trying to keep your team connected so your business can continue provide products or services to your customers. Covid-19 will obviously create enormous challenges, but as with some many crisis, we will all be surprised by the strength of human spirit, ingenuity and ability to innovate and change, especially for those within supportive cultures.
THOUGHTS: Things to be aware of:
- Assume trust and believe that folk will be productive. It is likely most people will want to do their best.
- WFH may create new working hours and patterns – if folk don’t have to commute, let them start at 7/8am and finish at 3/4pm. However, you will still need to meet departmental/company SLA’s or opening hours for response to enquiries or phone calls. It’s not good if all your staff choose to finish at 15:00 when your opening hours are until 17:00! Considered correctly this flexibility may even extend your service hours AND help your staff balance life & work.
- How will you manage if your flexi time is dependent on them tapping in and out on a box by the door.
- “We as a 5-person team have embraced Microsoft Teams (the client and our consultancy’s mutually preferred collaboration tool) and, collectively, built emails, powerpoints, and goodness knows other stuff through a highly interactive and collaborative setup. Key = psychological safety. As this team’s servant, I contribute by guiding all of us that each of us is given a voice in discussion and establishing that we are all 5 peers. Chatham House Rules: we work as a team and we respond as a team.”
IDEA: Create a Team Charter. Here is a simple example:
“We communicate over a WhatsApp Group (given the way they’ve implemented Teams and my confidence is higher in a WhatsApp Group than their Microsoft Team implementation).
- We use Jira to reflect the actual state of play, with a 2 hour tolerance.
- We avoid ‘dark work’ i.e. we make the work transparent to everyone
- At any point in time we are able to point to an item (Jira = sub-task) that contributes towards a piece of value delivery (i.e. a Work Item / Product Backlog Item)
- We have a separate WhatsApp Group that includs the client so communication I readily available across all team-members.
- Despite our lower confidence, we use Microsoft Teams more for collaboration; however, our anchor, the behaviour established is we’re all sensitive to our WhatsApp Group.