Motivating & managing WFH teams in 2021 – Part 2

Practical tips to tackle the 2 most pressing business issues created by work-from-home

As discussed last week, the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity to extend the company’s role from simply building a better employee experience to supporting a better life experience.

In part 2 of this topic, I discuss the 2 most pressing business issues created by the WFH situation and give suggestions on how to ensure company needs are aligned with the all-important experience we need our team to have to ensure peak performance in the workplace.

Accept that the company culture has evolved

A company’s culture is created through years of operation, setting a baseline of how managers and teams are expected to interact – both with each other as well as the customers they serve.  Healthy cultures make allowances for evolution, shedding outdated habits and adopting new ones as fresh trends and strategies emerge.

With the sudden implementation of a strict lockdown, many companies suffered something of a culture shock, realising that their culture didn’t necessarily align with the digital world we inhabit.  Perhaps it’s time for a good look at whether your culture fits this “next normal”?  For example, what is the management style in the organization? Do managers manage activity or outcomes? Do they clearly communicate expectations to team members?

“WFH is simply the next step in company culture evolution.”

Perform Forward tip:  Don’t resist change; it can be a force for good for both the individual and the company as a whole.  If the company had a solid culture before the lockdown, chances are only minor refinements are required to absorb and accommodate WHF.

Make amendments to company policy

Last, but not least, we need to consider how any adjusted approaches may conflict with existing company policies.  Everything from the dress code policy to employment contracts needs to be revised to ensure that outdated documents and procedures accommodate changes.

A company’s workforce is bound by the legal documentation they’re required to sign, and it is our responsibility as leaders and managers to ensure that what we say, do, expect and enforce are in alignment.

Perform Forward tip:  Review any changes relating to WFH and associated policies that have occurred.  Clarity goes a long way to creating a well-functioning work environment, so revise current documents, make the necessary amendments and communicate the changes with your team through official channels. 

Conclusion

To reiterate last week’s conclusion, the employment landscape is going through a rapid evolution.  By ensuring that our culture and documentation are in alignment, and by making sure that communication of any changes is transparent, we can effectively manage the transition from outdated to current, and in so doing, create an environment that fosters a feeling of safety and fulfillment.