Who would have thought that in the year 2022 there would be a whole new dynamic on how people work? From having employees on strict 8 to 5 schedules to now having flexi hours and work from home, we have come a long way in terms of change in the workspace.
Hybrid working has been recognised as a method that will be both encouraged and welcomed in the workplace. It is a great way to ensure necessary protocols are followed and also ensure productivity. In light of the fuel price increase it has also brought on relief for employees struggling with the fuel bill by allowing a break in commuting to work.
As much as we are embracing and adapting to the new workplace schedules, we should also be looking at change in leadership to adapt to the new work lifestyle. Our leadership methods should change to accommodate the new normal.
Leading a team in person has its challenge and leading a remote working team can also have its own challenges. Many businesses struggle to keep their employees abreast with the new technology. Even managers and leaders struggle to adjust to the new technology. It should come as no surprise that there might be challenges to adjust to the new work world order.
The work from home and the office can be both stressful and unpredictable for management. This is a new method of leadership. You have to make the necessary adjustments to existing skill sets to accommodate the new work form.
Here are some ways to help managers improve the way they manage employees working from home:
- Improve your communication online. Ensure that instructions are clear. It was a chore to get to know how the online systems work. But since it is here to stay it is something we have to master. In order to improve and change your leadership techniques to accommodate the new work order, use methods to improve your communication. Ensure you communicate clearly and without any confusion staff.
- Start digitising your schedules. Keep everything online. Whether it is a drop box or a new online system, having all your information online is a great way to keep the new move successful. It will also get your staff who might be hesitant to change to get in the rhythm of keepings things online. Digitising work can be the first step to improve the way you lead. This gives you an opportunity to ensure everyone has the necessary skills to embrace the online efficiency.
- Improve your observation. Look at the quality of work with some of the employees. Look at who is in need of training and upskilling. This can show you have an interest in your team’s development and that even though they are working remotely, that you are aware of their needs. Things like training and development can still take place online.
- It is important to be compassionate. Ensure that you are empathetic to your team’s needs. Try to connect with your team. If someone hasn’t taken a day off in a while check in on them. Check in on them and try to establish best methods to improve their well-being. Remember being a good leader is not only about keeping up with productivity but employee wellness too.
- The most important improvement in leadership in terms of adjustment for online work would be to avoid micromanagement. Having employees working from home and not being able to keep track of them can be stressful especially if you aren’t able to keep track of their productivity. If you are not able to stop micromanagement then improve the way it is done. You don’t need a check-in check- out system. Rather have a productivity system. As long employees are producing results this should be enough to keep you informed about the activities of employees.
- Trust your employees. It is important to show your staff that you trust them. Prevent them from feeling that they are being watched or monitored. Trust them. Give employees an opportunity for creativity and productivity. This would be a good way to get staff to feel valued and improve your management methods.
Devan Moonsamy is the CEO of ICHAF Training Institute, a South African TVET College. He is the author of Racism, Classism, Sexism, And The Other ISMs That Divide Us, AND My Leadership Legacy Journal available from the ICHAF Training Institute.
The ICHAF Training Institute offers SETA-approved training in business skills, computer use, and soft skills. Devan specialises in conflict and diversity management, and regularly conducts seminars on these issues for corporates. To book a seminar with Devan or for other training courses, please use the contact details below.
Tel: 011 262 2461 | 083 303 9159 |