The Workplace: October/November 2020

Is it really possible to set people up for success and manage performance the same as before?

Is it possible? In the new world of remote management and remote onboarding – to set people up for success and manage performance the same as before?

The management of activity and productivity, discussions about sales planning, delivering to our clients, coaching our people, managing careers, staying connected – and there will be others. How effectively can you influence these areas when the traditional methods of popping into a room or discussions over a desk to influence, help and guide are no longer a five-days-a-week reality?

All the above are not easy, but as we have all learned, it is the reality that we have to embrace and change how we operate for the better.

Our comms strategies need to be more structured and thought-out than ever. The sense of feeling connected and part of a team must remain. Just because you are 30 miles apart and see each other just once or twice a week should not stop visibility.

I am surprised just how many people I speak to feel that they are out of mind as well as out of sight.

Our comms strategies need to be more structured and thought-out than ever. The sense of feeling connected and part of a team must remain.”

Becoming a digital workplace with an agenda to modernise communication techniques… consigning email and the intranet to the scrap heap… is a line of travel that we all should take. Frequent comms sent straight to our phone, created to build and maintain a strong feeling of connection, a sense of fun and a platform for daily comms for everyone: this is the starting point for managing remotely.

And there is the importance of 1-2-1s. Make them religiously, every week, as they remain one of the most powerful tools in creating the environment for someone to succeed.

Structured time for your people to discuss how they are feeling, what’s on their mind, the challenges they are facing with building their desks. This way we start the week with a sense of purpose and understanding of the line of travel.

Technology is making working from home the same experience by having the right tools at hand and the best set-up away from the office. You do not need a tonne of space or even your own study, but it does need to be comfortable with the right table, chair and key pieces of tech.

And then there is the challenge of making a new starter feel that they have indeed joined the right business when their usual first-quarter induction programme is held online, and they sit at home away from their new surroundings and team.

How about creating that sense of belonging during remote onboarding? Post a detailed onboarding booklet setting out their first six weeks to the newcomer’s home; have video face-to-face time scheduled for the days they are not in the office; make a timetable for meeting a host of new faces in their first couple of months; pair them up with a buddy; and diarise time for reviewing progress.

Our people can be out of sight but never out of mind. 

Guy Hayward – redefining the modern workplace, CEO, Goodman Masson

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