2. Commit to 2x Daily Huddles.
Accountability can easily become a casualty of remote work, even when everyone on your team is acting in good faith (which at successful companies, most people are).
That’s why at SnackNation we’re conducting twice daily video conference huddles for every department, as well as for our leadership team. The goal is to keep everyone connected and informed, especially since circumstances are changing so rapidly. This practice is especially important during the initial transition to remote life, when you’re establishing expectations and best practices for remote employees.
To make our expectations crystal clear, I had every team leader at SnackNation commit to their answers to the following questions, and share with the entire team:
Team Dept Hours (consistency is preferred): ___________
Commitment: What’s the communicated expectation on how long it will take your team to get back to others? ___________
Commitment: How will your team notify each other when they will be unavailable and unable to meet the above expectation? ___________
Morning Huddle Time: ___________
Morning Huddle Agenda: ___________
Evening Huddle Time: ___________
Evening Huddle Agenda: ___________
Weekly Performance Accountability Meeting Time: ___________
Weekly Performance Accountability Meeting Agenda: ___________
Plans for ensuring camaraderie and interaction: ___________
Commitment y/n that you have communicated to your teams that video is mandatory for connection and accountability purposes: ___________
Commitment y/n that every employee has their personal office hours tracked in their calendar: ___________
Similarly, a dispersed workforce makes effective internal communication a must. You may feel like you’re communicating too frequently, but that’s rarely the case. It’s so easy for employees to feel out of the loop, so get ahead of that with frequent communication.
This also means your internal communications channels must be dialed. There are two schools of thought here: you can either (a) designate a primary communication channel so that people are easier to reach, or (b) take a multi-touch approach, duplicating messages on multiple channels. Though it seems less efficient, we’ve found that the second approach is actually more effective. Sometimes you simply have to adapt to people’s behavior and reach them on the channel where they tend to spend their time.
Lastly, you should also create a Work From Home Policy that employees sign to clearly communicate employee expectations and responsibilities. Speaking of communication…
4. Video Conference Everything.
Zoom is your best friend during a pandemic.
It can be easy for employees in a work-from-home situation to feel alone and disconnected. This means that face-to-face interaction is more important than ever, even if it’s digital.
That’s why I’ve told my team that whenever possible, they must use Zoom for meetings and calls.
Ironically, I feel even more connected to my team now then I did a few weeks ago, simply because I’m talking to them more. In the office, it was easy to rely too much on email. But now that face time is a priority, I’m rarely in my inbox. Just take yesterday for example – during work hours, there were only about 30 minutes of my day that were not spent either on Zoom or on the phone.