What the Coronavirus Lockdown Reveals about your Team

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Take a moment to step back and think about the past month or so. It’s not easy to process all of life’s changes. You may now be working from home. You may be flexing your work schedule around your kids’ education. Your company may be reducing its workforce.

The daily load of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty you carry is unprecedented.

How have you handled it? How has each member of your team handled it?

Are some employees rising up when the chips are down? Are others taking advantage of new freedoms? How are managers handling an online workforce? Just what has the coronavirus lockdown revealed about the strengths (and weaknesses) of your team?

What Stepping Up (or Slacking Off) May Mean

Whether they realize it or not, everyone on your team is revealing his/her role, personality, and level of commitment to the company during this uncertain time. Some are taking on leadership roles. Others are strategizing new ways to create or sustain business. Still others are keeping morale high through virtual staff engagement events. There is most likely a handful of employees who are rising to the challenge of this virus—starting early, working around kids’ schedules, and staying up late to sustain a typical workload.

On the other hand, which team members are taking advantage of working at home with less oversight? In a virtual environment, it may be harder to detect just how little work is being done. Depending on manager oversight, certain employees may even be slacking for some time before it really shows. And when our new reality ends (hopefully sooner than later), employee trust could be permanently destroyed. Greg Kratz, contributor at FlexJobs says: “Remote work stops working when you can’t trust the person on the other end of the line.” Managers will soon start to realize which of their associates is unproductive under minimal supervision.

Management Styles Revealed

To managers, what do your employees say about you as a virtual leader? How are you as a leader in a crisis? Are you now adopting a helicopter management style, needing to see reports several times a day that were once not needed? Or, are you too far removed, failing to manage in new ways, failing to recognize employees who are less productive?

Have you modified your management style to accommodate this working environment? Maybe you look for the end-product, however long that takes each day. Maybe you keep careful track of full-time hours. How do employees demonstrate evidence that their work is getting done? As a manager, do you accommodate for children being at home along associates who now have the second full-time job of being a teacher?

Some management styles are so rigid that employees will look for new positions once this crisis ends. Greg Kratz offers advice: “As a manager of remote workers, you walk a fine line in this regard. You don’t want to micromanage them from afar, destroying their trust in you by virtually hovering over their shoulders. At the same time, however, you need to monitor them closely enough to catch potential problems early, before they affect the rest of the team or the company’s bottom line.”

Consider Having Discussions with Recruiters Now for Future Needs

If you have had to temporarily reduce your workforce, what will happen when the time comes to quickly rebuild? Consider initiating hiring discussions with recruiters now in anticipation of future need. Even if hiring is currently uncertain, relationships can be formed with recruiters in anticipation of future demand.

And if your own job is now uncertain, now is the time to talk to recruiters at Artemis Consultants. Networking and interviewing now can give you an advantage when the hiring market opens back up. It’s a peace-of-mind insurance policy.

This time is a part of all of our stories. You’re writing this chapter of your life in real time. Do you want to look back and be proud of what you accomplished? What has this crisis revealed about you to your spouse, your family, your associates, and more? What did you do, and what are you doing right now to make sure your company survives and is able to recover quickly? Recognize the opportunity. Take advantage of it.

Contact Artemis Consultants to discuss your hiring or job search needs. We want to establish a relationship that will last far beyond this time in our lives.

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