Transitioning to working from home is always a huge change. Let alone when it isn’t a choice like so many of us have recently experienced! Managers and employees alike will have to work harder in different ways as they continue adjusting. Engaging your team and feeling connected is certainly one area that you’ll need to focus on.
Here are 3 ways you can stay in touch and keep your relationships growing during this difficult time.
Do General Check-Ins Daily and Weekly
Productivity is a hot topic amid this shift to remote work. But all check-ins should NOT just be about staying on task. You need to take care of your employees and coworkers beyond that.
For example, sending humorous, inspirational, or motivational texts could be a daily pick-me-up that people really appreciate. It could be a much-needed break to send these on the spot without advanced preparation. However, you can also easily schedule a week’s worth of texts at one time.
Another way to check in is helping people adapt their goals (professional and otherwise) and creating a plan for accountability. In the past, team members at Skipio have created general “goal reminder” campaigns that do just that. The series of messages that they sent all focused on supporting and encouraging participants to achieve their goal, whether that was work-specific or something in their personal life.
Encourage Continued Training
Especially while working from home, aspects of training definitely must be adapted. No matter how you choose to implement training, here are some tips for following up.
If you had a regular training schedule that included specific checkpoints, you can schedule texts for automatic follow-up and ask if they need help. These training messages can easily include links to the training resources you use, whether that’s online classes, prerecorded videos, written guides, etc.
For example, if people need to complete a portion of training by a certain date, the messages can provide tips and remind them of the deadline. Just make sure you adjust your deadlines and commit to understanding the stress that people are under.
We’ve had clients create Skipio campaigns specific to training to ensure people keep up on certain skills as well as to guide new employees through the onboarding process. Employees in different departments received messages specific to their roles as well as general messages related to overall company training. By not only sending reminders but also asking for feedback regarding training, team members were more engaged and felt better prepared to do their jobs.
If you don’t currently have a training schedule or you don’t want to continue with your normal schedule, simply sharing resources and ideas for online courses, video classes, and the like could be really valuable. Encouraging team members to upskill and giving them the time to do so turns employees into smarter, harder working individuals who are more likely to be engaged in their work.
Schedule 1:1s and Prioritize Individual Conversations
If you already held regular 1:1s with employees, keep doing so. These individual conversations will help you keep the best pulse on your team. With how varied people’s schedules may be while working from home, still schedule your 1:1s and send reminders.
Having scheduled one-on-one conversations and specifically asking how you can help, either with work tasks or anything else, will be very appreciated. People might be hesitant to express a need in a group chat such as Slack or even a team video call. It’s hard to ask for help, so make it as easy as possible!
But all of your individual interactions don’t need to be a scheduled video chat or phone call. The daily check-ins we talked about in the first section work great as conversation openers. They also help people see that you’re open to ongoing text conversations. Of course you don’t want to be texting people late at night or early in the morning, but don’t be afraid to reach out after regular work hours. Make sure your team knows that you have their back!
As you think about the types of messages you want to send, group your employees based on responsibilities and teams. That way you can send specific, tailored messages to applicable groups of people and ensure greater personalization.
Ultimately, how you reach out and connect depends on how many people there are and how they like to be contacted. But as you can see, texting is a great way to do each of these things. Skipio allows you to engage teams both large and small, automatically and personally through texting.