However, it is important to keep in mind that every employee has different strengths where their we-strength could be intrinsically different from their me-strength.
When we celebrate our employee's strengths they will feel valued and special, thus making them much more willing to exercise that strength again in the future.
In order to identify your employee's me-strengths, ask them:
In order to identify your employee's we-strengths, ask them:
A new joinee has to showcase the skills he possesses and at the same time, build the foundation of a good relationship with the new coworkers.
Establishing trust is important to ensure success in one’s new job role.
Trust makes us feel psychologically safe at the workplace. One can focus on creative, collaborative work where there is a free flow of ideas and everyone is benefiting from each other’s energy. One can freely ask for support, test new ideas, and be oneself without any fear of judgement.
Trustworthy colleagues result in a positive, safe and comfortable work environment that translates into better work. There is less stress, faster decision making and more innovation.
One can take cues from how coworkers trust each other by their body language, the way they interact on Slack, or how relaxed and casual they are around each other.
If help is sought after, and clarifications are prompt, even during virtual (Zoom calls) environments, one can gauge the level of trust in the workplace.
A strong foundation of trust needs to be laid as early as possible. Create a ‘shield of goodwill’ to minimize any miscommunication.
Building trust will ensure that even if there is ambiguity, the words and actions are coming with good intentions.
Trustworthiness is a combination of competence and warmth. Great leaders are loved and respected, but also feared at the same time.
One has to strike the right balance between love and fear to appear authentic, vulnerable and credible. To start things off, be compassionate and warm.
Communication is the magic key for building trust. Body language, expressions, tone are all important.
Virtual teams and WFH policies have complicated and muddled the communication that happens in a physical office. We need to provide remote team members with the benefit of the doubt while interpreting their behaviour. There is much less context to access what is meant by their words and actions.
The least we can do is watch our tone, and be as polite and generous in the initial months as possible. It always pays to be warm, friendly and human.
It's inevitable running into negative nancy at work or those who choose to undermine your capabilities. However, you get to decide how to handle people like them. You can either fight them or let them talk and not be bothered by what they say.
Every situation can be handled with grace as long as you let yourself do so. Take a deep breath and remember that what people say about you is ultimately a reflection of them and not you.
If your fight mode has been activated when dealing with someone that is undermining your work, don't let it eat you up entirely, instead, try to ask what they meant by their backhanded compliment.
Keep focused on staying calm so that you can address the root of the problem and not add gasoline to the fire. If they still do not want to change their mind about you, smile, move on, and be the bigger person.
Don't let a petty comment discourage you. Do not succumb to the negativity because at the end of the day what people say about you don't matter.
Your actions have more significance than what anyone else say.
Most companies embracing remote work also have dedicated headquarters. But remote-ish teams have even more communication and collaboration challenges than fully remote teams.
For example, in hybrid teams, remote employees are often left in the dark. Office workers are often heard, recognized, and promoted, while remote workers are forgotten.
The single biggest mistake companies can make is to opt to be remote-friendly instead of remote-first. Companies often accept the idea that remote is the future of work without creating an inclusive culture to ensure it works for everyone.
Hybrid companies function best when the entire company is optimized for remote work. Successful hybrid teams set up processes to help their remote workers thrive alongside their office teammates.
Leadership must acknowledge the various challenges remote workers face and create solutions. Create a remote work policy that keeps remote workers and contractors from feeling like second class team members. Remote workers should feel fully connected and not missing a thing.
While these opportunities are costly and require coordination, they pay ongoing dividends.
Create an explicit work-from-home policy for office employees that extends the benefits of remote work to office employees. Clearly outline the expectations of remote workers in documentation.
Ensure your guideline answers the following questions:
While treating both remote and office employees fairly, they don't necessarily need to be treated the same. Consider the unique needs of each group and create policies and perks that address them.
Remote-ish teams should adopt asynchronous communication as the primary source of correspondence.
A few important areas where centralized and accessible documentation should exist:
Clear and concise documentation is crucial to empower individuals and teams with the information needed to do their work. It allows remote individuals to work more independently without having to wait for an answer.
Video calls and other forms of synchronous communication still serves a function. However, synchronous communication should be made available asynchronously:
It is quite possible that certain employees are not trusted by the manager, and there is a lack of confidence in their abilities. The employees are given lower-quality work or are micro-managed.
To rehabilitate the bosses trust, one has to first clarify the expectations and ask specific questions laying down what they want from you.
Watch the level of eye contact to understand if there is a likeability problem between you and your boss. It is possible that your boss may not like you, or not relate to you, which is quite common.
Communication is key here, and one can find the areas that the boss is working on, or is interested in, and carry a conversation that can help both of you know each other well.
Humans have a negative bias and tend to create or personalize any problem even when there are many factors that are not in one’s knowledge.
Do not be a leech just because you have this hunch that the boss doesn’t like you. It also not a good idea to complain or gossip about your boss to others, as word-of-mouth is fast.
Work towards developing and strengthening your relationship with your subordinates, peers and colleagues.
Your boss will not be able to maintain a poor image of you when there are many who speak good about you. Invest in building deep professional relationships instead of being dependent on one person that does not seem to favour you.
Today, remote and flexible work arrangements are seen as a perk.
In 2018, a survey showed that around 3 percent of Americans worked from home on a regular basis. Due to technological advancements (starting with Blackberry), employees were working from everywhere, the subway, the café, home and during the commute.
But even after we have the technology required for remote working for about fifteen odd years, we have been slow to adopt mainstream remote working. The mass-adoption needed a catalyst, and that was provided in 2020 in the form of a deadly disease.
While remote work has a lot of benefits like reduced commute, time efficiency and safety, many conclude that the richness of in-person interaction is irreplaceable, and many studies do seem to confirm that people in the office just get more done.
Face-to-face interactions help employees communicate and bond, making them think, investigate, synthesize, write, plan, organize and brainstorm together, something the best of technology finds hard to match with people in remote locations in their pyjamas.
In many remote working environments, employees are reduced to their email addresses and/or slack handles, delegated with work which can easily overload them due to the current unstable situation across the world already complicating life, and most people having their kids at home.
Offices, on the other hand, have the advantage of the personal touch, with long back and forth emails are usually avoided, with a spontaneous conversation working out well.
The software industry is already organized towards a systematic work approach that is compatible with remote working, which involves agile project management systems and coding sprints, understanding the needs of the coders.
Modern city life has placed the office as a place where adults interact, hang out, and work together, getting into friendships and relationships in the process.
These benefits of an office, where our emotional needs are being fulfilled, are being deprived by the concept of remote working.
The new remote worker may find that there is unnecessary demand for his attention and attendance, bordering on intrusive, while he is trying to work remotely.
A good way to handle this is to consolidate your appointments in the second half of a day, and provide yourself a set of hours for actual productive work (known as flow). Constant email back and forth all day won't be productive.
Assigning your work in specific blocks of time adds structure to your work routine and get more done during a day, as you would be knowing that another task is time-blocked, and the current tasks need to be done in the stipulated time.
Good collaborative softwares like Trello, Microsoft Flow and others, make tasks appear in a more transparent manner.
Apart from software, how an employee is managed remotely by a boss also matters. The best way is to provide employees with clear goals and then leave them alone to use their own approach and creativity, while being available in case of any query.
Companies are struggling to balance employee and public health with the maintenance of basic operations. The obvious answer is to go virtual and work from home.
But it is not that simple. Companies gain a subtle but profound value from social interaction. Productivity and sound decision-making rely heavily on informal communication, like coffee breaks. Employee trust relies on daily in-person interactions like nods of courtesy, morning greetings, and so on. Specific strategies can be implemented to preserve the social fabric essential to success.
The quality of online conversations can lack much of the interpersonal richness present in in-person discussions.
Conversations could be monitored with RIFF Analytics, for example, that uses artificial intelligence to analyze online conversation dynamics and provide real-time personalized feedback to each participant: Is anybody dominating the conversation? Is discussion as inclusive as it should be?
When working remotely, physical distance can quickly develop into psychological distance. Companies need to take extra care to include people in decision-making.
To give your day structure, keep the same routine as when you went into an office. Get up at the same time and make a to-do list. Check in with the same person every morning.
Your schedule will change over time as you adjust to your new working arrangement.
Pick a place for your office away from distraction.
Boundaries also apply to other people who may be sharing the same space. Children can work alongside you as if they were coming to the office.
You won't have the same cues as you do from your workplace to remind you to get up or get lunch. When you lose the pace of your day, everything can start to blend together.
Treat your exercise, meals and stretch breaks as you would any other meeting. Put it on your calendar, at least to start.
Proactively stay in touch with others rather than waiting for someone to reach out. It could be emailing colleagues more often, using chat tools or just picking up the phone.
Getting a pet is another way to break isolation, or playing a familiar movie for a background hum to break the silence.
The evening commute is often a way to end the workday and beginning home life.
It is important to continue to end your workday when you work from home, even if you only move to a different spot in your home or shut down your work applications.
Creating parent-teacher groups enables parents to share their opinion in regards to topics that concern directly their children, such as classroom activities, field trips, or homework.
This can prove extremely efficient, as parents are the ones who know the best their kids and can, therefore, make great decisions when it comes to them.
Allowing parents to participate in their children's field trips can prove an inspired idea, as they often have great suggestions.
Moreover, getting their feedback both before and after the trip might lead to the improvement of such activities.
This kind of program often results in successful cooperation between parents and teachers, therefore ensuring that no feedback is lost.
Parent volunteers get in contact with other parents for topics related to their children and forward their opinions to teachers, enabling an efficient communication of everybody's thoughts and suggestions.
The cooperation between teachers and parents can lead to a relationship based on mutual respect and exchange of opinions and experiences, which can only have good effects regarding a child's development.