out on our people and culture sessions through our webinar series, or just want to recap the good
stuff? Good news - we’ve collated team Unleashed’s top tips for leaders navigating these
challenging times. Read on for plenty of tangible, actionable insight into
leading through change, supporting your team’s wellbeing and maintaining
company culture whilst working remotely.
to lead in a time of lots of change and remote working
- Flex your style - it’s important to
vary your approach to communication because individuals absorb information
in different ways. Deploying a mix of methods will help ensure the message
is more consistently received. Try videos with company updates; ‘Ask Me
Anything’s, or even old school notes and cards to share positive feedback
with your team.
- Take a design thinking
approach to comms
– gather feedback and iterate your approach to meet the needs of your
team, but be careful not to radically change your approach to key
communications channels too often as this can be destabilising - e.g. if
you try a different format for your all hands/town hall meetings every
week, your team will quickly become confused as to the core purpose of the
- Open up and be
this time has brought challenges for us all and acknowledging this
will help build trust.
- Great communication goes
- practice active listening and use coaching with your team to empower
them (check out models like GROW and OSCAR).
- Avoid zoom fatigue and
- reevaluate all regular meetings that have stayed in the diary since
moving towards more distributed work - are they really necessary? If so,
restrict invites to only those who are vital and give a summary to any
other interested, but non-essential parties.
wellbeing of your team during COVID 19
- Everyone response to the
pandemic will be different - and stress levels will change all the time, so be
sure to check in with your team regularly. It’s easier to gauge how
someone is feeling in person and to observe changes in their behaviour.
That ability has been removed now we’re working remotely so being direct
- Don’t stop at ‘I’m fine’ - when asked how they
are, people will instinctively say ‘I’m fine’ even when they’re not. Try
asking them twice, or make it more specific with ‘how are you physically,
mentally, and emotionally?’
- Create a quiet, calm
space for 1:1’s - just
like you would in person. It’s harder to both focus and open up when
either sides family or friends are pottering about in the background.
- Stay in your lane - if you’re not a
therapist or helping professional, the number one thing you can do when a
member of your team is going through a tough time and chooses to open up
to you about it is listen. Don’t interrupt or try offering solutions.
Resist the urge to say ‘I understand’ - you don’t.
- Share resources- make sure information
about wellbeing benefits and mental health resources are readily available
to all. Signpost individuals to specific resources only if they’re open to
extra support -and always make sure it feels like an option, not an
- We’re social animals - human beings need
social connection, so try and encourage your team to embrace a low bar for
jumping on a call rather than emailing, and make time for social chat
- Don’t forget furloughed
team members - but
don’t force participation either - make it clear that they the option to
join socials and ‘all staff’ updates if they choose and ensure managers
are checking in at a frequency agreed with furloughed individuals.
- Mental health awareness
is not just for Mental Health Awareness Week - creating true openness around mental health means
taking consistent action and keeping the conversation going.
to maintain company culture and engagement during remote working
- Engagement is a social
the company and team members. If the company does not deliver on what is
expected, team members will become less engaged, and lack of engagement is
strongly linked to high staff turnover.
- Start simple - If you don’t know
where to begin with codifying your culture and defining some core values,
survey all staff for 5 words which they think describe your company
culture. Consider how well this aligns with both leadership team’s views
of the status quo and whether it differs from aspirations.
- Seek feedback
constantly, act on it quickly - when ways of working are changing, gathering
feedback through multiple channels becomes even more crucial - but failing
to acknowledge and act on feedback once received will lead to
disengagement. If you can’t action feedback, explain why openly.
- Keep nurturing talent - don’t forget
that new and junior staff learn a lot about their role and the culture
through shadowing others, so be deliberate about creating learning
opportunities that would have happened organically when in an office
- Ask your team what they
they know best. Whether it’s equipment and tools needed to be productive
or what socials they’d like to see - empower people to get what they need
So there you have it! If you’d like to hear more from team
Unleashed, you can find them over on LinkedIn or sign
up for their newsletter here.
To sign up to upcoming webinars, visit our events page here.