The New Normal for Businesses
Running a business on a normal day is probably a no-brainer for some business owners. Because of a regularized flow of technicalities and rules, everyone involved knows exactly what to do. From managing customers to keeping tabs on all of the tasks at hand, everything gets done at the end of the day. With a little fuss here and there, each member of the team still gets to accomplish daily business management chores to keep the shop, company, or enterprise running, and most importantly, keeping customers and clients satisfied.
However, the pandemic happened. With the tilt that the virus brought upon our communities, businesses all over the world are forced to cease or limit their operations. Employees are being laid off, stores are earning little, and patrons are stuck at home. The norm has been changed and everyone is thinking of what to do next. Everyone is now calling daily life the ‘new normal’. Where we used to go out and get our chores and jobs done, instead, we are now forced to stay at home and go out when necessary. And this is making running a business or keeping profits rolling in very hard.
With physical operations limited, everybody is spending more time online. Aside from going outside to buy groceries or to exercise, some people found it more convenient to follow online gym classes and buying groceries using delivery services instead. So, with online shopping becoming more active, physical businesses are also now taking this opportunity to their advantage. According to a recent study by GreekWire in March 2020, “42 percent of the US population purchased their groceries online at least once a week.” Experts also found a boost in Google searches for ‘online groceries’.
And although online shopping has been done way before the pandemic, a lot of consumers also stated they will still continue to purchase online even after the pandemic ends. With this in mind, over half of Americans (52%) are extremely worried about the outbreak. The Consumer Survey also showed that people are currently in favor of Western and South American products, in comparison to China, Asia, and Africa. Products from Europe are also seen to be the most trustworthy, with 83% of respondents finding them reliable, followed by USA with 82%.
With that being said, small and huge enterprises are constantly tweaking their business flow to cater to their community’s needs. Aside from that, they are also looking after their people and how they can continue to support the company with minimal contact. Since the US now has the most cases all over the world, businesses are now wary of letting their staff work on-site. Employees are now being sent home to work online or are being laid off entirely with or without benefits. And this is a reality that some people are currently facing.
Managing Your Business: Trust in Your Team
Having a team of dedicated and skilled individuals is a great way to give assurance to your business’ success. Without a trusted team, one may find it hard to manage everything on their own. So, by looking for the best sets of skills, you are doing yourself a favor by allowing your business to grow along with your staff. Thus, by ensuring to finding the best people to help you grow your business, you can also ensure a happy environment where everyone is willing to improve and work.
It has also been studied that improving one’s employee relations, employees are shown to be happier and have higher retention for sharing ideas and following instructions. Team efforts are also shown to be more productive and motivated compared to unhappy employees. One of the most important lessons that you must learn from leading companies is that encouraging and adapting a positive work environment can reap enormous benefits. This means that fostering a workplace that treats its employees right is a workplace that encourages loyalty and teamwork.
Thus, with this article, Proweaver, a world-class web design company, will give you some ideas on how to manage your staff better, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. With everything that’s going on right now, everyone must stick together and help each other in ways more than one. We want you, business owners, to also find ways to overcome this hardship and work together with your team to continue serving your community. We hope that you can find this blog useful in any way you can.
Here are some of the methods you can use to improve teamwork and productivity within your staff during COVID-19:
- Encourage Your Team’s Safety and Wellness
- Prevent Misinformation as Much as Possible
- Give Your Team the Support They Need: Reducing Stress Levels
- Lead Your Team: Be an Example
- Maintain Communication with Your Team
- Endorse Equitable Policies for Your Team
- Great Team Management: Listen to Your Team
With the aforementioned methods, we hope that you can apply them into your daily work schedule. By doing so, we guarantee that there will be a significant change within your team. After all, creating a positive workplace, on and off the office, is a great way to boost productivity and teamwork within your office. Especially during the pandemic where everyone is screens apart, communication and a great work culture must be in place in order to maintain a smooth workflow. Not just that, but this is a time to empower and strengthen your team’s motivation and productivity.
Encourage Your Team’s Safety and Wellness
As the adage goes, health is wealth. And with overall wellness, your team can function properly, thus, improving your company’s overall productivity. By encouraging your team to maintain their overall vitality, you can be ensured that they will be well enough to continue their daily work tasks. So as your team continues to work at home or on-site, here are some ways you can help maintain their health and wellness.
Having an efficient safety plan for your office will greatly benefit everyone’s safety while they work:
- Provide soap and water to encourage hand washing
- Clean frequently-touched surfaces, like desktops, counters, handles, doors, toilets, sinks, and more.
- Ensure that employees who are not feeling well will stay at home. Make it a point to let them take a day off to recuperate, especially if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
- Organize work areas to stay 6 feet apart from each other.
- For offices with clinics, make sure to check each employee’s vitals every day.
For Teams Working from Home
Let your team follow these tips to maintain their safety and wellness at home:
- Reserve a space at home that is meant for work purposes, making it a point that there are enough sources for electricity and charging space.
- Make sure that their work space is ergonomic and will give them proper posture, light, and noise protection.
- Let them find time to exercise. You may also conduct daily virtual exercises for everyone in your team.
- Let them communicate with their loved ones. Communication is especially beneficial for everyone’s mental wellness during the pandemic.
- Limit exposure to news. Although knowing about the latest happenings is crucial, finding time to relax and take care of one’s self is more important. Make sure that your team remains stress-free and calm.
Prevent Misinformation as Much as Possible
News and the media are crucial parts of the community. By knowing about the latest happenings of various fields and topics, people will become more aware of their surroundings. It is also part of the public’s right to information and expression. Thus, having reputable news sources is very important, especially in times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, with every good thing that people can benefit from news comes a much likely outcome: misinformation. According to Statista.com, 29% of Americans believe that social media is responsible for the spread of fake news, while 18% of Americans view the media as an enemy of the people.
Misinformation is the event where fake news or unsupported and false information is spread to the public. Because of this, people will be led to believe the article they are reading just because it came from the internet. It may also possibly cause panic among citizens. Times like these, where COVID-19 is present, are where misinformation can become rampant.
So, to avoid misinformation within your office, here are some tips that we can share to you:
- Encourage the practice of sharing timely, relevant news from reputable news sources.
- For health issues, it is best to inform your team using information from the CDC, WHO, and your local health department.
- Teach your team on how to spot fake from real news. This will greatly help them in the long run.
- You may also encourage a virtual talk with your team regarding their thoughts on the latest news. This way, everyone can stay informed regarding the importance of being in the know.
- As much as possible, do not share information on preventing, curing, and treating the virus without consulting a healthcare expert. This is very important so that people will be safe from taking unnecessary medications or unsupported health practices.
According to a study by Statista.com, 67% Americans view misinformation as a major problem. This is true because knowing that children are also now exposed to social media, they can also become victims to this problem. By practicing proper news sharing within your home or the office, you will be helping millions of people from believing bogus data.
Give Your Team the Support They Need: Reducing Stress Levels
According to Happify Health, these are the top five stressors that most American employees face at work:
- Low salaries
- Unrealistic work expectations
- Long hours
- Working in an office where growth is lacking
It has also been stated that these stressors also come with their knowledge that their jobs are not supportive to everyone’s growth and success. From the same Happify study, 33% of American respondents say that they are most stressed during their workdays due to the said stressors above.
Now, more than ever, being one with our team is a crucial thing that we must all do. As a family of professionals, everyone must stick together to achieve great and efficient outcomes for the business. Thus, by understanding the needs of your team, together, you can work out work changes for the better. Of all things that you must prioritize, your staff’s well-being must be at the top of your lists. Without their contributions to your company, you may not achieve your goals today. After all, it is teamwork that makes the dream work.
So here are some ways that you can reduce stress levels within your team:
- Make it a point to tell your employees that you recognize their stress.
- However, make sure that you act upon it. Encourage everyone to share their thoughts so that you can work out the problem together.
- Provide counseling services. Having an on-site or online psychologist can greatly help employees in sharing their problems and having someone professional to talk to.
- Develop a plan to minimize the stress.
Practicing these during low-stress situations first can greatly help in letting your team build their way to working efficiently. Most importantly, make it a point to do the same. Show your team that you are in this together and that you are always there to support them. Be the leader they need.
Lead Your Team: Be an Example
Managers who are passionate about their jobs and encourage employees to do the same, inspire productivity, positivity, and efficiency in the office. Leaders who also set great and positive examples are a critical quality of the success of any business or company. Make it a point to let your employees know that there is still in doing their jobs. Talk to them and let them understand the importance of camaraderie, compassion, and respect in all of the processes in your office.
With this in mind, let us help you have ideas on how you can inspire your team in your workplace. According to the University of Scranton, a good leader or operations manager must have the following aspects and qualities:
Must be realistic.
Setting realistic goals that can be achieved by everybody in the team is a must. After all, completing a goal with everybody’s best interests and productivity is critical for success.
Must seek efficiency.
A good leader assesses the inputs and outputs of every product, process, and service offered by the company. By doing so, you can be ensured of the efficiency and satisfaction of the clients or customers you serve.
Quality over quantity.
Offering high-quality services to your clients is a must for every business. Not only will this ensure your clientele’s trust in your brand, but it will also help train your employees to do the best that they can.
Doesn’t manage, but leads.
A good leader helps its team. They ensure that each member is doing their job carefully. They need to ascertain to inform their team of members who are excelling and individuals who are falling behind to maintain consistency and efficiency.
They recognize skills.
Leaders must promote team members who are great at what they do. Recognize their skill and professionalism and how they handle their tasks. With this, you can encourage and inspire other members to be greater than they already are.
Maintain Open Communication with Your Team
Seeing to it that you and your team are properly communicating is a must for every leader. As their source for instruction and information, you must lead them through efficient business processes so that together, you can achieve goals for the team. If needed, be as hands-on as much as possible. Employees are happier and more inspired to work if they see you leading them. Be their source of positivity and progress. Lead them and talk to them daily.
Running a business and managing a team is not easy to do. Of course, it takes experience and patience to become successful in your operations. Make it a point to talk to your employees and let them share their ideas, too. Especially during this crisis that we are all facing, teamwork is needed more than ever. With their ideas, your team may be able to come up with something great for the business. This may also help enhance your customer and client relations.
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, most communication issues that impact efficiency within any office or establishment are the following:
- Not recognizing employee achievements
- Unclear directions
- Little to no time when it comes to meeting with employees
- Not talking
- Taking other employees’ ideas as your own or taking credit
- Refusing to offer constructive criticism
- Refusing to getting to know your team
We urge you to take a look at these findings and see how simple yet destructive it can be. Being in an office or work means having to work and talk with other people for long periods. So, by maintaining an open communication with your employees, you can slowly but surely avoid the problems stated above. As their leader, take your time to think of great policies that everyone can follow, especially during COVID-19. Ensure that these methods of communication will help your employees to stay safe yet productive at the same time.
Endorse Equitable Policies for Your Team
With everyone staying at home or working on-site, making sure that they still receive their benefits is a must. This will greatly help them with supporting their family’s needs every day. Equitable policies will also help manage their overall well-being, as well. By advocating for setting equitable policies, your team can still continue to work and support their families despite the crisis. One way to do this is by continuing health insurances for laid-off employees. Instead of severance, insurances are much better due to the regulations to many severance releases.
Aside from that, we would like to share to not hinder unemployment for any laid-off staff member. Inform your team on how to apply and walk them through the process. Make it a point to choose grounds for elimination based on the position and not on the person. It may seem compassionate to retain the most vulnerable or eliminate the staff members with working spouses, but you’ll run into legal and moral issues if you do this instead. Avoid this at all costs.
This may seem harsh and scary, but we guarantee you that it is for the best, especially when the pandemic is still around and not to worry, because they will still have their insurance to support them. Aside from that, you still have the option to hire them back once everything returns to its regular and normal pace. Just make sure to treat your staff with the utmost kindness and trust in them as they trust in you.
Great Team Management: Listen to Your Team
Also a component of maintaining open communication with your team, making sure to listen to them intently is also critical. According to Inc.com, a positive, fully engaged team is more willing to support fellow employees and to provide support and encouragement for group initiatives and projects. With the simple act of listening to your team, you can get to know their struggles and their preferred areas for improvement. Guaranteed, this will help you continue to build trust within your employees.
So, here are some important aspects as to why you should listen to your employees:
They have feedback.
Letting them know about their areas for improvement is one sure way to help them in doing their best. Giving feedback also shows that you care for your team.
They need motivation.
Working a job is not an easy thing to do, so while you can, encourage and motivate your employees sincerely. Listen to employees and discover the aspects of the job they find most gratifying and difficult.
It reduces conflict.
Effective listening means effective communication. With a team that is well-versed with each other, conflicts can be solved immediately. Make it a point to share thoughts and solutions together. It is best to maintain a professional standpoint at all times.
As mentioned before, listening is critical to building trust within your team.
If a member doesn’t listen to instructions, an entire project might fail. The same goes with you as their leader. To develop their trust, pay attention to their grievances and other opinions. Listen for statements so that you can incorporate it in your policies in a way that maximizes each member’s strengths.
Letting employees themselves ask and engage with the right office and business tools can bring issues that need solving to the forefront. This allows your team to take immediate action, and enable a proactive approach.
So, especially now that the crisis is affecting most businesses, teamwork is at the forefront for achieving success. And if your operations are now online, take time to listen to your team’s grievances and issues. We encourage you to engage with them virtually by using online means of calling and contacting each other. One way to do this is by starting a virtual room where all members of the team can join and share questions and answers. That way, they can still have their immediate support and contact whilst staying in the comfort of their home.
In A Nutshell, Maintain Your Bond with Your Team
Do not wait for a crisis to be a great leader to your employees. Ensure that even in the simplest ways, you can instill trust with your team. Having a happy team to help you achieve all of your business goals is an advantage to any business owner. So, show them that you care. Especially now that everyone must work together to stay productive, we hope that our tips to you remain helpful and insightful as you run your business and manage your team.
And for other information on how to successfully manage your team, count on Proweaver to be one of the sources of your data. We run a world-class web design and development company. Our aim is to help as many businesses as much as we can. And with COVID-19 present, we have posted various articles on how small businesses and other regular establishments can survive the crisis. Overall, we are always open to share more tips and tricks on how to be the best business owner and leader to your employees and customers. So what are you waiting for? Feel free to check out our website to browse for more helpful blogs.