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Ruth Ortiz, Professor of the Executive Master in Human Resources and Digitalization at the University of Navarra, and Global Director of Compensation and Organization at Telefónica.

How to maintain the energy of equipment in confinement

Mon, 13 Apr 2020 15:44:00 +0000 Posted in University of Navarra

Faced with a new work context such as the one proposed by COVID-19, we all hear talk of telework, but are we really facing a status of work usual remote or are we in a different status ?

In reality, we are not in a status of teleworking, but we are in a status of confinement; which radically changes all previous models.

Our home office scenario is also made up of household chores, online homework for our children and intense entertainment work with them, care for the elderly or social isolation if we live alone. All of this has a clear impact on people, teams and the leader, and it begs the question of how we will keep our teams motivated and what we can expect from ourselves in the face of this status.

In this framework, trust is the core topic of a good leadership strategy. Good leaders show themselves in crises, and at this time it is interesting to remember these words of entrepreneur Richard Branson: "To work successfully with other people, we have to trust each other. That, in large part, is trusting everyone to do their work, wherever they are, without supervision." 

Individuals, team and leaders can be reached at test at status; and as team members and/or leaders we must consider what our priorities are.

At staff, we should try to establish a routine and a schedule that allows us to work in an orderly manner in a comfortable and quiet space. It is okay if we do not achieve all the objectives, but it is advisable to establish three priorities for daily work and connect at least once a day with our team. It is important to open windows of coincidence, such as virtual coffees that help us to feel accompanied. 

In addition, we should take care of our rest and take at least three breaks a day. Outside the work schedule that we have established, let's try to invest some time in our training, exercise and meditation on a regular basis. Let's set limits to work: disconnecting is as important as being connected. All of this, of course, with your pajamas off! 

In addition to seeking our balance as individuals, we must be concerned about the balance of our team or group of work. These should have clear goals and rules, as well as defined roles for each member. In this status it will be highly valued that communication is continuous and through different channels according to the different purposes. Transparency and closeness are also essential values in these uncertain times. In the face of the different complications that each team member may be experiencing, we must be close and empathetic; emotional support, recognition and appreciation for each of the team members is vital.

And, as leaders, our fundamental role is to generate the atmosphere of trust that each person needs at this time. The leader's role must be that of a "relaxer" of policies and flexible measures, avoiding tension. In these situations, he must show his closeness and presence; communication plays an essential role. In addition, he must ensure calm and minimize stress, boosting the morale and motivation of each team member. To this end, it is important to reinforce partnership among everyone, to be transparent and to exercise emotional intelligence more than ever. Building towards the future, however uncertain the status may be, will make them look towards a better tomorrow.

Given all these tips, it may be pertinent to implement some communication tools that allow us to maintain the positive energy and commitment of all team members.

We can find technological tools for all subject of dashboard functions of a business: task tracking, management of teams, communication, knowledge transfer, etc., such as Google Suite, Float, Slack or Dropbox. In addition, there are tools that facilitate team work such as MURAL or Conceptboard, and others that support online training such as Atrivity or GotoWebinar.

Beyond these technological tools, within each team, continuous communication plays a very important role; for this we must establish different roles in our team, choose the format of communication and schedule a calendar

Each member of the organization must know his or her role in communication. From the CEO whose functions are to develop the strategy to face the crisis, the CPO who must update the people policies and watch over their health and safety; the executives, who must establish priorities and provide emotional support to their team; and the employees who must follow the established objectives and provide their expert knowledge .

Thecommunication format can be very varied, from periodic newsletters, videos, podcasts, e-magazines, meetings or virtual interviews. Choose the most appropriate channel and medium for each purpose, without forgetting that we must adapt the content to each channel and recipient. 

Finally, we must establish different types of meetings; from daily meetings of 10 or 15 minutes to share priorities and progress, to global meetings of the whole team in which we can learn about the common strategy, interact and recognize the work done by others. Nor can we forget about virtual coffees, which will create community and revitalize especially those who are going through the confinement in solitude.

Reflecting on the individual status of each one of us will lead us to a better understanding of all the members of the Team. We are all part of the chain and today more than ever we must feel accompanied and understood. It is paradoxical, but who would have thought that social distance and the remote work could unite people so much. Hopefully, after this forced confinement, we will come out of work with stronger teams that have learned to put the most important thing at the center: we are all people.