Here is a particularly pragmatic and helpful post on how to work with your isolated team during this time of battling back the novel coronavirus to contain COVID-19. This advice must be good, as it is from my wife!
From Danielle Herrerias, Vice President Human Resources, the BUCK Institute for Research on Aging. (Her organization was on network news today for their work fighting COVID-19.)
Dear Faculty and Department Leaders,
I hope everyone is adjusting to working remotely (for the most part) and many thanks to those of you who continue to come to Buck to provide essential services to your labs, departments and our organization. As you continue to lead your labs and departments from afar, I wanted to share some tips to help foster employee engagement during these uncertain times. Here goes!
1) Refrain from “being on” 24/7. For example, don’t send emails to your staff at night, as this only adds stress. If possible, wait until morning to send the email or at least schedule it to go out during typical work hours.
2) Acknowledge uncertainty. None of us knows when and how the shelter-in-place will end. It’s OK to admit that you don’t know what will happen next and when it will happen.
3) Meet often with your team – as a group, individually or both. Feel free to mix it up and meet via online video, email or phone. Staying connected is critical to keeping everyone engaged.
4) Be honest – When someone asks you a question, give them an honest answer. If you are asked something you don’t have the authority to discuss, then candidly tell them that.
5) Be consistent with your message, goals, meeting times, etc. Consistency helps create some sort of order.
6) Be flexible – everyone is balancing work, home and children’s schedules. This is the time to bend the rules.
7) If you have staff on personal leave, check-in with them to see how they are doing.
8) Ask your team what they need. For example, do they need any supplies to work at home?
9) Listen to what your staff is saying. Evaluate their mindset. Respond to any concerns.
10) Demonstrate leadership. Act decisively. And most importantly show compassion.
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” (Ryunosuke Satoro)
Vice President Human Resources
The Buck Institute
8001 Redwood Blvd
Novato, CA 94945