Staying connected!

Given our conversations and connections with people in HR, learning and talent development roles theGrogroup are facilitating  a weekly informal zoom call to bring people together.

The first call took place last week, with people from a variety of firms coming together to discuss the challenges they’re facing and the ways they are currently managing it. We wanted to share the ideas to help others during these challenging times.

So here is a summary of the call – minus the pets, children and discussions of how long we’ll be using video for following the closure of hairdressers!

Operations and managing others

  • Having a check in at the beginning and end of the day/week to set everybody up and also let them know that work has finished.
  • Being mindful of people with children at home, e.g. not starting any meetings before 10am
  • Lunchtime video calls – meetings with everybody if they are free, just socially, mirrors what normally happens in the office
  • When asking if people are okay, followed through by checking: – how are you sleeping? – how are you eating? – are you taking regular breaks during the day?
  • Routine is important, try to make the day as “normal” as possible – e.g. take breaks, messaging with team. What’s app groups can be really useful.
  • Include an element of fun in the day / with the team – doesn’t all have to be work related. E.g. BYOT meetings “bring your own tea” – fun topics, learn about the team

Challenges

  • Some people are finding working from home very hard, e.g. saying they feel “trapped“, “lonely”
  • In one organisation, 20% of staff have no internet connection
  • Highlights where some of the workforce aren’t skilled in IT –  “how to guides” would be useful, e.g. creating a hyperlink, accessing the intranet etc …
  • When staff have been furloughed, unlike those who are made redundant, the organisation still has a responsibility to show them they are loved, connected, valued, and will be welcomed back when all this is over
  • It’s been shown that people work best with some kind of routine and that can be very difficult for people to adopt when at home
  • People with children at home – finding a way that works for them
  • A feeling of “having to” work from home, people feeling it’s been forced upon them
  • Expectation that HR will tell them what to do
  • The type of work has changed, some uncertainty if projects will continue due to finance constraints

Management

  • People want to know that there’s someone out there thinking of them
  • There is a need to be focusing on output rather than input. Are timesheets really going to help us in the new world?
  • It’s all about trust when it comes to letting people get on with their work.
  • People will need more direction due to the changes and increased levels of anxiety
  • Leaders – if you’re going to be open and honest and want feedback from your team you need to show vulnerability, they don’t have to be perfect. The human touch is important, not just business
  • All leaders, and that means line managers, need to be acutely aware it is their responsibility to manage the health and well-being of their team

Business

  • Being proactive and looking after clients / customers is more important than ever
  • Communication is vital – one firm questioned if they were communicating too much, feedback was that you can never over communicate at times like these. Little and often was working well.
  • The future will come, at the right time people can start to plan for that

Resources

  • Some firms have central resource hubs incl. information on health & welling, remote working, time management, useful articles
  • There are also some really useful resources on the following sites: MIND website, Mental Health Foundation website
  • Employees are coming to HR to ask questions they may not have previously, the work connection is even more important than ever. E.g. tips for home schooling:

 

The informal weekly calls for HR and learning and development professionals take place at 11am on Fridays. If you would like to join please drop an email to hello@thegrogroup.com and we’ll send you a link!