The COVID-19 outbreak has presented the finance sector with a host of new challenges; one of them is keeping your team operating cohesively despite the physical distance.
Remote working is generally associated with IT roles; however, some members of finance teams also work from home so your team might have had some experience in this field before lockdown started.
Although we currently have no set date as to when businesses will open up regularly again, there will be a slow return to normal, which is expected to happen over the coming months.
This means that for an ongoing unspecified time, your team will have to continue to pull together and work unitedly during these strange times.
Surprisingly, many business owners and leaders are finding that teams are rising to the challenge. Lockdown has certainly not been easy, but with these six simple strategies, you can encourage your finance team to work cohesively until the end of lockdown.
1. Staying Connected
It’s more important than ever to ensure you stay connected with your team, and that they are staying connected with each other.
Miscommunication can happen when we are not able to speak face to face with colleagues about clients or current projects, so instant messaging apps can be a great tool for when quick responses are needed.
2. Make Use of Video
Video calls are an essential tool when your team are remote working. The expression ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ comes to mind here!
You can convey ideas, work around challenges, brainstorm and generally have a much better connection with your team when you can all see each other – video calls are more credible and impactful than phone calls.
So for any important matters, make sure you make use of video software such as Skype Business or Zoom.
3. Change Your Check-Ins
Checking in more with your team during this time is completely understandable and is encouraged. In the past, you might have checked in with some members of your team only once or twice per week, but you can increase this during the lockdown.
Try checking in with your team at the end of each day; this can be a quick phone or video call to see how everyone is getting along, and where general feedback can be shared.
If you decide to check in with employees at the end of each task that they are working on, make these brief and intentional.
4. Be Aware of Your Team’s Needs
The lockdown has been an upheaval for the vast majority of the UK. As I mentioned earlier, many organisations have been pleasantly surprised with the outcome of their teams working from home.
Studies have found that some people are more productive while working from home, but for others, it isn’t as easy.
You might have team members whose family life is now a barrier to their work – many people have been isolated with small children, and they are trying to balance their work with parenting duties – not an easy task. Others might suffer from loneliness or cannot concentrate at home if their working space is not as suitable as the office.
So have regular conversations with your team about how they’re getting on at home, just because someone is turning up to the daily video calls, it doesn’t mean they’re not struggling with their work.
5. Delegate Differently
As I mentioned in the previous point, working from home will have changed some of your finance employees’ situations for the better, some for worse.
Now might be the time to reconsider the delegation of tasks, especially if you notice that someone is perhaps getting behind on their work, or another is getting ahead.
Be aware of the change in the ebb and flow of your team’s work and be prepared to alter workloads to accommodate differing situations.
6. Manage Results, Not Tasks
There is a good chance that your remote finance team will have many different things to contend with while working from home that is not present during the regular working day.
Like I said, parenting duties, a full house, living with other adults – many unwarranted distractions can come from working from home.
So with this in mind, a good idea is to manage the outcomes of tasks, rather than the activities which lead to the final result.
It is, of course, essential that your finance team complete their tasks on time, so have a conversation with them about how long they think their tasks will take, and then leave it up to them to produce their best work. They might be working slightly differently while at home, such as starting marginally earlier to get ahead before the rest of the family is up, or checking back on a task during the evening.
Have confidence in your team – remember they have made it through the toughest first weeks of lockdown.
The latest information regarding the end of lockdown predicts a soft exit in May, with normal service returning afterwards.
With this in mind, we are realistically looking at not a great deal of time longer in which your finance team will be working from home, with the most challenging part already over.
Working as a cohesive team, even with the challenge of distance is entirely possible. I hope these tips have given you some pointers as to how to complete the rest of lockdown successfully.
If your financial recruiting needs have changed in light of the coronavirus outbreak and you need to have a conversation about your recruitment going forwards, get in touch with us today.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations including SME’s to large PLCs.
We offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs; and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930.