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Keeping Your Team Effective While Working Remotely

Some offices have already closed, and others may do so in the future, so knowing how to organize yourself and your team to continue to provide exemplary service is important. Your clients rely on you to be the stewards of their finances especially during times like these, so you aren't in a position to take a few weeks off and clean out the garage or catch-up on those home improvement projects, like others sent home from work may be doing.
If your team is going remote, first determine the capacity each team member will have.  Some iStock-484678482employees are going to have children, and possibly elderly parents to care for now that schools have closed, and in some States they are asking those over 65 to self-isolate. These scenarios will likely impact your employee's available time and attention.
Clearly, the landscape of the world has changed since the beginning of the year, so as the leader, your second task is to clearly set the priorities for the team and each person on it. For many, this will mean reworking your business plans, OKRs, and marketing outreach. Your coach, if you have one, can be helpful to you during this process.
Logistically, ask employees to set-up a dedicated work space; preferably in a room where the door closes. Forward everyone's individual phone to their cell phone.  If this isn't possible, set specific times that everyone checks their voice mail and say that in the messages. Make sure everyone knows how,
 and has access to, the programs they will need to work from home seamlessly. Determine contingency plans should a member of your team become sick or unable to work.
To keep the team cohesive, create some structure by maintaining set work hours and starting every morning off with a team connection call. If there's a lot going on, you may want to also do a quick closing call at the end of each day.  These connections can be done using a free conference line or videoconferencing system, like Zoom. You may also consider using an app like Slack to stay in constant communication on small items. On Slack, you can set-up different channels where just the admins team or servicing team communicate or just the FAs communicate, so everyone isn't getting messages that don't pertain to them.
Most importantly, don't forget to communicate to clients frequently. Let them know that you have your team set-up to be effectively running and taking care of them during this time. Let them know that appointments can be done via phone or videoconference. Assure them that you are the leader they hired you to be.
Lastly, remember to take care of yourself. A healthy immune system is the best defense against viruses.
Leah Grant
ClientWise Executive Coach
ICF Master Certified Coach

Topics: Business and Operations Management

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