1 – Education: Individual growth and learning are the keys to personal and company success. We keep our minds open to new information and new opportunities to better ourselves and our business. If a team member wants to further their knowledge and skills by taking a certification course or attending a seminar (or webinar) we encourage and pay for it. We want our team members to grow their own careers as we grow our business.
2 – Transparency & Communication: As any SMB owner will tell you, this experience has been beyond stressful. No business owner was prepared for this. But no employee was either. That is why it is so important to communicate openly with your team. You want your staff to be able to focus on doing their jobs today, not wondering if they will have one tomorrow.
Every week we have a video conference where I keep everyone up to date on everything from the status of loans we applied for, to what clients may not be able to pay for services right now.
Not everything will be good news, but up-front communication is paramount to keeping the trust of your staff and allowing them to limit distractions.
3 – Promoting Health: Working from home can lead to bad habits that may not otherwise occur in an office setting. Workers have easy access to snacks and junk food, and there is always that temptation to work from the couch while streaming NETFLIX in the background.
To keep our staff healthy and working efficiently we had everyone take their ergonomic workstations home to make sure they can work comfortably. We also encourage staff to exercise and to get up from their desks often and go outside for some fresh air. Last month we hosted our own May Movement Challenge, where 24 members of our team and their families logged 351 hours of physical activities for the month of May!
4 – Having Fun: To reward our team for the hard work they did getting Ohio employees set up to work from home, we hosted a virtual happy hour. We gave everyone money to buy takeout for their families from their favorite local restaurants, then we hopped on a video call to share some laughs and to take a mental break from everything going on.
While video conference meetings have become the new normal for many of us, it’s important to keep some of these calls fun and light with the focus on how your staff and their families are doing outside of work. This will help keep the bonds between your team members strong.
5 – Saying Thank You: A simple “thank you” goes a long way. It can be a difficult adjustment working from home and not being around co-workers at the office. Acknowledge the hard work your team is doing in these difficult times and let them know that you truly appreciate it.