The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a lot of things into disarray. More people are working remotely that ever before, and management methods that worked so well in an office setting are no longer applicable in these new circumstances.
Despite efforts to carry on as normal, the old methods of retaining employees – a great working environment and above-standard compensation – are no longer enough. The best employees now look for jobs where their talent will be managed and harnessed most effectively, allowing them to progress in their career and reach their full potential.
Here’s how to do it.
Strike the right management balance
Many managers are not equipped to handle their employees remotely, having worked in an office setting for most of their careers.
Unfortunately, many managers have attempted to overcompensate with micromanagement. They don’t trust that their team members will deliver while working from home if their every move isn’t watched.
On the other side of the coin, some managers are so concerned with their employees’ well-being during this challenging time that they fail to manage at all.
Effective talent management in this case involves instilling a semblance of structure while allowing for flexibility. These are not normal times, and your employees might be dealing with stressors outside of work for many reasons.
Why not make use of a free schedule template and ask your team members to plan their day using it? Make sure they build in time for breaks as well as meetings and tasks. This gives employees a sense of ownership over their work and some say in how they manage their time.
Check in with your team members regularly
Many remote teams struggle with communication challenges, especially if they’ve been used to working in the same physical location. People can feel disconnected and cut off from the team and their manager. This is where regular check-in meetings come in handy.
A one-on-one meeting is not just a chance to check on project progress. It’s also an opportunity to get honest feedback from team members about how things are at work. Do they feel fulfilled or bored? Are they appropriately challenged, or stretched to breaking point? You can also ask them about their career development goals.
This will allow you to get to know your team better, and understand their talents, ambitions, and workplace frustrations. Which, in turn, will help you create better and more actionable talent management plans for each of your team members.
Create opportunities for learning
With many employees stuck at home, look for activities that will engage them, allow them to improve their skills, and develop new ones. By offering learning opportunities, you give them the chance to take charge of their career development.
Your company might offer in-house learning materials, but it’s also good to offer your team training courses from external providers, if possible. Fortunately, many of these courses have now moved online. Ensure that the training material is relevant and actionable. By allowing your employees to use a portion of their workday for professional development activities, you show them that you’re invested in their success.
If one team member attends a training course, why not ask them to present a summary of what they learned to the rest of the team at your next meeting? This promotes a company culture centered around continuous self-improvement and peer learning.
As companies adapt to COVID-19, many managers struggle to know how best to support their employees and keep up an effective talent management program in this changed landscape.
Effective talent management is vital, and perhaps never more so than right now. It spells the difference between teams that thrive and those that perform poorly, and between employees that feel engaged and those that feel bored.
Find a balance between micromanagement and being too hands off, hold regular check-in meetings, and encourage continuous learning and knowledge sharing. These strategies will help you develop a leadership style that keeps your best employees happy and engaged.
About the Author
Owen Jones is the Senior Content Marketer at Zoomshift, an online schedule maker app. He is an experienced SaaS marketer, specializing in content marketing, CRO, and FB advertising.