When we were asked to stay home this time last year to slow the spread and ease the burden on our hospitals and medical personnel, but we never expected a year later to be still working from home or remotely. Our great businesses and business owners, team managers, supervisors, directors, and their reports have struggled to find a balance in this new working environment.
Whether you were working remotely before or sent home to start remote work for the first time, everything changed. Our new league of teams working remotely caused managers, directors, supervisors, and team leads to find a way to manage people they don’t see and can’t put their eyes on. It was a new experience, a new challenge, to try and bring the team together. “Lets have a Zoom call. “Let’s have a Teams Meeting.” “Let’s do this!”
Our systems broke. Less technical people with home-grade equipment trying to get on a video conference call was a mess for IT teams. Logitech cameras sold out overnight. Laptop supplies diminished. When our great people couldn’t connect well, there were kids, pets, spouses all running around the house as well. Disney+ and Netflix are on, along with pajamas and family time.
Employees that worked in an office have never been so micromanaged.
Once we were connected, with PJ bottoms on and dress shirts on top, managers and supervisors felt they had lost some control. Now that systems are online, calendars are booking hour over hour of video calls.
40 hours now means 40 hours of camera time. No actual time to get work done because it is meeting after meeting day over day. Team players need to make sure their Microsoft Teams is online by 8 am and not to go off until 5 pm. Mouse activity can make the light turn from green to yellow to red (away).
Employees who worked remotely before 2020 have been upended, and after years they were used to simply doing their work, and doing it well. Now, they are pooled into this COVID remote workplace structure. People who took remote work jobs were trusted to get their work done, so taking kids to school or picking them up were everyday normal things. Now it is questioned why they aren’t on Teams at 8am or staying on it until 5pm. This isn’t what they originally signed up for, which was to deliver quality deliverables. Now it is punching a clock with a new outlook on remote team management.
Every Karen or Kevin manager wants them available on a dime, when before, in an office work environment, their expectations for an email reply or chat window was in line with their role as a contractor or remote worker. Now, the expectation is to reply immediately, “Teams chat me now,” “Where are you!?”
The Predictive Index surveyed 160 CEOs in September of 2020 and the answers revealed a common thread: Executive and critical teams are struggling to get along and deliver on strategy.
Now our executive leaders are struggling to meet the needs of both their business and their employees.
This is where consultants like Mebuis Business Advisors can come in and solve critical team issues and give your business a competitive advantage compared to those who can’t solve these problems. Team cohesion is critical to the success of your business. You may think you have it, but are the deliverables keeping your clients truly happy?
“The coronavirus has put an unprecedented strain on executives and their people. Teams that overcome the stress and grow closer in spite of it will be all the stronger for it.”
– Allison Siminovksy, Ph.D. Director of People Science at The Predictive Index
We know remote work is here to stay at the very least most businesses will now allow for hybrid work from home or remote a percentage of their week or month. Remote work brings new challenges and impacts the way teams communicate and collaborate. Fewer CEOs and business owners feel their teams have strong cohesion. Over the past 6-8 months most CEOs and business owners that were surveyed show that team cohesion confidence has dropped as much as 20%. This is a huge impact on productivity and quality of what your business is delivering.
Remote work is amplifying the lack of cohesion.
When team cohesion is an issue, confidence diminishes. Cracks and fissures are spreading throughout a business and the client or customer confidence is shaken. Those that continue to struggle have only been able to fake it for so long, and now the clients and customers are not as tolerant to the mistakes being made. While other companies that have adapted and made strides to take care of their teams are thriving.
CEOs are spending precious time mediating people and delivery issues.
Now it is time for an overhaul of your business strategy. We need to be laser-focused on our core systems, people, and processes to do their job and do it well. We need to talk to the stakeholders and employees and find out exactly what they feel is going great and exactly what they feel is not going so great. Outside consultants, like Mebuis, can come in a do this without bias. People tend to open up to consultants knowing they will generalize and not point out specific people or lay the blame on how these things are happening, but instead there to solve and overcome the challenge.
We need to hone in on those resource-based differentiators of the business, qualities that make that business successful, unique, and different, and build a strategy for 2021 and 2022 that strengthens the business’s value and position the market. Businesses that have been in a tailspin through 2020 are setting aggressive goals to reset. Time is not on their side to right the ship. Changes are happening, and it is a challenge to get the team onboard in a remote environment.
Most CEOs and business owners, and team or organization unit leaders need a consultant’s help with both business and talent strategies. A consultant’s perspective, process, and bandwidth to help execute is extremely valuable in crafting each strategy.
Software, technology, and business intelligence systems are being implemented now more than ever before. Businesses are jumping quickly into these platforms with no outside consultation. They are substantial money sinks, and without a good strategy and process for adoption, these expenses can and will fail. Purchasing a new software or technology system should be done with an experienced consulting group like Mebuis. The sales teams selling you these platforms tell you what you want to hear; your business consulting advisor will tell you what they don’t want you to hear.
Many consultants have “off the shelf” processes, but CEOs, business owners, and team leaders want customized and tailored engagements. We need to focus on teamwork output, time management in a remote workplace, remote creative culture events that bring our teams together, and a way for our remote employees and resources to have a voice without fear. Talent strategy is a growing need for all businesses to engage in, especially in our new remote workplace. Employee performance, leadership development, succession planning, and employee engagement are key now more than ever in our remote workplace.
Now is the time to look at your business strategy, from talent to technology, to operational execution, and financial effectiveness. Engage a consultant to help not just assess, not just to plan, but to execute. Mebuis will quickly bring results to your organization.
Mebuis Business Advisors assists business with delivering strategic business consulting and advice along with solutions to small, medium and large companies. We are specifically aimed at business owners and C-level management.
Our directives focus on business issues concerning sales, management, human resources, finance, strategic planning as well as practical solutions that increase growth, provide expertise on business efficiencies as well as maximize operational change within a company for future positioning.