Although the lockdown has started to ease, many of us are continuing to work from home in line with government guidelines. As this looks likely to continue for some time, here are my thoughts on how you can support your team:

Experiencing change

Since lockdown on 23 March, we have all had to deal with a lot of change quickly.

Some of us adapt quickly to change and see it as an opportunity, others take longer to come to terms with it. Shock, denial, anger, frustration, and depression are all normal reactions to something unexpected happening to us.

Consider which of the following each member of your team is dealing with, alongside their work:

• Working at home for the first time
• Struggling to motivate themselves without their usual routine
• Technology not working at a crucial moment
• Looking after children and/or elderly relatives
• Home-schooling
• Financial concerns
• Mental health issues

For those who live with others, they will be spending more time than usual together. For those staff who live alone, they may feel more isolated without the social contact of work.

Each of these will create different pressure points.

Also, some people may have lost a loved one to the virus, so they will be dealing with their grief along with all their other emotions.

Managing workloads

Working at home means that we can all be more flexible in how and when we do our work. However, this also raises concerns for some managers and one of the most common HR questions I’ve had during lockdown is how to manage people when you are not all in the same place.

• Set expectations
• Decide what work can be done at home, what needs doing
• Agree priorities, goals and objectives
• Focus on outputs not inputs
• If someone is not delivering, explore the reasons why and offer support
• Celebrate success and achievements
• Agree what times you will be available for support during the working day
• Make sure employees are not working excessively

Developing employees

As we get used to the ‘new normal’, many businesses are adapting their products and services. This means that employees may need to develop new knowledge, skills and behaviours.

Now is a good opportunity to think about how you can develop your team personally and professionally so that they can meet the needs of your customers and clients. There is a lot of on-line training available for example.

Also, consider how confident and competent your employees are in using technology.

In summary:

• Check in with each of your team on a regular basis, to see how they are doing, from a work and personal perspective.

• Encourage staff to contact you and their colleagues for support.

• Think about how you can use technology for both work and keeping in touch on a social basis – I’ve seen some really good examples of remote team meetings, quizzes, weekly socials etc.

How can HR Solutions Yorkshire help you to manage, motivate and develop your employees?

HR Solutions Yorkshire Limited provide advice and support to business owners and managers on all aspects of people management including:

• HR strategy and projects
• Change management
• Employee relations
• Learning and development
• Employee wellbeing

All our services can be offered remotely.

For more information contact 01937 591577/07495 857525 or email