Make Extra Time for Your Employees, Especially During Work-From-Home

Inc. magazine has an interesting article about how employees are adjusting to remote work and how managers can help.

While TECHEAD has been partial or fully remote for the last several years, the pandemic still has had an effect on my team.  After all, most of us didn’t have our spouses at home with us 24×7 like we do now.  That coupled with having our children home while also ensuring those who attend school are prepared and successful.

I thought I might speak on some of the points in the Inc. magazine article, as they are certainly important and touch several of the items I’ve challenged with myself.

  1. Most work-from-home employees are feeling unnoticed.

While we work in an industry that rewards those who are successful, it’s always great to be noticed or encouraged along the way.  I had a particular situation recently where a senior member of my team, who consistently performs day after day, felt that maybe her work was going unnoticed.  I listened, so that I could better understand why she felt this way.  I’ve always strived to be encouraging of others but, in this case, it wasn’t enough, nor was it mentioned to the team. After having a good, honest conversation, I realized I need to ensure that she gets noticed, as well as others in my organization. I’ve made it a point to check in, provide encouragement, and listen. I’ve also tried to make sure every member of my team feels appreciated, with Spot Awards such as gifts cards, custom t-shirts, and other bonuses.

The Inc. article cites a Joblist survey that revealed women were twice as likely to feel unnoticed during COVID-19.  I’m blessed to be working with some of the best women in the industry, from Philise Conein, the Owner of TECHEAD, to the back-office manager and staffing coordinator, along with many of my sales/account managers and recruiters.  So that no one feels invisible, I try to be twice as visible to them to ensure they aren’t overlooked.

  1. Employees are getting less time with the boss.

As I mentioned previously, I’m trying to be more visible to my team.  As the VP of Operations, I keep an open-door policy.  This means that at any time someone can contact me regardless of the subject.  While I try to schedule these types of meetings the same day, it’s not always possible.  If it’s urgent, I’ll do what I need to so that I can make time because if it’s urgent for them, it should be for me as well.  I’ll make time available to listen.

  1. It’s hard to set boundaries while working remotely.

Yes, this is true.  Especially when you have employees, clients, and candidates throughout the country.  We are working a position in Germany currently for our TECHEAD Federal business, which might require different working hours to ensure that time zones don’t cause any hiccups.  I do feel there are take-aways from working from home that also benefit the employee, such as a lessened or no commuting needed, less laundry to the dry cleaners, etc.  We put our group meetings for happy hour meetings closer to Friday afternoon so we can kick off after a call and enjoy our personal time and family/friends.

As a company, we look to support local and national causes.  While we typically will look to volunteer at local Food Banks or Feed More based in Richmond, that wasn’t something we could do in 2020, with social distancing restrictions in place. Instead, we decided to make monetary donations this year but also try something cool.  We had a SnackNation Amplify Box delivered to every team member’s home during Latinx Heritage Month.  We were able to try foods or products we hadn’t heard of but all while supporting the Latinx, BIPOC and women-founded brands.  In addition, 5% of proceeds benefited the Latinx in Tech initiative as well as 1 donated meal for each box we delivered.

Check out the stat on their site:

For every Amplify box delivered, SnackNation donates 5% of proceeds to Techqueria, a nonprofit that provides Latinx professionals with the resources and support they need to thrive in the tech industry. Your boxes also donate meals to our partner Feeding America. Since 2015, we’ve donated 6 million meals and counting!

So now, I ask of you. What’s the last thing you did for your employees?

Earlier today, I shipped a several bottles of wine to my employees and set up a couple bonuses for my team.

In closing, I know I can do more, and I plan on doing so.  I’d love to hear more of your ideas and continue to have community involvement.

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