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Content Creation

Tips for Remotely Managing a Team During COVID-19

You don’t need us to tell you that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up more than a couple of obstacles when it comes to the workplace.

The UK government announced the latest lockdown on 4 January 2021, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinting at the time that the middle of February would be the earliest he would consider lifting some of the restrictions. On 22 February, the Prime Minister is slated to release the country’s roadmap out of lockdown, providing loose dates for when sectors of the economy can expect to be reopened.

This uncertainty is wreaking havoc with employers, with many already struggling to manage their team during the COVID-19 crisis. Some will have taken heed from the first lockdown, but many employers are finding it increasingly difficult to manage their teams effectively.

If you’re struggling, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that around 40% of managers are finding it hard to manage their teams remotely, but there are ways you can make it work. Keep reading to find out more.

Trust

According to the Harvard Business Review, the majority of remote management issues stem from a level of distrust that managers have in their employees’ ability to get their work done. In fact, 38% of managers reported believing their employees performed worse at home, be it because of the temptation of TV or housework, or because of the lack of direct supervision. Furthermore, 29% of managers say they don’t believe their employees have the knowledge to work from home, and a further 27% said they doubted whether their team had any essential skills at all.

It’s clear that a large portion of managers don’t trust their teams to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic but going into it with such a negative mindset is detrimental. More than 30% of employees say they can sense when their managers don’t trust them, and this can lead to deep cracks in employer-employee relationships.

The first step to managing a team during COVID-19 is to trust that they know what they’re doing and know how to get the job done. Failure to do so will cause fractures within your team and only make your job harder, which is the last thing you need considering all the other things you need to juggle as a manager.

Flexibility

With schools closed, mass testing common place and the vaccine rollout underway, it’s likely that your team will have additional requirements they need to tend to during the pandemic that they wouldn’t normally. As a manager, one way you can effectively manage your team is by ensuring you offer them flexibility. If a member of your team needs time off to get a get a test or receive a vaccine, don’t make them feel bad about it. If another member is trying to juggle home-schooling and working full-time, have a chat with them and see if you can adjust their hours so they can do everything they need to do – even if they start work later or switch a day off at the weekend for a day off during the week if this is possible.

The needs of your team will be hugely different during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to at any other time, so offering a flexible approach to working is essential to keeping your team’s morale up and stopping their productivity from dipping.

Communication

As a manager, you’ve likely got several members who all have different needs and ways of doing things. The best thing you can do during the COVID-19 lockdown is to implement a communication strategy that works for everyone. Part of this will come down to trusting your employees and not calling them every hour for a progress update, and some of it will come from taking the lead and knowing what will work best for your team and the business as whole. Without sitting next to each other in the office, you might find your team are reluctant to speak to one another, but you need to encourage them to do just that.

Lead by example. If you have a quick question for one of them, give them a call to lament that it’s quicker than emailing and provides a much more effective way of minimising the risk of crossed wires. You team will be looking to you for things like this, so make sure you set a good example and they will naturally follow.

Compassion

The hallmark of any good manager is to be compassionate and to live up to the duty of care they have for their team, and at no time is this more apparent than during COVID-19. Making an extra effort to ask how each person on your team is, listening to their worries, reassuring them where you can and being someone they can turn to with their concerns will reaffirm to them that you’re there for them during this difficult time. If a member of your team feels like you care about them, they’re more likely to do a good job and your business will benefit as a result. It might not seem like it because the pandemic has forced us all to stay 2m apart, but now more than ever is a time for your team to grow closer. The closer your team is, the better it works, and the better it works, the easier it is to manage in the long-term, not to mention the more productive it is.

Summary

Managing a team of people is hard at the best of times, and the COVID-19 pandemic has more than amplified the struggles faced by those in leadership roles. If you’re struggling, try implementing more trust, offering better working flexibility, opening new lines of communication, and imparting more personal compassion to see if it helps. Odds are, it will, and your work life will be all the better for it.

If you’re finding that you’re still struggling, it could be that you have too much on your plate. Talk to us today to find out how we can help ease your workload during the most difficult of times so you can be more present with your team.

Source: https://www.i3media.net/

Content Creation

9 Tips To Start Preparing For Christmas This Year

Christmas is upon us! People have already started looking for Christmas present ideas, have you started planning for the busiest season of the year yet?

We all know this Christmas is going to be like no other, even though there are some stats and various insights on how it might be like. Amazon has said that they’ve already seen an increase in people shopping for presents, some resources support this and say this if going to be the best one ever, and some other resources say they don’t expect it to be as busy as there are a lot of people who are having a hard time with their finances. Either way, there is an intent and you as a business should make the most of it!

We’ve put together some tips for you to end 2020 and start 2021 on the right foot:

1. Start planning

We live in unprecedented times and people are being encouraged to plan ahead, start Christmas shopping early and be prepared, hence the panic buying! I’m not saying stock up on toilet roll, I’m just saying you should have started your Christmas campaign planning yesterday! Plan your Christmas products, update your website, start telling people about it.

And when you plan ahead, you can avoid the stress and panic the holiday season might bring to retail businesses. Create your strategy, make sure your content is aligned throughout all your channels and start updating your customers. Tell them what’s coming up, when the last order date is and even set up auto-responses because this year Christmas shopping will be a bit more challenging so help your customers as much as you can! Which brings me to the second tip:

2. Help

Christmas shopping can be stressful at the best of times: so many family members and loved ones to shop for and I don’t know about you but I always count on walking around the stores to see if something catches my eye. This year, we’re needing to do most of our Christmas shopping online so people need help and guidance on what presents to get their loved ones. One way to help people is creating gift guides based on age, gender and interests. Create different collection pages for each group. Another idea is to offer free shopping advice or livechat with a personal shopper so people can ask questions and get an answer from an expert quickly. If you can’t do any of these, you can still help by writing blogs and creating social media posts about advice on buying gifts.

3. Make Your Website Convenient

Normally people go online to shop as it’s not as time-consuming as actually going to a shop somewhere and also because it’s convenient – right now people go online because they don’t have a choice, especially if the second lockdown gets extended to December. Either way, you have to make sure your website is convenient and easy to use for people. Especially with really high amounts of traffic expected until the end of the year, check everything’s working as they should on your website and it doesn’t take a long time for your pages to load as that’s definitely a reason for people to leave your website and not come back! Smallest of annoying issues and glitches might cost you a lot of sales, so get your website in order before the holiday shopping mania begins.

4. Choose Products Wisely

Choose which products to promote wisely! Unfortunately, you can’t make decisions based on what worked during previous years, I’m afraid you’re going to have to make educated guesses. With the pandemic, a lot of our wants and needs have changed, people spend more times at home getting dressed in casual clothing. Based on this people will be more likely to spend money on their houses and clothes they’d wear at home. So make sure you consider these when you update your website and create Christmas themed social media posts and shout out about the right products.

Ps. Make sure you update your homepage to have specific Christmas products section, so people can reach these easier.

5. Create a sense of urgency

Urgency is what makes people buy! Have you ever put something in your basket and left the website thinking you can go back to it and buy it later? And how many times have you actually bought it? If there was a limited time offer on it, I can assure you that you would have bought it right then and there. So use it, create different offers and deals each day, like the 12 days of Christmas campaign Amazon does every year. It works because people don’t want to miss out.

Add countdown timers to your website so people can see the clock ticking, which is basically a way of saying ‘you better act quick’. Also make sure all your social media, website and email promotions are aligned so people can be aware of these deals.

6. Get Creative

Everyone’s working on Christmas campaigns, what makes you different? If you want people to choose you over your competitors, this is the time to get creative.

Start with your content, a very different Christmas is ahead of us, try to come up with some content ideas that can help people, not just gift guides but answer frequently asked questions, think about what will help people get through these rough times. If things were normal, you could create content around how to wrap weirdly shaped presents, why not try showing how you pack your orders so that people can see what they will look like when they send presents to their loved ones through you? It’s not just social media content that needs to be creative, make sure your emails have eye-catching subject lines so they don’t get lost in the millions of Christmas campaign emails we all get.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think of what worries you have about Christmas shopping this year. Then see what you can do to help customers with these kinds of worries.

7. Tell Them Why

No one is there to be sold to, so don’t just say ‘look at what we have, buy it’ on social media, tell them why they need to buy that.

Why would you buy your products? Think of that reason and use it for your social content to show people why your products are attractive and make great presents.

8. Have Fun

Social media is fun, it doesn’t have to be so blunt all the time. Yes, you are trying to sell something but why not have fun with it in the meantime? Show your followers that there is an actual human being behind the screen and don’t be afraid to show them your personality!

People are desperately in need of some socialisation, and they go to social media for this. Share content from other accounts, engage with people on these platforms and they will definitely appreciate it and this will only make you look good. In the end, the trick is to be human!

9. It’s Next Year That You Should Be Focusing On

Do you know why it’s important to sell this year? It’s so that you can build loyalty and sell even more next year! The more people buy from you this year, the more people will remember your products next year. And I don’t mean next year during Christmas. Even if you turn 10% of your new customers, into loyal customers. That’s 10% growth year-on-year. So you should be focusing on selling now, to build loyalty for next year.

Here are 9 tips for a very weird Christmas ahead, use them wisely and turn this short period into a profitable one!

Source: https://socialb.co.uk/

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