Getting Back To Normality: How Leaders Should Manage Teams During The Transition Period

An insight into managing a team during a transition period.

It is no secret that the pandemic has created a feeling of uncertainty and instability, particularly within the working world and there is once again another transition into a new style of working. Hybrid working or working from home is no longer considered a luxury within an organisation, but an expectation. There are an increased amount of workers who would prefer to work from home, even after the restrictions surrounding Covid have been lifted, and this has now become a factor in what employees consider when deciding to work for a company. 

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(Image Source: Ring Central)

As a business leader, managing a transitional period is something that is of prominence and priority and guiding your teams to work back into the office or establishing a hybrid working scheme is something that a leader must navigate in the future. 

Be Clear and Outline Your Situation 

The apparency of workers preferring to work from home is not a hidden matter, so if your business needs people in the office, you need to be able to navigate that conversation in a transparent way. Outline any new policies and protocols and this will keep your employees peace of mind and provide stability even if they are continuing working from home. This will open the floor for your employees to ask you any questions or work-related queries that they may have. If your employees are coming back into an office environment, whether that be full time or part-time, outlining the parameters of that is important. Your employees won’t just be making a transition back into an office environment, but they will once again be giving up control over their time and the comfortability of working from home so being truly open about the flexibility you can offer them is a must. 

Team Communication is Key 

Implementing working from home means that business communication methods must be effective. Whether that be using messaging systems such as Slack or establishing a set video call time, staying in regular touch with your team will allow you to relay any tasks, encourage conversation and open communication. Not only will effective team communication open the line of communication, but can also encourage productivity

Communication during a transitional period must be dealt with in a sensitive way. Are you going to be continuing with the working from home structure or will you be preparing your employees to head back into the office? Adjusting your communication styles accordingly will result in effective leadership. If you will be implementing a permanent working from home structure, have you got a long term communicative plan in place for your workers? Setting defined communicative hours can provide structure to a working fro home day and cement your meeting times with your team. Whether that be a daily or weekly team call gauging how much ‘face to face’ communication is required boiled down to the nature of your business. 

Opening up employee feedback is crucial to understand and adapt to how they would like to work. They may prefer to come back into the office, or even opt for a hybrid style of working, but you won’t know this unless you ask. If you have a predictive week, ask your team what about that period of time in particular aided them in feeling more productive. If having fewer video team check-ins and establishing a work plan laid at the beginning of the week and then checking in at the end of the week is what your employees prefer and it’s working, then as a leader this is something you should consider. On the other hand, if your employees prefer a more structured day and video calls, the general consensus is a great thing to factor into your future leadership style and guide your employees through transitioning into their new way of working. A general consensus will give you a sound understanding of what your team want’s as a majority and paired with one to one conversations, you can also create a working space for more individualised needs.

Allow Adjustment Time 

The transition into working from home was already a big shift in routine for so many people, so if returning to the office this will also be a big shift. As a leader, accommodating to an adjustment period is vital. The pandemic has been a catalyst for a lot of anxiety and for some coming back into an office and adjusting to another change is mentally tolling, so bear this in mind when actioning a change in working style and location. This can be done by allocating a day, or a few days to commit to moving and establishing the new ways of working in a new space, perhaps an introductory activity and ice breakers, especially if you hired new staff during the pandemic and want to introduce them to the team. 

Accommodating to the changes in your working style is key for leadership during a transition period and communication and employee wellbeing is essential for success. 

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Author

Daglar Cizmeci

Daglar Cizmeci

My name is Daglar Cizmeci, and I’m a serial investor, founder and CEO with over 20 years of industry experience in emerging tech, aviation, logistics and finance. I’ve graduated from the Wharton School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Chairman at ACT Airlines, my technic, Mesmerise VR and Hence (https://hence.ai/). CEO at Red Carpet Capital and Eastern Harmony. Co-Founder of Marshfield's, ARQ and Repeat App.

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