One of the features of the COVID-19 quarantine is the upending of the long-held notion of being-at-the-office-to-get-work-done. Productivity and geography have gotten a divorce. For many segments of the economy, the notion that I have to travel 20, 30, (70!) minutes to a specific spot and sit there in order to work is increasingly untenable. In this new world:
Organizations built on trust and shared vision will thrive.
Organizations built on compliance and micromanagement will not.
But there remains the question of creating connection and understanding between members of a project team, especially when working remotely. We may be geographically separate, but we're still interdependent.
Here's a quick recommendation to strengthen the bonds of relationship and focus between you and your team: develop the habit of the weekly recap note.
What it is: An email/Slack message/Google Docs form produced by each of your team each Friday, requiring no more than 10 minutes to complete, that answers the following questions to recap their work week:
What has your attention right now?
What's the status of your top two key projects?
How's your workload (1 to 10)?
How's your stress level (1 to 10)?
What roadblocks are you facing?
What's the morale of the team?
Anything else I need to know?
Why It Matters: The value doesn't lie in the individual recap note, but in the cumulative power of them. You'll begin to see trendlines (a consistently easy-going team member suddenly reporting an 9 on their stress level can queue you to check in) and keep a pulse on your people. If you struggle getting buy-in from your team, lead by example. They'll appreciate knowing what's occupying your attention. You'll appreciate getting to know your folks a little better, and having a little greater insight into their work and morale. The weekly recap note is be a simple and effective tool to stay connected with your team.
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