As some parts of the Department have been utilizing full-time or expanded telework, you as supervisors and managers may face new challenges fostering a sense of teamwork in your virtual teams. Here are some tips for managing your employees and cultivating teamwork while they work remotely:
- Establish a weekly team meeting with a ‘round robin’ check-in. Interpersonal communications are critical. Sharing work knowledge and personal experiences forges trust and team cohesion.
- Create opportunities for conversation. Actively communicate with all members of your virtual team. Promote dialogue, ask open-ended questions, communicate openly and often, and pay attention to signs that your team members need support.
- Create team-based assignments. Meaningful team-based projects will encourage a greater sense of common purpose among your team. Actively work to obtain the contributions of each team member and their unique perspectives.
- Be available. Establish virtual “open-door” hours for team members through telephone calls, video calls, and instant messenger. Practice thoughtful listening and empathy throughout the workday.
- Foster an innovative culture. Create a culture where your team members are encouraged to be creative and resourceful in solving problems.
- Continue to recognize and to celebrate team members. Ensure that your team members know that they are valuable. Take time for recognition, and remember the small things like birthdays, anniversaries, and career milestones. Encourage your team members to recognize their peers for a job well done.
Your Employee Assistance Program is here to help
Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides guidance and unlimited consultations to supervisors and managers about how to support employees during these uncertain times. These services are confidential and provided at no cost to you. EAP is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, contact your Component EAP, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.