These new times are described by new experiences for everyone. If remote working was something employees looked forward to, now it has become reality for almost everyone. Leaders need to adapt to these new times and use their skills wisely to engage employees and keep them motivated.
The HR sector is one of the most challenging ones. Every process within HR departments in corporations and businesses needs to change its approach to meet nowadays’ demands. The safety of the people is a top priority for all businesses, so remote work is the solution that supports this priority. HR managers are more challenged by these new events, as the entire human resource processes emphasize humans.
The challenges posed by remote working and quarantine can be faced by HR managers. The communication and collaboration within the HR team, as well as the process involved, can be made more efficient. But how?
Communication is one of the most important things to look after as an HR manager. You no longer work in the same office as your team, so managing it becomes a challenge. As remote work comes with more flexibility, communication might be hindered. However, quality communication in remote teams is important because it can help the team to be more cohesive, solve problems, and get updated on the latest news.
Choose the Right Communication Tools
Communication across remote teams can be realized with difficulties. Especially if there are different time zones. HR managers might find themselves lost among the options of tools for remote communication, and this is why it’s important to not neglect this step. When switching from offline to online work, the way communication is done is changed drastically. Now the team can no longer meet face to face and you can’t go to your colleagues’ office to find out more information.
So, it is important to choose the right communication tools after you assess the needs of the team. Think about how many video calls would need to be conducted weekly. Think about the files that need to be shared in this collaboration process of team members.
The answers to these questions will help you choose the right communication tools that will ease the job of your team. At the same time, your team should be able to collaborate smoothly and have all the files organized in one place.
This means that the tasks every team member is having as well as its progress and responsibilities can be shared on a common platform. This will help your team save time because they will not have to guess who is responsible for what and they can directly ask the responsible person for help.
Slack and Zoom are the most popular platforms that ease the communication of remote teams, but there is a wide variety of options to choose from that might suit you better.
Always Provide Context
Working remotely, you do not have direct contact with your team. For HR teams it is important to communicate and see each other, and communication is easier done face-to-face. However, we need and can adapt to these different times.
One of the main sources of conflict in remote teams is that team members do not have the context they had before. Collaboration and communication are needed in their work, but we can not say that they were not affected by the current context of the world. However, providing context to your team members and helping them to do the same is essential.
If team members do not see each other, they might interpret the written information wrongly. For example, if you would need something from them, it would be useful to formulate the request like this: “I am going to have an urgent meeting with X, and it would be of huge help if you would send me the Y files.” and not “I need the Y files ASAP.”. This will help others understand the context better and prevent misunderstandings or conflicts.
Another solution that will prevent misunderstandings is the option of video calls. There is always the possibility, if having the right communication tools, to communicate through video calls. Like this, the body language and facial expressions that are involuntarily analyzed by our brains are visible. Team members will not think if someone is annoyed or angry with him or her but understand the entire context.
Conduct 1:1 meetings
1:1 meetings are very important both for HR managers and employees alike. During these meetings, HR managers and team leaders discuss topics with a selected team member. This is a great opportunity for every employee to share their thoughts on the current situation, what they like, and what they dislike. During these meetings, HR managers can understand more how team members are feeling, their level of satisfaction with the job, and their feedback on the processes within the department.
When working remotely, managers might get a false idea that 1:1 meetings are no longer needed because employees look content. Even though this might be the case with some of them, it’s not valid for all. This is a common trap team leaders might fall into because communication is done differently now.
It is thus important to make the time, as an HR manager, to have periodic 1:1 meetings with your team and know how every team member is coping with these changes. It will be easier to help and support them and also improve the processes within the team and develop new means for collaboration.
Remote work comes with new challenges and one of the biggest of them is that of communication. Communication is done differently during these times and HR managers need to find the right tools to ensure communication is done smoothly within the team. At the same time, during communication, there should be provided context to prevent conflicts and misunderstandings. And you should not forget about 1:1 meetings either, as they help you keep your employees engaged and improve your processes.
Author Bio: Leon Collier is a blogger from the UK, who currently writes essay reviews at a top essay writing service called superiorpapers.com. He loves to write about everything: communication, team dynamics, travel, self-development, education, leadership. When not writing, you can find him behind a book or playing tabletop games with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12