To teach colleagues to use video conferencing services and create a common chat is only half the battle. Together we explain how to set up business processes and communication with clients so as not to lose profits during self-isolation.
1. Create a Single Workspace For All Employees
Do not transfer this to subordinates, otherwise the established processes will turn into chaos when employees do not see each other’s work and do not understand who is responsible for what. As a result, elementary tasks are hindered, employees lose their involvement, and labor efficiency tends to zero.
Here is a minimal set of tools that you might find useful:
- Task Manager. It is convenient to set tasks with him, monitor the workload of departments and each employee.
- General calendar. It will help to keep a schedule of vacations and holidays, and also plan important events such as phoning with clients or colleagues so that you do not have to personally remind them of the participants in the meeting.
- Messenger for solving urgent issues. You can create a common chat for the entire company and smaller chatrooms for individual teams and projects.
- Cloud data warehouses and document solutions. Useful for collaboration during phoning, and sharing a link is easier than sending documents and heavy files by mail or in the messenger.
2. Keep in Touch With Those Who Work at Home.
The remote is not a reason to forget about discipline and switch to a free schedule, when time is allocated for work affairs on the principle of “I will do it, but later.” At the general meeting, tell employees about the new format of work and set the boundaries of the working day: for example, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyone should be in touch, and you should be warned about time off at least a couple of days.
Although you all work remotely, you still remain one team. Share company news, regularly (at least once a week) talk about completed tasks and new plans, publicly mark the success of departments. Finally, do not forget to wish employees a happy birthday. This will help maintain team spirit, and subordinates will not feel forgotten and abandoned to their fate.
3. Enter Chat Rules
Chats are a convenient tool, but with their drawbacks. The constant flow of messages is no less distracting than the chatter of the neighbors in the office, so it makes sense to distinguish between communication and start separate chats for urgent issues and all kinds of conversations that are irrelevant. And this chat can be shut up and reread with a clear conscience after the end of the working day.
Do not use chats to solve complex tasks when you need to know the opinion of all team members. At the output, you will get a lot of messages, but you won’t come to a single solution that suits everyone. It’s better to arrange a call, and in the chat, fix what you’ve finally reached.
And try not to create too much noise: do not split one message into a dozen in the style of “Hello. Here it is. The challenge is new. ” Respect someone else’s time and do not force the interlocutor to constantly be distracted by alerts.
4. Regularly Make Video Calls With The Team
Firstly, it will help to keep abreast of the pulse and redistribute the load if one employee suffocates in tasks and the other suffers from idleness. Secondly, it is a good tool for tracking the mood of subordinates: after all, short chat messages do not convey intonation, and during a personal conversation you can find out what is bothering someone.
Do not arrange ringtones for show. Plan the content of each conversation, notify all participants in advance what will be discussed, and, based on the results, create a protocol for the meeting: what you decided, what tasks you set and who is responsible for their implementation. To keep track of how the company is doing, it’s not necessary to arrange a universal call every week. Employees can regularly communicate only with their leaders, and they will already report to you.
5. Make Clear Work Schedules
Each employee should have access to all the information that may be needed during work. This is especially important for beginners: they need to be up to date, and adaptation on a remote site may take longer than with live communication in the office. To ensure that the new employee is not lost in the flow of information, appoint him a curator who will be able to answer any questions about how the life and work of the company works.
Ideally, the knowledge base about the work of the company should be arranged in such a way that, even if key employees become ill or go on vacation, the processes will not be stalled. Create documents that explain in detail what to do in typical work situations and post them in the public domain.
6. Fix all Tasks in Tasks
This rule should be applied not only during a forced remote. Do not rely on verbal agreements: there is no assigned task – there will be no result.
Here are simple rules with which tasks will be solved efficiently and on time:
- Clearly state the assignment. Do not force subordinates to play psychics or, in a word, fish out additional information. The employee must immediately understand what they want from him.
- Assign responsible and executives. Otherwise, there is a risk that subordinates will endlessly throw the task at each other, and as a result, no one will do it.
- Set deadlines. The task that needs to be done “someday” is likely to never be completed.
- Answer the questions and give feedback. So you build trust in the team and increase the likelihood of a successful task.
7. Automate Routine Processes
In the office, everything is simple: if you need to write an application for leave, the employee goes to the eychar, takes the finished form, fills out and gives it for signature. In self-isolation, habitual questions turn into a problem: one employee wants to take a day off, and another needs to urgently sign an invoice for payment, he needs a manager’s signature, and there’s nowhere to take it — not to go home to him.
There is only one way out: to look for ways to abandon paperwork and convert all work with important papers into electronic form.
8. Create a Clear and Transparent Control System.
Perhaps you will be overwhelmed by suspicions that employees are doing anything at home, just not work. Of course, control is needed, but it is important to maintain common sense. If you constantly yank subordinates and ask how they are doing with their projects, they won’t work faster, but the tension will constantly accumulate, which sooner or later will result in conflict.
Agree with the department heads that every morning they will collect information from the employees about the current load, and, if necessary, transmit it to you. Control not the process, but the result. So, large-scale projects can be divided into several stages with a clear result and a time limit in order to solve problems that arise as they become available.
9. Transfer Sales to CRM
CRM is an automated customer relationship management system. Simply put, this is special software that records all contacts with the client from the first call to the sale.
On a remote site, CRM becomes a real salvation for the sales team. It allows you to minimize the human factor: managers will not get bogged down in routine operations, will not forget about individual customers and will always be aware of what stage each transaction is at and what the next step should be. And the head can track the effectiveness of each specialist and, if necessary, redistribute the load.
10.Communicate with Customers Through CRM
Situation: the landline phone remained in the office, but somehow you need to talk with customers. And to control communication, too – otherwise it will be difficult to understand why a promising deal fell through. CRM with integrated telephony will help out: it allows you to connect not only voice communication channels, but also chats on the site and in instant messengers. It is convenient to respond to letters and messages immediately in CRM, and the entire history of interaction with the client immediately falls into his card.