How to Maintain Productivity and Engagement With a Remote Workforce

As we march our way through a period of prolonged social distancing, working remotely has become the new standard for many organizations. While we work in an age more suited to this type of disruption than any before, still leaders are faced with the challenge of maintaining productivity and engagement with teams working primarily from their homes. 

Below, we’ll cover some best practices for ensuring productivity and healthy communication among your remote workforce.

Keep everyone updated: You’ve heard it one hundred times already, but these are truly unprecedented times. With circumstances being so fluid, consistent and transparent communication is the best weapon to fight uncertainty or uneasiness among employees. 

Keep everyone up to speed on the state of affairs to the best of your ability. As states slowly begin to reopen, share your safety plan you have in place to eventually get everyone back to working as usual. 

Set clear expectations and check-in regularly: While some people are more suited to being productive from home, many people can struggle with the distractions and lax environment working at home presents. Encourage healthy working-from-home habits, and help provide employees with everything they need to set up a well-equipped home office. 

Be sure to encourage management to check in with individuals as often as they can. Emotions are high for everyone right now, and some may be struggling to cope with personal challenges while balancing their workload. Make sure they have an avenue to air out any concerns and provide support in whatever way you can.

Collective goal setting: One thing we lose when we transition to working remotely is the collective buzz and energy of the office. One way to recapture that inspiration is to create a thread or channel on whichever internal communication platform you use where people share one goal they are aiming to complete for the day each morning. Any initiative that promotes a sense of mutual goal-completing can help recreate the buzz of connectivity present at the office.

Leverage internal communication software: Teams, GoTo, Slack, Zoom—whichever platform your company uses, lean in on it now more than ever to promote an office-wide sense of connectivity and purpose when nearly every other stimulus encourages disconnectedness. 

As much as possible, try to provide opportunities for everyone to get some face time with one another. Hold a weekly or bi-weekly all-hands meeting via video conferencing to update everyone on the latest news and acknowledge employee achievement. Encourage individual teams to have morning “huddle-type” meetings for colleagues to check-in on one another and update each other on projects or new developments. 

Small steps like these can help create a greater sense of cohesion and productivity while we all combat the current conditions and do our part to get back to business as usual.

Huffman Associates

Huffman Associates is a national executive search firm providing innovative solutions to help companies build leadership teams to meet their business challenges and navigate change. Over the years, our team of dedicated executive recruiters has partnered with great organizations to help them find the leaders they need to drive their business forward.

Get in touch with us today to learn more.


How Financial Services Leadership Must Adapt in the Time of Coronavirus

Though we all eagerly await a return to normalcy, business leaders abroad must prepare for both a radically different present and future in the wake of the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak.

With the US economy projected to contract 14% in the second quarter,  COVID-19 and the resulting waves it has made through every facet of the global market has the potential to “forever change the financial services industry,” according to Jeffries CEO Rich Handler. 

Serving as just one example, many of our senior-level loan servicing contacts in the mortgage industry share a consensus that payment defaults will most likely double across all products and credit segments.  Furthermore, though foreclosures may be disallowed for the remainder of the year, there will be loan modification programs available to assist individuals to defer some or all of their payments due to job loss resulting from COVID-19.

The question of how to respond during such unprecedented times weighs heavily on the minds of business leaders across all industries. Currently, though, the playing field is level. Unlike a major cyberattack, for example, the coronavirus outbreak is besieging all firms simultaneously, rather than just one or a few. 

How your leadership responds now is critical for both the present and future. Communication from your senior leadership is more important now than ever to preserve the integral trust and reputation among clients as we all navigate the uncertainties of these times together. 

Frequent, honest, and transparent communication is paramount to update clients, regulators, and employees on how your firm is responding to the situation. Organizations must be paying immediate, close attention to their leadership teams across their customer call center, collections, default management, data, investor relations, and loss mitigation teams to ensure they have the appropriate processes, technology, and people in place to service their customers above and beyond expectations. 

In such challenging times, providing maximum benefit to the customer while strictly adhering to government regulations, guidelines, and directives is vastly important. In order to keep and grow your valued customer relationships, how you engage and service clients now, when they need you the most, can speak volumes for years to come.

Cybersecurity is another key area to address. By now, with so many organizations operating as remotely as possible, there are more vulnerabilities and points of entry for malicious cyber actors to take advantage of due to such a significant increase of remote access to data and core systems. Organizations should begin to shore up their defenses immediately by:

  • Increasing awareness among staff about suspicious emails; phishing attempts are drastically increasing during the crisis
  • Utilize security tools to identify and remedy any potential weak points throughout your information systems
  • Strengthen your remote working policies; ensure employees are working from as secure a network as possible
  • Make sure all decisions and software are updated and patched

The coming months, though they may be racked with challenges, will be highly indicative of a firm’s standing for the coming years as we all eagerly await an end to the current economic and health crisis.  

With payments defaults projected to double across all products and segments in the coming months, and the importance of an organization’s response paramount, Huffman Associates can help you build the leadership team you need to address your readiness and navigate through these trying times. 

Over the years, our team of dedicated executive recruiters has partnered with great organizations to help them find the leaders they need to drive their business forward. 

Get in touch with us today to learn more.

Huffman Associates LLC