In our client surveys we regularly see people who are struggling with remote work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While most people seem to be getting what they need from their managers while working remote, there are also people who are finding aspects of their work difficult. There are two challenges here for leaders:
- How can we identify who is struggling?
- What do we do if we sense that somebody is struggling?
How can you identify people who are struggling?
In an ideal culture, people can bring their entire selves to work. This includes talking about things that are challenging for them – in any facet of their life. If you have a true connection with your team, it may be clear when somebody is struggling. If you are unsure, there’s one simple thing you can do: ask them.
Here are two ways you can ask your team how they are doing and identify who is struggling.
Workplace assessments can quickly identify team-level issues
You can use assessments such as our High-Performance Index™ to quickly identify people who are struggling, and we can do this by department, division, location or demographics. We then explore challenges that have been identified on a deeper level during a debrief workshop with employees, to truly understand what is going on. Some of our most recent surveys have addressed issues such as:
- People spending too much time working, as lines between work and home blur
- People not having a good working environment at home
- People missing human connection in the workplace
- People struggling with the relentless barrage of messages that need immediate response
If any of these things sound familiar, rest assured your employees are not alone. Our High-Performance Index™ points to opportunities where existing, in-house solutions can help your team. We also identify opportunities for our High-Performance Framework™ to address specific concerns.
1-on-1 check-ins help us identify underlying personal issues
While assessments help identify team-level issues, they often do not identify underlying personal issues for individual team members. It is these personal issues that sometimes manifest as team issues, yet the employee may not be aware – and even if they are, it will not likely be shared during an employee debrief session.
One example we’ve experienced is with a team whose HPI™ Employee Survey pointed to a lack of work-life balance. However, in 1-on-1 check-in meetings, the team’s leader found that it wasn’t just balance that was the issue. Through conversation, they uncovered that people were deeply concerned about their personal safety or family situation, which was feeding into their stress levels at work. These are things that are not typically revealed through employee surveys. They require a safe space for discussion and exploration, which is why 1-on-1s are a key method to identify challenges that your employees may be facing.
Workplace assessments are a great way to identify and target team-level issues. 1-on-1 check in conversations help us to uncover the underlying, personal struggles that are feeding into greater issues.