As we continue to work remotely, it’s time to reestablish a communication cadence with your team. Maybe you have noticed it, maybe it hasn’t happened to you yet, but if you’re like me, your team has started to bombard you with texts and calls more than ever before over the past few weeks. When I focused on finding the why, I discovered that it wasn’t because they were tackling new tasks or new lines within the business. This behavior is rooted in self-doubt. (Yes, that obnoxious roommate can find her way into the lives of your team too!) They are either doubting that you trust them or they are doubting themselves.
No doubt you want to help them because you don’t want them living with that anxiety nor do you have the time to constantly be on the phone with them for every routine action. The best way to handle this is to reestablish a communication cadence with your team.
Ask them to give you regular updates on the basic business, on projects, as well as to ask you for help. All of these routine topics should be handled by email, not a phone call or a text. (Remind them of what you consider “urgent” so they know they do need to call you in those scenarios.) Establish the day of the week, if it’s not everyday, and the time that you want to receive the email update, and move forward.
When they send you the info, your responsibility is to have time blocked on your calendar to review the email and react. If I have asked for the email at 3pm, I need to have 20 minutes blocked on my calendar at 3pm to review the email, respond with praise, questions, additional guidance, and potentially even a phone call if they asked for support. By doing this, you have a planned time to get the update and review it.
You are back in control of your time and your team is getting the support they need. By sending you the info and getting praise and support, the team’s confidence will return, so it’s a win for them too.
My challenge for you today is to assess your team. Are you getting bogged down in the day to day routine work that your team should be able to handle? Are you seeing self-doubt creep into some of your employees? Do you simply need time back in your day from the fire drill phone calls that aren’t really fires? If the answer is yes to any of these, reestablish a communication cadence with your team.