A Message from Jaclyn Taylor, Coordinator, Employee Development
While the way we have communicated in the workplace has changed over the last few months, its importance in the workplace has increased tenfold. As leaders, it can be difficult to know how and when to make adjustments in the virtual setting. As we’re finishing up our Check-Ins and Faculty Evaluations, let’s highlight some of the important keys to communicating one-on-one with our teams:
Personal connection is more crucial than ever. Some of your team members are sharing workspaces with “co-workers” (i.e. children, partners, pets, etc.), each of whom comes with a different set of responsibilities. Others may live alone, or with essential workers, leaving them isolated for long periods of time.
Either way, ask them when it is most convenient for you to have about 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to complete their monthly one-on-one, or end-of-year Check-In or Faculty Evaluation. Remember to capture their accomplishments, and use this as an opportunity to discuss goal-setting and future aspirations. Most importantly, take a moment to ask your team members, “How are you?” and let them reciprocate to allow for a few moments to genuinely connect.
Lead with Empathy
Your star employee seems distracted in meetings. She is still getting her work completed, but the quality seems inconsistent. Overall, she seems “off.” This is your opportunity as a supervisor to lead with empathy. Ask her how she is, and what is going on in her life. Your employee may be upset that her new responsibilities are making it difficult for her to complete her goals in the workplace. Acknowledge all that has been completed, and use empathy to praise everything she is currently juggling.
Then ask yourself: Are there schedule accommodations you can make so she can homeschool her children? Does she maybe just need a day or two off? Does she need clarity on what her role looks like in a remote setting? With these shifts in the workplace happening on a global level, the mental health implications may not be understood for years. Leading your teams with empathy and understanding is the human thing to do right now.
No, this does not mean we should question everything our teams our doing, but rather, use questions to coach and support our teams. Asking your team members open-ended questions allows them to brainstorm ideas, coming up with their own framework for accountability. This leaves room for you, as the leader, to coach and support, without micromanaging.
- How can we achieve the goals?
- What do you think?
- What do you need?
- How can I help?
As you’re thinking about where your employee wants be a year from now, use your one-on-ones as an opportunity to ask these types of questions. They will help your employee think about the future, and create an open dialogue to begin goal-setting for the next year.
Use your Resources
Teams across the College are working hard to make sure we all have the resources we need to succeed. Take a look at some of the offerings below:
Valencia EDGE: Register for upcoming courses in areas like growth, development, and managing through uncertainty.
Supervisor Toolkits: This page houses a variety of tools, including past Supervisor Summits, employee relations support information, as well as access to relevant articles on managing remote teams.
When in doubt, reach out for support. Whether through your leaders, the Employee Development team, or through the various online resources, this College continuously strives to support all members of the Valencia family throughout this shift in global learning.