The extensive social distancing measures imposed across the world have forced most businesses to shift into a teleworking environment, which they were in no way prepared for. This dynamic nature of the situation has created much uncertainty for the employees as they find themselves completely lost on how to cope with the changes and continue working in such conditions.
Managing a remote digital marketing team and constantly motivating them to work at their full productivity amidst all of this can be extremely difficult. Yet, working on all such challenges with optimism and creativity can help find a way out.
Challenges Faced by Marketers
Before trying to get to the solution of the problem, managers need to have a clear idea of what they are dealing with. Marketers are facing serious issues in completing their daily tasks through remote working. The absence of a clear direction has affected their overall efficiency, and hence they are unable to perform up to their potential. The three basic challenges they have been facing are,
Adapting to Work-from-Home Environment
Adapting to a work-from-home environment is difficult, especially when you’ve been used to interacting with your co-workers on a daily basis. This sudden cut off of social interaction hasn’t been easy for many employees and has had a negative impact on their mental health. Besides that, most employees do not have a dedicated workstation at home and have to work along with managing their families and kids.
Loss of Productivity
Work stress, coupled with pandemic stress, has had an adverse effect on the productivity of the employees. Add to this the absence of direct supervision from their managers; the employees are unable to focus on their work and complete their daily tasks.
Employees have been struggling with reduced access to managerial support and are unable to communicate their concerns to the management. Getting answers to simple questions, whether they are related to work or their well-being in general, takes too much time, which in turn affects their productivity even more.
Making the Most Out of Your Digital Marketing Team in COVID 19
The disruption COVID 19 has caused in workplace norms calls for a complete redesign of how you manage your marketing teams. Here are a few tips you can use to make the most out of your digital marketing team during COVID 19.
Team-Wide Information Sharing and Coordination
As a manager, staying in touch with your team at all times is crucial. Firstly, you need to select a common mode of communication that everyone is comfortable using. For collaborating on a particular project, you could be using tools such as Trello, Asana, or Basecamp, and for remote meetings, you could go for Google Hangouts, Skype, or Zoom.
Set a schedule for regular communication that enables your team to connect as much as possible. You can consider making a list of who needs to be updated on what, and schedule meetings with the people involved.
Besides working on information sharing and coordination across teams, you need to listen to each one of your employees individually. Be open and honest with them while being sensitive to any issues they are facing. This will help them open up about their problems, and you’ll be able to help them out.
Through all these steps, you can make sure that every member of your digital marketing team is on the same page, and their objectives are aligned.
Remote Access to Digital Marketing Tools
Digital Marketing involves the usage of a lot of online tools. These tools hold information that may be sensitive, and breaches may lead to some serious consequences. Your digital marketing team will require remote access to these tools since they will now be working from their homes. Make sure that the access is limited to only the relevant people, and they don’t face any trouble accessing the information they need to.
Also, since most of the employees won’t have access to the same equipment as they did in their offices, you will need to be really creative to find a way around this problem. Promote a problem-solving mentality within your employees and allow them to be flexible with their work methods and routines so that they are able to deal with any issues that arise on their own.
Employee Engagement and Motivation
As discussed earlier, all the stress that COVID 19 has created will cause employee motivation to take a hit. There will also be a lack of engagement due to the absence of face-to-face interactions; however, you need to make sure that none of this comes in the way of their work productivity.
Be completely honest about your expectations for productivity from your team and define clear and realistic goals for everyone. Once the goals are set, make sure everyone is on board and understands what you expect of them. Working on these goals will require a lot of motivation and positive reinforcement, so make sure that you share your intentions of being able for any help that they may need.
You also need to realise that since they are working in isolation now, they might be missing the company of their colleagues. Organise virtual meetings and try to make them fun for the employees. You could ask for their suggestions or take on any requests they might have. This will help a lot in mitigating the effects of isolation due to remote working.
Establishing Digital Check-ins and Work Routines
Since you won’t be able to monitor the work routines of your employees physically, your employees might not stick to the usual work routines. While you need to allow them some level of flexibility, you also need to make sure that they’re putting in their efforts on a daily basis. You could go for regular audio/video calls to track the daily progress of the employees. Establish time tracking procedures through different online tools to ensure accurate timekeeping.
Also, your employees might want to select their own work hours throughout the day, which might even be spread out across the night. Make sure you accommodate them in such cases, given that they manage to complete their daily tasks.
COVID 19 might stay for some time, but once it’s gone, workplaces are not going to be the same at all. Some part of this remote working is going to stick with us forever as we incorporate it into our otherwise ‘normal’ work routines. Remember, you and your employees are in this together, and together you can use this opportunity to explore new experiences and grow as a team. Allow as much flexibility as you can to your employees, and they will, in turn, help your business stay afloat during these unprecedented times.