Training Opportunities

Manager Minute – Taking care of your team
April 10, 2020

What do the people you manage need right now?

Gallup has studied the needs of followers and discovered four basic requirements: trust, stability, compassion and hope.

These four needs intensify in challenging times and become guideposts for how we should interact and communicate. Consider the following in relation to the COVID-19 crisis:
Trust: Communicate openly and authentically. Provide avenues to listen and respond.
Stability: Highlight what is staying the same for your team. For example, your mission to serve students/partners likely won’t change; how you deliver it might.
Compassion: Show you care. Make regular check-ins a priority with your team, even if they are virtual. Ask how they are doing and what they need.
Hope: Provide a sense of hope. Help your team see that these challenges cause us to innovate and grow in new ways.

As team leaders and managers craft outreach strategies, these four dimensions are critical to keep in mind. They provide a useful structure to evaluate all outgoing communications, both for faculty, staff, students and partners. They are also useful to consider as a guide for one-on-one manager discussions, as well as wider team discussions.

What are top considerations managers should weigh as more employees
work from home?

Higher education institutions have home-based or virtual teams less frequently than other industries. For faculty and staff who are working from home for the first time, inventive management techniques are necessary.

This is a time when basic needs – which Gallup describes as expectations and materials/equipment issues – are critical. Effective communications, from the organization, and reinforced and made relevant by the manager, are essential.

It is also important for organizations to remain focused on their values during the COVID-19 crisis. It is especially important to focus on values during times of disruption, not dismiss them. It is also a time for leaders to remain humble and authentic.

This is new for everyone, and all organizations and leaders are adjusting as best they can, based on the latest information. Setting the expectation that the organization’s response will evolve, and that we are all learning, will help team members recognize that they can expect the situation to change.

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For additional virtual professional development opportunities, please visit the Organizational Development & Engagement page at: