Many small business owners have a hard time managing and communicating with their team even before the coronavirus forced everyone to work remotely.
On the Small Business Radio Show this week, I interviewed Samantha Ettus who has devoted her career to advocating and supporting entrepreneurs in the pursuit of their dreams. Her latest book is “The Pie Life: A Guilt Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction”.
Sam believes that in this difficult environment “tension and anxiety are contagious”. She says that you need to communicate “fluidly” to the team. Show that them that you are human too by being vulnerable. Sam suggests telling them that the business will survive this, and you will do it together. “
Times of uncertainty like with the coronavirus breed terror among your staff, especially when they are physically isolated. Sam directs owners to communicate your company’s outlook and what direction you are going. She suggests that if you are a restaurant what does it mean to focus on takeout and delivery. If you have a clothing boutique and customers are not leaving their home to get dressed up, do you need to switch to selling loungewear?
How to Manage Your Team Online
According to Sam, this is the time to build a new level of trust with employees. Use daily or weekly zoom calls to set expectations of the job they should be doing and track their progress on hitting specific goals.
Sam says it is impossible to carry employees who do not pull their weight. She sums it up by saying that every owner needs to “pick the winners; identify the strongest and most efficient people on your team and reward them with greater responsibility”. It is a reality that you will need to let go anyone who is not ultra-necessary to your organization. If you must lay people off, make sure the remaining team members have the security of knowing they are not in jeopardy.
Listen to the entire episode on the Small Business Radio Show.