How to Manage a Remote Team of Behavioral Healthcare Professionals
You have no issues managing your behavioral health team in the office. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to work from home for the past few months. This likely won’t change in the foreseeable future, so it’s time to adjust your management strategy.
At first, you didn’t think managing a remote team would be that much different, but you quickly realized it is. Many of the techniques you’ve always used in the past are not relevant or effective for a team not working in the same physical location. You feel like you’re not supporting your team in the manner they need right now, so a change is definitely in order.
Here’s some advice to help you transition your management approach to fit your newly remote workforce.
Invest in Remote Work Tools
Before the pandemic, your behavioral health employees were used to seeing one another every day. Everything from in-person meetings, to the ability to stop by each other’s offices, to chat helped people bond and create a strong sense of team, has changed. Keep this spirit alive by investing in chat tools and videoconferencing software that makes it easy for employees to stay connected.
For example, chat programs—i.e., Slack and Google Hangouts— allow people to quickly reach out to one another with questions, comments, concerns or just to say hello. Videoconferencing tools—i.e., Zoom and Skype—allow you to continue having face-to-face meetings from afar.
Hold Regular One-on-Ones
As a manager, it’s important to know what’s going on with your employees. Stay connected by having regular one-on-one meetings via video chat. This will make it easy to keep up-to-date on their work projects, as well as how they’re doing personally. Having this time to talk with you on a regular basis will make people feel supported and more comfortable coming to you with any issues they have.
Chances are, you were already having one-on-ones before the COVID-19 crisis took you out of the office, so it’s important to continue this practice.
Set Clear Expectations
Your team is currently working from home, but the nature of their jobs hasn’t changed. Help people stay focused by making your expectations clear. This might involve setting ground rules for things like work hours, expected response time for emails, project deadlines and attendance at team meetings. This will help everyone stay on the same page, so progress toward goals doesn’t take a hit.
Be as Flexible as Possible
As noted above, it’s important to maintain a sense of structure for your newly remote team. However, you also need to know when to loosen the reins. Trying to micromanage employees from afar won’t work, so figure out which rules need to be strictly enforced and where there’s room for flexibility.
For example, if it doesn’t really matter when employees work, as long as they’re meeting deadlines, allow them to set their own schedules. This might be the only way parents trying to care for young children can achieve a sense of balance.
Adding new employees to your behavioral health team can be even more challenging when hiring remotely, so consider taking on a staffing partner. To learn more about how we can help you find top behavioral health talent, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.