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By ACN member Mary Anzilotti
COVID-19 has changed the way we work. With most nonprofit employees now working from home, managing and motivating them to function well as a team is more crucial than ever. When a team works well together, the organization wins. When an organization wins, so do their clients, employees and the community at large.
“Crucial” is an interesting way to think about leading a team. Let’s take a close look at how to motivate and manage your team in a CRUCIAL way.
C- Communication. Communication needs to be clear, concise and consistent. This is especially true when working remotely or during times of crisis.
R- Relationships. Build relationships by reaching out to employees individually and as a team. Ask how they’re doing, and show a genuine interest in their personal lives.
U- Understanding. Help employees understand what is expected and why. Ensure that all stakeholders understand your organization’s immediate, short-term and long-term goals.
C- Celebration. Celebrate successes, celebrate birthdays, celebrate anniversaries and celebrate creativity. Just be sure to celebrate!
I- Intentionality. Wake up each day and think about how you can be better and how to make your team better. Small, positive, actionable items every day make a huge difference over time. Be intentional for you and your team.
A- Accountability. Hold yourself, your employees and your team accountable. Giving clear guidance on what is expected, and why it is expected will lead to a motivated team. No need to micromanage, just give guidance, and trust. Provide corrective feedback when needed.
L- Listening. Solicit feedback from employees on how to improve the organization and your team. Listen with an open mind as even seemingly impractical ideas can serve as a springboard for new thinking. Let your team know that you’ve heard them, and then act on the best ideas.
Here are a few examples of how we manage in a CRUCIAL way at Stanton Blackwell. We have a video meeting every Monday morning to help shift from the weekend to the work week. We use this meeting to build relationships by briefly talking about our weekend and then communicating our company’s priorities for the week. To stay accountable to our priorities, we schedule short meetings throughout the week to peer review our work. A fixed calendar deadline to screen share work helps us to be more intentional and focused on our deliverables.
If you are struggling as a leader in this new operating environment, don’t be too hard on yourself. Motivating your team remotely can feel overwhelming at times, but using these CRUCIAL tips will help make it manageable.
Mary Anzilotti, principle at Stanton Blackwell, has nearly 30 years of experience in the non-profit sector with a proven record as an executive for strategy and operations. Her areas of expertise include leading strategic planning, managing organizational change, and driving quality and cost effectiveness.
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