Another year, another set of challenges and responsibilities for managers to tackle. Hybrid work, the Great Resignation, mass burnout — on and on. Each weekday, in our Management Tip of the Day newsletter, HBR offers daily tips to help you better manage your teams — and yourselves — through this period of profound change and uncertainty. Here are 10 of our favorite tips from 2021.
Management Tip of the Day
Quick, practical management advice to help you do your job better, delivered weekdays.
Making the WFH Case to Leaders Who Want to Return to the Office
As companies start returning to the office, managers are finding themselves caught in the middle between employees who want to keep working from home and senior leaders who want everyone back at their desks. How can you navigate this tension? Start by finding out what’s driving leaders’ concerns. Do they doubt that people are taking work seriously? Are they worried that employees aren’t collaborating enough? Once you know what’s behind their push to return, find ways to address those concerns. Show that remote work is beneficial to the company, not just to individuals. For example, you can emphasize your ability to retain skilled employees who would otherwise leave. You might point out that remote work offers the ability to draw from a wider talent pool. Consider asking your HR department if they have data on how working from home is paying off for your company. Also, demonstrate that your team is engaged no matter where they’re located. For example, you might invite leaders to video meetings that include both in-person and remote workers so they can see that everyone is committed and participating regardless of where they’re calling in from. If leadership is applying pressure for employees to come back to the office, and you believe there’s a balance that could work better for everyone, try these strategies to make your case.
Adapted from “What to Do If Your Team Doesn’t Want to Go Back to the Office,” by Liz Kislik
How to Give Critical Feedback — Remotely
Giving critical feedback is one of your most challenging responsibilities as a manager — and if you’re working remotely, it’s even harder. How can you update your approach to giving feedback in a WFH world? Here are some key steps to keep in mind:
- Start by asking questions. You need to understand your employee’s perception of their performance before expressing yours.
- Show specific appreciation before laying out criticism. They’ll be more likely to be receptive to your feedback if they trust that you value them.
- State your positive intentions. Something as simple as “I’m in your corner” can go a long way.
- Clarify and contrast. “I’m saying X, I’m not saying Y.”
- Ask your employee to state their key takeaways from the conversation.
We’re all under intense stress from the pandemic. Taking care to deliver your feedback with clarity and sensitivity will help people focus on the reality …….