Four Valuable Telework Assignments for Managers on Shelter in Place

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many companies to a screeching halt and business owner’s hearts racing, trying to figure out how to keep their workforce employed. Although normal productivity and operations have pivoted dramatically, there are areas of your business that can be fortified during this time of crisis.

Managers can engage in several valuable and meaningful work assignments by telecommuting that they would never have the time for otherwise. Here are four useful tasks you can assign managers to do from home that will bring your businesses out of this emergency stronger than before.

1. Standard Operating Procedures
The purpose of the SOP is so any person who accepts a job position has a step-by-step guide to lead them through to the desired outcome. Many companies do not have SOPs, or have partially completed ones, or have completed ones that haven’t been updated in over three years. SOPs create consistency, safety, and success. If you want your business to run smoothly and employees to be confident, the SOP is the instruction manual for each position.

Writing the SOP takes time that many managers don’t have while they are at work. During shelter in place, managers will have the time and patience to think through each position and document the details of each task. Once the SOP is written, ask the managers to send it out to employees to get feedback so adjustments can be made.

2. Update Job Descriptions
Job descriptions are the responsibilities, duties, and requirements for a job that are used in hiring, training, and accountability of employees. In today’s fast-paced work environments, roles often change due to innovation, but the job description doesn’t get updated, leaving the next new hire learning out-dated information. Telecommuting form home is a great time to ask employees to review and revise their position descriptions. A job description consists of an overview of four questions:

1. What is the purpose of the position?
2. What does success in the position look like?
3. How does the position fit into the company? What part does it play in the overall organization?
4. What qualifications are necessary to perform this position? Ask the manager and other employees to ensure all information is correct before solidifying the document.

After the employee reviews and revises the job description, have them pass it on to their manager or another employee for review. Once it is complete, you can have them sign a confirmation of training documenting that they have been trained on the current information.

3. Plan
Managers are the drivers of the motivation and productivity of a department. They rarely have downtime to contemplate, visualize, and develop a strategic plan of how to best manage their department and team. Giving managers the freedom to create can be the innovation you have been waiting for. Managers often know your business better than you do, and this is the time to pick their brains for all the valuable knowledge that will take your business to the next level.

Give managers the assignment to answer the questions: What doesn’t work well in your department, and why? What does work well, and why? What policies do employees struggle with? What things would you change and why? How can the company culture become better? Getting paid to offer their advice and having the attention and time to dive deep, will not only show your mangers they are valued but will give you critical insight into your business.

4. Learn
At work managers don’t have much time to learn new skills or information, but during shelter in place, they can gain new skills or enhance their knowledge by taking free online classes or webinars. Paid training will give managers the income for attending but remove the additional payout to employers for the drive time.,, and are free or inexpensive websites with courses that will elevate your management team. Emotional intelligence (EQ) will teach managers about empathy, self-evaluation, self-expression, and stress management. If a manager can return to the workplace with better communication, leadership skills, time management, or a better understanding of computer programs, both your employees and business will benefit.

In conclusion, the state of the economy is on everyone’s mind right now, and the only thing for sure is that things are not going to look the same on the other side of this emergency. Taking this time to examine every part of your business through the eyes of the people who have been running it will give you the guidance you need to make the best decisions necessary to go forward.

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