Agile methodology is used in many organizations, including Imagemaker, to manage work cells. To be able to implement and carry it out successfully, the team needs to have a solid foundation, skills, and a high level of interaction between the client and the developers.
However, when multiple cells are led and the barrier imposed by teleworking is added, distance and lack of contact are presented as threats to reach the objectives in a timely manner and maintain the optimal functioning of the teams.
Currently, there are many applications and tools that make communication faster, such as Slack, WhatsApp, Google Chat, among others. Although they are known to be very useful, one of their disadvantages is that they limit communication to strictly work and very punctual.
For Andrea Reyes, People & Culture Director at Imagemaker, the key to not losing contact with collaborators is to prioritize a 1: 1 meeting. So she gave 4 tips to encourage communication, enhance contact and create direct ties with them:
1. Worry about who you have in front
Before discussing any work issue, it is important to know how the person with whom we are going to talk is doing. It is known that personal life has a great impact on work performance and it is essential that as leaders we know how people are.
With a simple question, it is possible to generate empathy and a connection on a personal level in which the company is not the only point in common with colleagues. This can make a big difference when it comes to knowing how to approach upcoming conversations and future employment relationships.
A useful tip is that in virtual meetings the collaborator is invited to turn on the camera if she feels like doing it. This is to be able to interpret the non-verbal language and make the encounter more human.
2. 4 key questions
i. How have you met the challenge
When facing a project, all people acquire roles and responsibilities that can pose personal or work challenges. Knowing if a person is comfortable in what he is doing can be an indispensable point to reorganize talents.
It is an important opportunity to identify what you are doing, what things are being done well, or what things can be changed. Also, know the strengths and weaknesses of each team member to help and manage in the best way.
ii. What new opportunities exist
The teams are the ones that are daily involved with the client and know better than the leaders what happens internally, they are the eyes that we want to have. This instance is key to inquire if an opportunity has been identified in which we can offer the client some additional or complementary service to the current one. In addition, it is a time to identify opportunities that can contribute to the professional development of the maker.
iii. Risks or impediments in the operation
It is also important to know the possible risks of the operation. Identifying them allows one to approach the context, mitigate them and manage them in time to avoid affecting both the service and the relationship with the client. On the other hand, it enhances trust, facilitates decision-making, collaboration to solve them, and fosters the company's capacity for transformation.
iv. Comments or questions
It is important to listen. In this part of the meeting, you can address as many topics as you want to address. It is the instance in which the collaborator can talk about what he considers necessary to work in a calm way.
The members must feel free to express everything they consider and on all occasions when they wish. They must also feel emotionally connected with their peers in order to broadcast freely, without prejudice or censorship. They must also feel that they work in a climate of mutual respect and trust in which they are free to be themselves.
3. Aspects to work
Once you have a better connection with the collaborator and a clearer context, the conversation can lead to planning a mutually beneficial work path.
In this way, it becomes involved by collaborating in the achievement of the objectives to work collaboratively.
4. Plan the next point of contact
Keeping track of what is discussed in 1: 1 meeting: is almost as important as having them in the first place. Leaders teach by example and are an important pillar for employees.
You have to put your hands in the dough, work to make things happen and always keep the team informed of what is happening in the organization, in the client, in the project, and in the cells in a transparent way. The 1: 1 meeting should be as regular as possible, which will allow a closer and more direct relationship.
“Implementing these steps has allowed me to reach all the makers of my team, to have a much closer relationship with each one of them. Furthermore, thanks to these meetings we have been able to identify business opportunities with clients, which has been super positive for everyone ”, Andrea Reyes commented.