Having staff work from home during New Zealand’s Covid-19 lockdown does not release employers from their obligations to manage the wellness and productivity of their staff, but a new online tool from PeopleMaps is promising to make the job easier for everybody.
New Zealand head of international personality profiling company PeopleMaps, Chris Baker (pictured below) says the new tool will show people and their employers each staff member’s unique strengths, weaknesses, pitfalls and opportunities in a brand new and evolving workplace — the home.
“Not everybody is cut out to work from home,” Baker says. “Not to mention balancing the demands of children, Covid-19 stress levels and the everyday distractions you don’t get in the workplace.
“PeopleMaps’ new ‘work from home’ tool will show people how to work to their strengths and avoid their own unique personality traps lying in wait for them. Employers will be better informed and equipped to support staff remotely.”
Baker says the online work from home personality testing will help staff and their bosses get answers to how each individual’s personality copes, or doesn’t cope, with things like working in isolation.
“When you understand the unique challenges each staff member faces, you are better equipped to put in place strategies and tools that overcome those problems while helping them to make the most of their strengths.
“Employers who really understand the challenges their employees are wrestling with under lockdown will be able to lead and coach more effectively. For example, if you know your staff member responds better when they are around their colleagues, you can put in place measures to make sure they continue to be sustained by interaction with their peers – this will help them remain productive and in a good space.”
The PeopleMaps assessment will help employers understand what may lead an employee to get stressed or depressed in their home workplace. For example, does the employee need rules and processes to follow, or are they more of a maverick? Understanding the unique personality quirks of staff empowers an employer to better meet their needs.
“Is there a need for greater autonomy? Or is constant change a cause of frustration? The home is the new workplace, at least for the duration of the lockdown, but it is one where the employer still has all the obligations, albeit with diminished ability to influence outcomes.
“When you understand what your employees respond to, and what they do not, you can design a better work environment even in their homes.”
Baker offers the following advice to employers of people working from home under Lockdown:
Regardless of whether a person is happy to work alone or needs greater interaction, home can quickly become a workplace vacuum without regular communication.
“Set up regular face-time meetings between leaders and the staff and their colleagues or risk losing that sense of team and belonging. Technology is a great enabler that helps us stay in touch and connected with each other.”
2. Maintain culture and mission
The disconnectedness that people may feel when they are working from home can harm the culture and the sense of mission that regular workplaces help engender.
“Some people need structure, others don’t – each personality is a bit different – but structure and a sense of purpose are still necessities when it comes to helping a business fulfil its mission. Find ways to keep mission, values and vision front and centre with your staff in their home offices.”
3. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of each person
“You don’t have to do a personality test on each employee to have some grasp of their strengths and weaknesses,” says Baker. “However, the real challenge is putting that knowledge to good use.
“If you know that an employee needs structure, leaving them to their own devices at home is not going to be good for them or for the business. Design a programme that caters to that need.”
Baker says understanding the personality of each staff members helps a business create teams that are happy and productive, but working remotely from home can undo all the good that comes from a closer team environment. “Employers need to completely rethink their leadership strategy when staff are working from home. The home is a hostile environment to a business because it is remote. Doing a good job of building a team under lockdown comes from understanding the unique personality of every individual and how they work best from home.
“Strong teams begin with facilitating strong individuals.”
For more information visit: https://www.peoplemaps.com/?s=work+from+home