View from the Chamber – 3.12.21

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Working during the pandemic has been challenging for everyone – whether you’ve had to remain in your regular place of work throughout, continue to work from home now, have returned to an office or split your time between home and office.

It’s been really tough for employees and employers, and as we head into a second year of ‘not-quite-normal’ it can all start to feel like a never-ending limbo.

Issues can be harder to spot when people aren’t working together all the time, managers can feel a loss of control over what their colleagues are doing, home workers can feel excluded from the team, and everyone’s nerves can start to feel a little frayed.

Before you know where you are, tensions can escalate if issues are not raised and dealt with appropriately and in good time. Easier said than done? Absolutely!

Good communication is something everyone wants, but it takes time and effort to achieve, especially in a work environment. No two people respond to the same approach in the same way – we all see experiences from different perspectives, and interpretations of the same situation by the people involved can be radically different!

So how do you create and maintain good communication?
Regular, structured meetings are a good way to ensure everyone keeps up to date with actions, ensure progress towards goals and identifies any problem areas, but bear in mind that some team members may not be comfortable asking questions or admitting to difficulties in front of others. Some people like things in writing, others prefer a chat through action points in a one-to-one and others still might need extra support with skills or managing their work flow.

Try to ensure that everyone is clear about their role and what is expected of them. We can all help each other by being honest about where we are, what we need to do our best work, and when we’re open to offering and asking for help from our team mates.

Chamber members are able to access free HR assistance and a free telephone advice line as part of their membership benefits. There is a huge library of free online resources to help you manage workplace communication. It’s just one of the ways that

Lochaber Chamber can help keep your business thriving.

Find out more about the business support available at www.lochaberchamber.co.uk