Support for people managers

Communication with team members is one of the most important responsibilities as a people manager. Please make sure you share information with your team, especially if you manage employees who are not online. 

This page can help you start conversations, share ideas or discuss concerns. We're regularly adding information to these pages - if you have ideas or suggestions on what you'd like to see here please email internalcommunications@amey.co.uk

Quick guide for managing during the pandemic (updated 26/05/20)

There’s a lot you need to know and do in this situation so we’ve put together a quick guide with the key facts you need (see quick link on the right) to help you with the new way of working. You can ask questions or find out more on the ‘Coronavirus info’ Yammer group.

Phone calls:

A daily call is a great way to keep in touch with your team. You can add up to five people on a call even using personal numbers.

Personal emails:

You can use people’s personal email addresses for anything non-sensitive.

WhatsApp:

Useful for: individual and group messages/ video calls / audio notes / recording videos / recording and sharing team calls / sharing and answering Q&As

  • WhatsApp functionality: https://www.whatsapp.com/features/
  • How to create a WhatsApp broadcast list: https://faq.whatsapp.com/en/android/23130793/

Microsoft Teams:

Useful for: individual or group messaging and video calls / Q&A on specific issues / sharing documents, files and answering Q&As / recording team calls (good for audio over slides) / presenting slides

You can use people’s personal email address for a Teams call. Simply send the Teams link which will allow them to join for free. You can also request a dial-in number to your Teams meeting (at cost to your BU) so offline colleagues and clients can join: Log a myGateway request for Office 365 Teams Audio Conferencing.

Poster templates:

Useful for: Communicating to people in shared spaces. Keep the key message short and clear, using this poster template.

Video:

Videos are a great way to make messages memorable, personal and enjoyable. Recording a 60 – 90 second video for your team on a regular basis could be a great way to share important information and keep in touch. Here are some tips:

  • Plan your content – keep it short and make the call to action clear
  • Check your setup – good light, clean background, stable surface
  • Position camera/phone in landscape (think of the shape of a TV)
  • Test the audio/video works before you start
  • Share via Teams , WhatsApp, Email or even a YouTube channel (email Cantwell@amey.co.uk if you need help to set this up)
  • Encourage participation – ask your team to record and share their thoughts

Other resources:

The latest news and company advice is available here.

Support and guidance for apprentices and graduates is available here.

Online learning from the Government website is available here.

Directors hotline:

If an issue cannot be resolved through the usual channels, feel free to call a member of the leadership team for a chat. Each BU has a schedule which is available here.

Wellbeing support

Ensure your team are aware of the wellbeing support options available to them - they are detailed here. Our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is 24/7 and available to all employees. Go here for more information.

Health Assured are the provider for our EAP - click on the quick links on the right to view slides and hear a recording from a people manager briefing session to understand more about how you can encourage employees to use the EAP.

Additional tips from the L&D team on managing your team during the transition from lockdown 

Establish “rules of engagement”

  • To make remote work more efficient set expectations about how and how often your team need to communicate with you. For example, use videoconferencing for regular check-in meetings and IM or emails when something is urgent.
  • Let your team know the best way and time to reach you during the work day.

Trust Your Team

  • You might be uncertain about whether the work will get completed to the same level when your team are working remotely. If this is the case, set up work-from-home guidelines e.g. emails must be responded to within 24 hours, use text for urgent matters and no calls between certain hours.

Stay Focused on Goals, Not Activity

  • It’s important to manage expectations and stay focused on goals when managing a remote workforce. Concentrate on what is being accomplished rather than what is being done. Only investigate the situation if you’re not meeting your goals. It’s about accomplishment, not activity.

Be Intentional

  • Create an atmosphere of engagement and connection with your team. Make the intent and purpose of remote team meetings clear and give your team opportunities to engage and contribute.

Use technology to build a remote working community

  • Provide opportunities for remote social interaction. Allow your team to interact socially (that is, have informal conversations about non-work topics) whilst working remotely. Especially workers who are used to working in an office environment.

Offer encouragement and emotional support

  • There has been a sudden shift to remote working and it’s important to acknowledge the stress that this may have caused. Listen to your teams’ anxieties and concerns and empathize with their struggles.
  • If someone is clearly struggling but not communicating this, ask them how they’re doing.
  • Even a general question such as “How is this remote work situation working out for you so far?” can help. Once you ask the question, listen to the response and repeat it back to them to make sure you’ve understood correctly. Let their stress or concerns be the focus of this conversation.
  • Research suggests that your team will look to you for cues about how to react to sudden changes or crisis situations. If you communicate stress and helplessness, this will have what Daniel Goleman calls a “trickle-down” effect on your team.
  • Effective leaders not only acknowledge the stress and anxiety that their team may be feeling in difficult circumstances, but also provide affirmation about their confidence in them. Use phrases such as “we can do this” or “this is tough, but I know we can handle it”. With this support, your team are more likely to take up the challenge with a sense of purpose and focus.

Please make sure you make your team aware of the information on the Covid-19 pages.