Managing Our Team During a Pandemic

May 25, 2020
Catalyst manager, Cori Beskow, will regularly share insights on managing small teams

“We got this” I told myself as we packed up our belongings after being told all non-essential staff needed to vacate campus for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19. We have a small team of five staff. We had all worked from home before, this would be no different. Wishful thinking? Maybe. But after 9 weeks, I am proud to say, our team has rocked this situation!  

The Catalyst Team, working from home. #ZoomLife

Do I miss them? YES! Before we left the office on 3/16, we agreed on having a video call every morning to see each other’s lovely faces. Those have been a personal life saver for me. It has allowed us to stay connected. We work on and talk through project issues, marketing ideas, our new website development, and sometimes just talk about life outside of work.

While this feels like the movie Groundhog Day, we acknowledge and own that every day is different.

Early on I struggled with how to serve each team member. They are individuals with different personal situations and very different needs.Heck, I still haven’t figured out what I need from my manager. But I know that she’s there when I need her and that is all I can do for our team. In addition to our morning meetings, I meet bi-weekly with each team member. We often don’t have project work to talk about because we cover that during our morning meetings. Instead, I can just be there for them. I ask how they’re doing. I listen to their professional and personal concerns. I care about them and their situation. Sometimes I offer guidance and sometimes I just sympathize or empathize.

While this feels like the movie Groundhog Day, we acknowledge and own that every day is different. Each day brings a different level of productivity and focus. The key is to be kind to ourselves during those nonproductive hours. This is nothing like we’ve ever experienced before,and we are taking it one day at a time. My goal is to ensure they each know I am here for them, and that I support them 100%.

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