Here at Delvinia we have now been utilizing our Work from Home (WFH) Strategy for almost two weeks, and we are glad to report that we have had a successful transition. While there have of course been a few hiccups and kinks to work out along the way, on the whole I am so proud of how our entire team has responded well to this change. How are we making things work so well? Well, in part we were very well-prepared with our Business Continuity Plan, but we are also doing a few key things that anyone can implement now.
- Increased Monitoring and Regular Two-way Communication
Two-way communications is key to the success of our plan. Simply communicating with staff without expecting some form of communication in return will not allow us to know if things are going well. I start and end each day with a company-wide email sharing some priorities for the day and ensuring that everyone feels included in our communications. This email is also a reminder that our staff must updated their profile in our online HR management system as working from home.
Instead of allowing our staff to simply put their notice as WFH for the week, staff are updating their status on a daily basis to ensure everyone stays engaged and communicating with their managers. Staff also check in with their managers daily, and we encourage them to share their concerns, difficulties, and successes quickly within their teams and upward. It is a good discipline to implement across the company. At the end of every day, as part of our Business Continuity Plan, we hold an Executive Meeting to review our performance metrics for the business. This helps us track our sales activity, projects, productivity and liquidity. We also use this time to address any specific staff issues that arise, or more importantly share positive stories. After this meeting, I produce an end of day update, sharing with everyone on how the business is performing, new challenges and solutions to overcome them, and other updates from our daily Executive Meeting. We have asked our staff not to simply share information to the entire company through email in order to reduce email fatigue. Every Monday morning, we have moved our usual Monday morning meetings to a weekly virtual Town Hall, where everyone in the company joins and we share what has happened in the past week and what we are expecting for the upcoming one.
- Use of Technology
We were perhaps never happier to be part of ISO 27001 Certification than during this WFH implementation. Employees are well-versed on how to maintain security, even from their homes, and our IT team has been critical in ensuring everyone has had access to all the tools and servers they require to do their jobs. Everyone has picked up using Zoom, WebEx, Skype, or any other form of video conferencing tool they like to stay connected and continue moving projects along.
While we have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access our internal data servers and desktop computers, many of the technologies we use on a day to day basis are cloud-based SaaS tools, allowing our team to do their job from any location.
- Having Fun
It is easy in these times to become bogged down in the fear and uncertainty, but it is vital to maintain some sense of lightness to keep morale up. While I have made it clear that we are always available and ready to help if someone is struggling, I understand the need for some levity – for myself, captured in my morning emails and weekly Friday Memes. There is a fine balance not to minimize the seriousness of what is going on, especially for those who have in fact been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. Sharing cute pictures and stories from my personal life while my family and I are going through our own self-isolation, is easily relatable by my team and adds an element of humour without being disrespectful.
Our team has also been great at embracing this, sharing pictures of their pets or babies enjoying the extra attention, joking around with one another, and generally continuing to smile. Taking things a step further, we have organized a company, partner, and client March Madness Rock, Paper, Scissors Zoom Tournament. The NCAA Basketball tournament is always a highlight for many of our staff and a chance to have a fun competition amongst our team. To replace this gap, since the tournament has been postponed, Raj Manocha, our Chief Revenue Officer, had a great idea to replace the tournament with a competition that we could do over our Zoom video conferencing. The idea was so well received, we decided to open it up to partners and clients who wanted to take part. We’ll be holding the matches on a daily basis, and for the ultimate winner, Delvinia will be making a donation to the charity of their choice. This is helping us to stay connected, find joy in the simple things, and remember that we are all in this together.
I am so proud of the grace that the entire Delvinia team has demonstrated as they are working from home and dealing with the anxiety associated with this pandemic. I feel that my responsibility is to provide inspiration and empathy as everyone handles the stress in their own way. It is a testament to the culture we have worked hard to build and the trust we have in everyone to continue their high standards of work even when not in the office.
Every one of my 5 Ps to a successful entrepreneurial journey, our People, our Passion, our Perseverance, maintaining Perspective and exercising Patience are being tested, and I believe we will come out of this pandemic stronger and more connected than ever before.