Project Management

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Topics: Ethics, Leadership, Stakeholder Management
What unique ethical team challenges have you faced in the pandemic and work-from-home situations? How did you solve them?
The perilous pandemic of 2020 has seriously impacted almost everyone. Project and Program leaders are no exception. The new normal is going to see increased work from home.

What unique challenges have you faced? How did you solve them?

Please share your learnings for the valuable benefit of our dynamic community here.

For example, I've found engaging the team extra hard in work-from-home situations. Managing productivity to meet the responsibility of customer expectations is a big challenge, especially since leaders need to respect what team members are going through in their lives.
Are team members being completely honest about their challenges?

My mantra has been trust much, but verify once in a while.

I eagerly look forward to your views and learnings!
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Karthik,

I have seen more ethical behavior within teams, rather than bad behaviors.

I observed more respect, more responsibility, more honesty and openness (see those disclosure of faces and home environment, willingness to be taped). I found that people are in general more effective working from home and spend more hours working. A leaders responsibility is to limit their work and enable recuperation and dealing with their non-work life.

Some say how can I trust members if I cannot control them, but this is in my view outdated thinking in the knowledge work area and shows kind of disrespect.
I do agree with Karthik.
Work from home has made people save time, that in normal life they spend going and returning from the office to home. This has caused that team members are dedicating more hours to work. Human interaction and communication present in the office has disappeared, maybe this causes more concentration in persons who live alone, but in the case they have a family, personal familiar situations can interrupt their work. It's a Project Manager's responsibility to be aware and understand every project team member home environment, and control the number of hours dedicated to work, to ensure the best performance of all human resources.
I think when team faces a context surrounding by pitfall and challenges that obligates them to work at home, the most important for successful leadership is focus on the people, as consequence an adequate stakeholders management would be helpful to achieve the objectives.
Building trust environment and coaching the team to align them on common goals will be crucial. Understand and apply the agile principles and values would be important to encourage the desired behavior to motivate team to accomplishment of the goals.
I have noted that in situation when chaos apparently dominates the environment, always there are people with special skills that keep the calm, focus on solving problems, and many times see this situation as opportunities to enhance creativity, allowing team experiment leadership with new proposals of processes and solutions, that maybe in normal situations would never come out.
So focus on those influencers for encouraging emergent leadership, by building trust and respect among all team, which will be the key to create collaboration and exchanging of new ideas and new processes to communicate in more effective way. Even though, the team is not communicating face to face, but the fact that they can keep in control their family members face to face, it gives them more confident to spent more time working at home in a manner more comfortable, boosting an approach leads to the solving problems mindset more than negatives and unmotivated thoughts that end by closing the creativity and our capacity to search the better decisions and actions.

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