Practical information leaders
Leaders have an important responsibility to follow up employees in these times and facilitate a good digital work environment
As a leader at the UiB you are responsible for a continued dialogue with your employees and following up on their tasks and responsibilities.
Under these extraordinary circumstances, you may be wary about the frequency of your dialogue with employees. Many employees are left at home with children requiring supervision. This might be particularly challenging for sole care providers and those sharing their responsibilities with partners working in society’s key services.
As a manager, it is crucial that you get an overview of your employees’ situation- many of them may have the opportunity to fully contribute.
UiB has a selection of digital resources and solutions to assist you- please familiarise yourself with these.
Dialogue with employees
Most employees will both expect, and appreciate dialouge from the leader during this period. Schedule some brief status meetings with the individual on the phone, Skype or in Teams. You can also invite your department, section og group to digital meeting more frequently than you would in a normal situation.
It is important to emphasize that one cannot expect full participation from everyone, but it is important to establish arenas that enable interaction. Remember that this is an opportunity to put in place a digital work culture that can have positive effects on interaction, time spent and travel activity after the Corona restrictions are over. Dare to experiment with digital solutions during this period!
It is important that employees feel seen and heard. As i leader, you should therefore familiarize yourself with the digital tools we use for meetings and dialouge.
It is important to think about the structure of your digital meeting. Below are some specific tips:
1. Preparing before the meeting
- Send out a clear agenda, with a description of what employees should prepare for the meeting.
- Ask for input to the agenda.
- Check sound and lighting conditions.
2. During the meeting
- Start the meeting with a few minutes of informal talk. Tip: Log in five minutes before the meeting starts and be available for informal chat.
- Share documents on screen and have a shared virtual board that anyone can use.
- Go through the purpose and agenda of the meeting.
- Remember to involve everyone who participates.
- Stick to the agenda.
- Post topics that have nothing to do with the meeting on a separate list for later discussion.
- Summarize what are the follow-up points and who is responsible.
- Keep the time.
3. After the meeting
- Send out or post the follow-up points from the meeting in a common workspace (Teams)
- Follow up on deadlines.
As a leader, it is important that you pay extra attention to international employees, as they are in an extremely vulnerable situation. We therefore encourage leaders to make an assessment of who they want to contact and in what order.
For more information about recruitment, see the leader handbook (only in Norwegian)
UiB has established a new process for onboarding of new employees. See the recommended steps in such a process here (only in Norwegian).
Here you will find a template for an onboarding plan. The onboarding plan is highly important for a successful onboarding process.
How do we onboard new employees when we can't physically meet them?
We recommend managers to carry out as many of the activities as possible digitally, using applications such as Teams or Skype.
It is important for UiB that these activities are carried out, as new employees will experience the current situation as particularly challenging. Being new to a workplace is always challenging and stressful, and we must assume that they will perceive the current situation as an additional burden set against their perceived wish to get started, connected, perform and network.
Employees who have not started yet
We assume that these are especially vulnerable, and it is therefore important to communicate that UiB will not expect them to have a trajectory of learning and performance as they normally would - given the circumstances being different.
Most likely thee new employee will not have received a PC or e-mail from UiB. But most will have access to a computer, and in addition to any professional self-organized activities, encourage the new employee to read him- or herself up on various information about UiB.
For Norwegian-speaking employees, we have created this website where new employees will find a wealth of useful information as well as an e-learning course for new employees: See our website for new employees.
For English speaking employees, please click for English version at top corner of the Norwegian web site.
Contract of employment - termination
When a contract of employment is terminated, our advice is as follows:
1. Create a tentative plan which includes the following:
- What can be done digitally through meetings in Teams / Skype? At the very least, we recommend a digital meeting that addresses the particular situation we are in, and the practical consequences this will have upon his or her process of termination.
- What activities can be undertaken by you as a leader, regardless of physical presence? Testimonial? Other?
- What activities needs to be postponed? Social gathering? Other?
- Termination of various accesses (ID card, e-mail etc.), subscriptions etc.
- Handing in of equipment (PC and other equipment belonging to UiB)
2. Have a digital conversation with the employee about your outline plan and request comments on it.
3. Implement plan in line with what you have agreed on.
See other relevant information here (only in Norwegian)