[YS Learn] Why PolicyBazaar CEO Sarbvir Singh believes it is the time to over-communicate

With physical distancing and work from home, it is important for managers to over-communicate with team members. Not only does this ensure there are no lapses in communication, but it also helps create open pathways.
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One of the things managers and employers need to keep in mind in times of social distancing and working from home is clear communication. 

“We need to over communicate information during times like these. Even if the information isn’t super critical,” says Sarbvir Singh, CEO of PolicyBazaar. 

People are cut off from their colleagues and are missing the camaraderie that an office environment brings. Hence, it is important to keep in touch with them and even repeat some parts of the communication, which can help in bringing reassurance and faith. 

Tools and ways to communicate

This also means one needs to keep clear lines of communication. Let team members tell you how they can be reached. Communicate any expectations you may have from them in terms of conversations, updates, or productivity. Also, let them know what are the best ways to communicate with you. Emails, texts, Zoom, phone calls — what is your preferred mode of communication? 

Apart from telling them how they can reach you, managers need to communicate what timings are the best to reach them as well. Is it first thing in the morning, afternoon, or evenings? 

Do you need daily updates or weekly updates? The clearer one is about the timings and how they like to be reached, the lesser the friction. Also, one needs to be open to the fact that people may reach out anytime in times of emergency. Your team needs to know that they can do so. 



Expectations and goals 

Be clear on your expectations, connect with your colleagues and teammates. “We have meetings and discussions with the teams. And not all of the meetings are work related,” explains Sarbvir.

He adds that it is important to keep track of one’s work progress and being rational in their expectations. Not everybody likes or wants to work 24x7. 

With over communication also comes responsiveness — resolve issues quickly to avoid any angst or misunderstandings. Return calls and reply to emails and texts as these factors matter more than ever while working remotely. 

Companies need to create systems where it is easy to share work, feedback, and comments. Gone are the days when you could walk to a person’s desk and give them feedback or ask them to share something. 

It is important to have discussions outside of the scope of work. Ask people how they are doing and how are they managing their time, how are they balancing life now that lines between home and work are blurred. 

“Empathy and understanding go a long way in keeping people sane and happy in tough times,” says Sarbvir. 
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta