When the global pandemic hit us, it tilted the axis of our world. It brought many industries to a halt and upended our jobs. Since then we have lived through so many lockdowns, we all have had to rethink and change the way we work, and millions have lost their jobs. Many education institutions had to abruptly transition to an entirely remote workforce. The biggest question running through our minds right now: “How will we continue business as usual?”
The future is uncertain. We don’t even know if our societies will ever return to normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused mass disruption to almost every industry, with higher education experiencing some of the greatest impacts!
How do I manage a remote admission team?
Managing a large team is not a task for the faint-hearted. Handling the different personalities of your team is just the tip of the iceberg. You are not just responsible for your work alone, you have to manage, inspire, motivate, instruct and monitor your admission team’s performance too. On top of that, you also need to help your team adapt to the increased complexities in today’s education landscape.
The disruption that COVID-19 caused in your work environment has brought some unique challenges. These can include technology issues, miscommunication, and more. But you can’t afford to have these problems negatively impact your team’s admission efforts.
So how do you efficiently manage your team remotely, without it impacting your admission numbers?
Well, if you are looking for answers this is the perfect place, we have been working with 250+ institutes in India & observing how they are responding to the current state of affairs.
We have jotted down for you the best ways they are effectively managing their admission remotely.
6 Ways you can manage your remote admission team efficiently
Set guidelines for their work
Of the many challenges, one faces while creating a remote work setup, time management, and constant distractions are at the top. One of the biggest reasons why many of us prefer to work from the office is because it’s a controlled environment. You have a set routine in place. Offices are designed for people to work with minimal distractions. There are set schedules in place which everyone follows day-in and day-out. It’s difficult to replicate that same environment at home for many.
Your admission team doesn’t have to wake up early, get ready, and travel all the way to the office – a routine that used to guide their day. This lack of a schedule can deflate your admission team’s productivity and efficiency dramatically.
So what can you do? Set up daily, weekly and monthly agendas for your team. Making your admission team’s work more goal-directed will help them stay on task and on pace toward bigger institutional milestones. Not only will they know what’s expected of them and they will also be held accountable for their contributions.
If you have a proper admission CRM in place you can easily set daily, weekly and monthly goals. Plus, you can also check the performance of each and every team member of yours in a single dashboard, instead of going on a call and asking them for updates.
Give do’s and don’ts of Work From Home
Your admission team cannot replicate the same environment like your office at their homes. But they can create a work-like environment to ensure that the work is being done. But, only with your help! According to a survey conducted by Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, at least 16 percent will remain, at-home workers, long after the COVID-19 crisis has receded. Remote work might just become the permanent way of working. So it’s vital for all organizations and educational institutions alike, to come up with a work-from-playbook to make remote work effective.
You can help your team be more productive by creating a playbook that answers questions like:
- What tools can they use?
- How can your admission team reduce distractions at home?
- How do they ensure that they follow fixed working hours?
- What can they do when they are feeling overwhelmed and how can your admission team avoid feeling burned out?
- To be more efficient you can also work with your team to even have a set lunchtime!
Provide your team with the necessary equipment
Most education institutions provide their counselors with an office laptop, which they can use even when working remotely! But what if issuing laptops to your counselors is not standard practice in your institute?
You may need to take some additional steps to ensure your entire admission team has the right laptop & mobile devices with secure access to all your business systems. Look for a vendor that can provide laptops in bulk at cheaper prices. This can take time and can be an issue during lockdowns.
Mobile-enabled CRM’s have played an important role for counsellors during this pandemic. It has helped them manage their entire admission activities such as – Calling, emailing, updating status, getting alerts & notifications, etc. This has helped them be productive and stay on their toes and not miss any meetings or deadlines.
Can they adapt to change?
Times are changing. Technology is taking everyone by storm. The concept of a workplace is shifting. There is a new generation of tech-savvy, social media obsessed students applying to your colleges and universities. The real question is, will your admission counselors be able to tackle these new challenges?
Your new hire should have that workplace readiness to handle change and act according to circumstances. They should be open to new ideas and new methods of working. You need to look for someone who can adapt to work pressure and plan alternate solutions when things don’t go as planned.
Ensure that your communication and collaboration lines are open
Another big problem a lot of institutions face is effective communication and collaboration amongst their team members. When in the office, if one of your counselors needed something from one of their team members, they could just walk up to them. If they had any doubts or needed to get something clarified, they could simply drop into your workspace and ask.
Remote work doesn’t give you that luxury. In fact, your admission team can fall into the trap of miscommunication, disengagement, and blame games. To ensure that the communication lines are always open you can hold regular team meetings or huddles.
To have a daily or a weekly huddle is entirely up to you, but it’s essential to have a regular team meeting. A one-hour session with your team ensures that you and your admission counselors are up-to-speed with what is to be done and with whom to do it. It also brings to light what challenges your team is currently facing, what are the pending tasks and on whom are the different dependencies. Try to conduct regular check-ins with individual counselors to keep a pulse on how they’re feeling and how they are moving toward their goals.
Empower your team with tools
Today there are so many cost-effective user-friendly tools available to make your work from home life easier, For effective communication and collaboration, you can use software as basic as zoom meetings to stay in touch. You can also try using platforms like OneNote, Google docs, or even have a group email to keep everyone on the same page.
There are many messaging tools in the market like Skype, Microsoft Teams, Slack, or Google Hangouts that can help you in real-time communication. Make sure that you pick the one that best suits your admission teams’ needs.
Many educational institutes also opt for tools with shared access like an education CRM, to effectively manage their leads across the team. It helps your team to have access to their daily tasks & set reminders to not miss out on any admission activity. You can look at these 6 features every admission CRM software should have to pick the right CRM for you.
Conduct virtual training sessions
Not everyone on your team will be tech-savvy. Your admission counselors will find it difficult to use these tools if the right training is not given. The irony is, these productivity tools could hinder their productivity.
With work-from-home being the norm, look for more virtual ways to train your admission team on the various tools you will be using. A simple zoom session can sometimes work. Sometimes these tools also have extensive training material of their own that your team can access. For more elaborative training, you can create collaterals like presentations, give live demos, and even provide written how-to-dos! You can also look for a robust Learning Management System to keep all these learning materials in one place which your team members can access anytime.
Any educational institution will face some adjustment challenges as try to navigate these new changes. With the right plan and the right tools, you can help your admission team effectively work toward its enrollment goals. You can use the above best practices to ensure a smoother transition to remote work, Who knows, you may not even need an office in the future!
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