March 2, 2021
Being a leader is challenging. Becoming an impromptu work-from-home leader in the middle of a pandemic is even harder. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced almost all business sectors to accept a new way of work. One year later, employees are still working from home. However, it’s not just the employees facing challenges. Team leaders, managers, and C-suite executives are also suffering.
Unless your organization was already working remotely, chances are you were not prepared to work from home. Leaders are stepping up and looking for news ways to support a distributed workforce of remote workers.
If you are a manager or a remote workforce leader, trust these proven principles to support your team as their leader. Check out these tips on how to keep your remote team engaged and performing at their best.
Transparent and consistent communication
One of the things employees feel the most when working from home is disconnectivity. It has made the transition phase even more difficult for them.
Leaders can help them feel connected by maintaining transparent and consistent communication. Instead of assigning tasks at the start of the day and then waiting for them to reach out to you with the finished assignments, reach out to them in the middle of the day for updates. Let them feel that you’re looking after them and ask them if they need any help. Communicating frequently is the first requirement of maintaining connectivity with a remote team.
The next thing is to be transparent when communicating. Be sure to clarify and explain the rationale behind your decisions to avoid assumptions and confusions.
The most common obstacle to effective communication is consistency. As a team leader, you need to confirm that you’re consistently communicating with your team.
Treat Them As Individuals
Treat your employees as individuals— and not numbers. Every employee brings his or her own perspective, expectations, concerns, and experiences.
Everyone should be judged by their own merit, not based on who they know or how long they’ve been working for your company. Employees are people – colleagues and co-workers first and foremost.
Don’t expect everyone to be on the same page without aligning them yourself. You can ensure alignment by staying connected with your team.
Provide Physical And Mental Support
The way your employees feel determines their behavior and work results. Take the time to reach out to each employee individually and check in on them. “What do you think about this?” “How are you adjusting to the remote work environment?” And be genuinely interested in their answer. Don’t probe them if they do keep their answers short.
Reach out to them individually, as a leader and a co-worker, and offer both physical and mental support.
Focus On Deliverables Instead Of Working Hours
“There’s no such thing as an eight-hour workday, just an eight-hour delivery day.” – Kip Tindell, Co-Founder of The Container Store
Make sure your employees know that they are being judged on the quality of their work, and not the number of hours they put in. Don’t be rigid about the amount of hours. Focus on productivity instead. Identify the quality and quantity of deliverables.
This pandemic has affected everyone. Allow your employees to make time for what matters.
Provide Quality Equipment and Tools To Your Team
When all the players are equipped with the best gear, everyone wins. You can’t achieve the best out of your remote team by compromising equipment quality. Make sure that you provide everyone with the same physical equipment.
Remote team tools will simplify the process to manage organizations and projects. It will also keep your employees productive and growing professionally. My favorite tools are Notion, Google Drive, and, of course, Zoom.