Guest Post by Carrie Fabris
Thanks to COVID-19, in 2020, more people are working remotely than ever before and many are still adjusting to the long-term effects of this new work reality. Distractions are around every couch at home and remote teams need strong leaders well versed in how to tap into their potential from a distance while motivating and holding them accountable. As you may have realized by now, there is an art and science to working and managing others remotely.
Employee Safety and Emotional Health
Before you do anything when you engage with your team, check on the human that works for you before checking on the business. Of course you must focus on the business, however the business may not get done if the human driving the output is not ok. Ensure they are in a good place, physically, emotionally and mentally to ensure engagement and productivity.
Productivity and Accountability
Yes, this comes after you check in on your people. This should not be the first thing you dive into when connecting with your people. Being remote means you have to be an extraordinary effort to connect and relate to your team. Then it’s time to ensure the business is flowing and that your people are showing up daily to achieve and reach company goals.
This may sound like common sense, but it’s not common practice. Ensure you have both structural (meetings, use of chat, tech tools like Zoom, etc) and tactical communication (listening, open calendar policy, appropriate message delivery, etc) techniques in place to ensure cohesiveness and understanding with each of your employees and for the entire team as a working unit. Proper etiquette on various communication channels is key, as well as matching the message to the delivery channel. It’s also helpful to speak a common language in regard to understanding personality profiles. StrengthsFinder, DISC, Emergenetics, MBTI, etc are great tools to help teammates understand each other at a deeper level.
Start each conversation with ‘how are you?” Ask your people that question with intention and genuinely listen to the answer. This demonstrates that you care about the person before the work. When you care first about them, the productivity follows. Get creative with team engagements – virtual happy hours, morning team coffee talk and leave work talk alone for a bit. A remote team needs connection more than ever so get creative.
Gallup asked a survey of followers what they need from leaders and it’s not exactly vision and drive. The clear answer was trust, compassion, stability, and hope. Connecting with your people on every level – personally and professionally – encourages trust. When you show compassion to your people, they will respond with loyalty and focus. Demonstrating that you are a strong leader who does not crack under pressure encourages them in difficult times and with hope, well, everyone wants hope. It’s remaining positive, being transparent and letting them know that you are all in it together.
For managers still finding difficulty managing people they can’t physically see, they must learn new skills to drive connection to ensure the team keeps contributing to the company’s bottom line. And for those who are used to working remotely or adapted quite nicely to the ‘work from home’ situation, reminders of how to engage your team are always helpful. The remote hierarchy of needs will guide you to success with actionable steps for leading others from a far with a focus on both the humans and the business; a recipe for effective leadership.
Carrie Fabris & CareerFrame
CareerFrame works with leaders and teams to help them reframe their thinking around team dynamics and achieving business results. The ‘remote team hierarchy of needs’ framework maximizes virtual team performance through thoughtful, actionable steps that drive engagement and alignment. To dive deeper with a workshop for your management team, reach out to Founder and Chief Connection Officer Carrie Fabris at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.careerframe.com/remote to schedule a complimentary consultation.