Have you had experience with leading a remote team? If so how long have you been doing it? Have you been doing it correctly? It can be a challenge to handle a team remotely. What makes it more difficult is to virtually lead every member with all their different personalities.
During the pandemic, many employees and job seekers prefer to have a home-based career to protect their health and the people around them by reducing social contact. In response to that, an increased number of small and large businesses are more seriously considering the idea expanding and extending work-at-home setups for their employees. As this brings a whole other set of issues, here are 5 effective dos and don’ts to help you lead your remote team:
- Establish comprehensible guidelines. Always set proper expectations to secure commitment and agreement from your team. Not only so that it eliminates confusion, but it also ensures that your team is well-aware of the guidelines and its coverage from the first point to the last. Absolutely, this is the best move when managing the remote working team.
- Acknowledge your people. Show your gratitude.By simply saying, “Thank you for your effort!” and noticing each team member’s contribution, makes them feel valued. At the end of the day, our hard work deserves to be recognised. Acknowledging your people goes a long way!
- Plan team timeout meetings. Those who are called to lead should not synonymy “team meeting”with “stress”. We should ensure these words are reclaimed with completely different meanings and emotions. Just like the traditional team building, virtual team timeout meetings empower team members, improves communication, builds trust, and bridges the gap among team members. Think of a team bonding where work talk is a taboo. May it be as simple as a 30-minute virtual huddle while having breakfast, a coffee session, a remote karaoke, team yoga,and a lot more – depending on the type of team you lead!The presence of a comfortable workplace and a sense of belonging must be felt not just inside a room — also within the four corners of various screens.
- Set goals WITH the team. Share your visions. Concise answers from 5 W’s and 1 H (who, what, where, when, why, how) improves project administration. Collaborating goals with your people produces a diversity of thought. Giving them the permission to take ownership of their viewpoint is equivalent to letting them further their knowledge. Arrows of each team members aimed at one direction have a higher chance of hitting the target.
- Prioritise mental health. Mental health issue is always sensitive topic at normal times, but is an essential topic during a pandemic where mental health has been identified as a potential issue in the coming months. It is not something that should be ignored or brushed off.If a team member shows early warning signs, be proactive and do not deprive them of taking their time to rest. Our body, as a whole, can’t function properly if we are mentally unstable. Express empathy, be the best support system and encourage them to seek professional help if needed. We all go through tough times and when it strikes, we need to have a break!
- Too much focus on the problem. Identify the cause of a problem to avoid any further damage as early as possible. Focusing too much on the problem is the biggest distraction in finding the best solution. Do not hesitate to seek help from your colleagues. Remember, there’s no “I” in “team”. Believe in the power of multiple minds.
- Don’t just listen. It feels good to be heard and it’s even better to be understood. Seeing the world through their eyes does not invariably denote that you agree. Everyone is entitled to their own point of view. Without any exception,let your people speak their minds, offer your undivided attention and appreciate their significance.
- Maldistribution of tasks. Well-thought-out plans alongside fair delegation confirm team members’ understanding of their responsibilities. Pick the right person to complete a mission. Unjustifiable task distribution destroys effective teamwork and fuels conflict. Don’t expect everyone to multi-task during these difficult and unprecedented times. As all our lives have been turned upside down people need time and space to adjust to changes.
- Overwhelming your members with new technologies. Many collaboration applications are being released every day. However, that doesn’t mean that you and your team have to use them all. Regularly switching from one platform to another can frustrate and overwhelm your members instead of helping them to be productive. The best strategy is to find the most suitable platform for everyone that offers all features you need. It would also greatly help you and your team if proper training on how to utilise and maximise software could be offered.
- Underestimating the impact of one-on-ones. One-on-one coaching sessions are the best times to give and receive feedback. Do not underestimate their impact. We all go through ups and downs — you might want to sit down and talk. This is such a beneficial opportunity for a leader because it helps to understand your team better and identify personal characteristics in a team. This is an chance to touch people’s lives. As the one who leads, it is your duty to develop them for the long run.
I hope these tips could help you leading a remote team effectively. Send me a message today for us to talk more about the do’s and don’ts of leading a remote team. Virtual hugs all round!