What do your remote teams expect from you as a leader? Happy New Year! I’ve just finished with my clients’ planning for 2021 and beyond. As you can imagine, all the leaders I work with talked about what they need to do to take their remote teams’ performance to the next level.
It’s an interesting question since almost every coaching assignment I have currently is involved in working with teams, all types of teams. Many of my longer term clients are preparing for many of their managers and leaders to retire over the next several years.
Some have succession plans in place, others have lost team members through illness. Not sure where they go from here. Many are still remote, many in the UK and Europe after being closed for the past eight months with no end in sight.
Making remote teams successful
I thought I’d review what makes for team success. There are different leadership skills required when working remotely. Remote workers require more from their leaders in a different way.
I’ve found several easy things to do to help my clients keep remote employees upbeat and engaged. They’re simple, but not easy. Performance by remote teams has pleasantly surprised their leaders. After all this time, the question is not if remote teams work but how to transform them into high performing teams. Here are my observations going into 2021.
Clarify what you expect of team members
Team members want clarity on what is expected of them. How is my performance measured? Does it keep me and my coworkers avoiding high risk activities?
Team members want to be equipped with what they need to do their work right. Many younger employees are discouraged by their employers unwillingness to leverage technologies to make their jobs simpler.
Trust is a critical element in your team’s success. I’ve written on this topic before. But you may be asking yourself, Can We Use Trust to Develop High Performing Teams?
Leverage remote team members strengths
Remote team members want to do what they do best every day. How can their jobs be redesigned to leverage their strengths? Do managers listen to their suggestions? How long does it take to make minor adjustment to their daily schedules?
Have senior leaders shared what’s going on in the organization on a regular basis? How connected are senior leaders to what their remote teams are doing and accomplishing?
Motivating your remote teams
Do managers communicate with their team members? Are they positive and upbeat? Do they praise and coach on a regular basis? Employees want to feel recognized for going the extra mile to solve a customer’s problem whether or not it’s pandemic related.
Are you motivating people with your communications? Though it may seem overwhelming at times, here are 5 Easy Ways to Motivate Your Remote Team.
Connecting with your remote team members
Great managers have always been the secret weapon of their organizations. These managers make sure their team feels appreciated, both individually and collectively. Successful managers look for fun team activities to keep morale high!
Remote teams can be frustrated when organizations do things the same way after a better way is found. Team members want to be heard, and their ideas acted on a quickly as reasonable.
Share and refresh your evolving vision
Leaders need to share their visions of their organization as time goes on. Many new team members have been hired but have not been onboarded in a typical way. The mission, vision, and values of your organization are the backbone of your culture.
A simple way of doing this is through an onboarding call or, my favorite, public recognition for new team members during larger team meetings. Its easy to send out a card, coffee mug, or T-shirt to new team members to make them feel part of your team.
Remote team members support each other
I’ve had several interesting conversations with team members about how connected they feel to one or two other team members. They share how these individuals show genuine concern for them as a person. A good manager can build stronger relationships with their teams simply by asking about their lives outside of work, such as their families, children, or outside interests.
Personal and professional lives blend together
The pandemic has blended personal and professional forever. I’ve been in many of my clients’ homes virtually and they have been in mine. Good leaders can bond around the challenges as well as finding unique ways to celebrate the team’s victories in memorable ways. Lighten up, we’re all human.
Celebrate learning and growth regularly
Finally, celebrate learning as part of the journey. Take time to congratulate people on how they are learning new things. When someone achieves a milestone, a card and little gift can keep morale high on your remote teams.
Want to learn more about building great remote team? Google Research Reveals 7 Secrets of Successful Remote Teams written by Gustavo Razzetti.
When we look back on 2020, lean into the positive and let the negative slip away. If you help people grow during the challenging times they will stick around for the good times.
If you’d like to talk about building your high performing team, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
See you next week.