These are unprecedented times. We all are having to adapt the way we work to match them – including leaders. Let’s find out more.
The workplace as we know it has changed forever. Even before the Coronavirus pandemic forced us to stay at home, more and more people were working remotely. Now, we have no choice. Sure, the COVID-19 crisis will be over one day, and we’ll all be allowed back, but many companies and workers will carry on with this arrangement as it brings many benefits, including cost savings and a better work-life balance.
Business leaders will need to adapt to these changes if they are to thrive in the new environment. You may need to alter your leadership style. Many will recommend creating mutual trust and communicating more openly, but that alone will not make you succeed. You need specific strategies and tools.
Leaders also need to think about how to foster a positive culture in their teams, helping their team members create and maintain strong relationships, while remaining productive. The way you employ and retain talented people will change too.
We’ve put together seven best practices for managing a remote workforce. What will you have to change to improve your leadership style?
1 – Set clear expectations
In the office environment, it’s much easier to assign tasks and give ongoing feedback. Team members can ask you questions as they go by simply walking up to you, or by asking another colleague.
Now we’re all in different locations, with some fitting working hours around family commitments, this is a lot harder.
When assigning a task, be as detailed as possible with your instructions. Make it clear what you need and when you need it by. Don’t leave any room for confusion.
2 – Communicate regularly
Communication is essential between you and your team. You also want your team members to be communicating with each other as much as possible.
Get everyone together for team meetings, the same way you would in an office, just on video chat instead. Set up a channel on an instant messenger tool like WhatsApp or Slack, so your team members can ask quick questions. You could even set up a separate channel for informal chats between colleagues. Setting these up yourself rather than expecting your team to do it is a nice touch.
3 – Collaborate
Just because you’re all spread out across the country doesn’t mean you can’t all work together the way you used to in the office. Tools like Google Docs or Microsoft Teams are designed to help remote teams collaborate.
Working with your teams on projects leads to better outcomes. It also helps your team members feel like they’re part of something bigger.
4 – Manage quality not quantity
Don’t micromanage. You can’t look over your team members’ shoulders like you might be able to do in an office, so don’t try.
Successful remote teams are based around trust that the work will get done and it will be of good quality. Allow them to prove they can do it before you start pulling them up on things. You don’t know what other challenges they may be facing.
Encourage achievements and recognise quality outputs. This keeps their focus on contributing to a successful, thriving team.
5 – Create something visual
Try motivating your team with some healthy competition. Create a scoreboard so employees can see how they’re performing against their colleagues. This will also help individual team members know what’s expected of them, and help you align with company targets. Update the scoreboard in weekly team meetings over video.
6 – Have fun
Remember that your team members may be missing the atmosphere of the office. They may be missing their friends. Do whatever you can to be personable and maintain a semblance of workplace atmosphere.
If it’s someone’s birthday, celebrate it. If someone has joined or got a promotion, make an announcement. Everyone loves a good news story.
7 – Trust your team
This is probably the easiest thing to say but the hardest to master. If you’re doing all the things above, you’ve done everything you can. Then, you just have to let them get on with it. Trust your team to get the job done. If they can’t, then you need to look at other ways you can help them.
Find out more
The way we work is changing, and you as a leader must adapt quickly. You need to keep your team productive, happy and motivated. By setting some clear homeworking guidelines with your team from the start, you can get everyone working towards the same goal, and find success.
If you’re in the property industry and looking to build a relationship with a committed, forward-looking recruitment agency, talk to the Joshua Robert team on 0121 582 0877, or visit our site today.