Change generally happens gradually. But the past couple of years have been the exception in many workplaces because there has been a dramatic shift. What started as an accommodation is becoming business as usual, with remote work and global teams now the norm.
That leaves leaders still grappling with important new issues: managing different distractions, making information and tools accessible, and keeping remote employees motivated, connected, productive, and engaged. In my work as an executive leadership coach, I’m emphasizing these points for my clients:
Keep communication concise. Clear, concise communication is essential to remote collaboration. That may mean adopting new tools. A recent survey found that 84% of remote workers communicate through instant messaging, 81% use email, 76% meet over video, and 54% talk over the phone. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your people have the tools they need. Model your leadership communications with clear and concise communication. Also, make sure are conveyed through the most appropriate channel.
Set achievable goals. Micromanagement is even more of a temptation with a remote workforce, but if anything it’s even less effective. Avoid micromanagement and foster success by setting clear goals that people know they can achieve. It’s important to establish channels and structures for reporting progress and requesting help, and making sure everyone has the tools and resources they need to stay organized, manage their tasks, and work effectively.
Build camaraderie and connection. The best leaders know that a connected culture makes for a successful company. But building connection is a much greater challenge in the absence of face-to-face contact. Encourage the kind of interactions that help people get to know one another. And most importantly, provide opportunities for people to connect and collaborate. If you have the resources, bring teams together in person occasionally. If you can create connection, you’ll have a robust culture even in a remote workplace.
Acknowledge, recognize, and appreciate. The best leaders have always understood the importance of gratitude and recognition in keeping employees happy—and they’re even more important in a climate where retaining good employees is a top priority. Make sure you’re letting your employees know how much you appreciate them and promoting their hard work and innovation as widely as you can. Include shout-outs and recognition as a regular part of meetings and communications. Recognition makes a huge difference.
Encourage work–life balance. Studies show that when people work from home, they put in longer hours than they would if they came into an office. That makes work–life balance a more important consideration than ever. Don’t just talk about it—lead by example and set clear expectations about protecting personal time. Balance and flexibility lead to a more relaxed culture and happier employees.
Lead from within: Company culture is crucial in any workplace, but you’ll need to work harder to maintain connection in a virtual environment. It’s your responsibility as a leader to make sure your employees are happy, motivated, effective and appreciated.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.