3 key strategies for managing remote teams effectively (Through the lockdown and beyond blog series)
Managing people through these uncertain times is extremely challenging. Cultivating trust and maintaining connectivity with your coworkers looked much differently before the pandemic. It involved informal chats over a cup of coffee, quick check-ins with team members, etc. Even simple “Hi! How are you keeping?” was enough to build the basis for deeper connection and understanding. As having this physical experience is either not possible or very much limited for the last few months, it brings us to the point of time when we need to think about other strategies. Here’s what you can do to improve your team engagement and motivation. When I coach managers and teams, I start with these simple strategies:
Have engaging 1:1 meetings - it is remarkably important that these interactions are not just 'tick-the-box’ tasks. Get yourself in place of understanding the struggles of your team members (e.g. having many responsibilities outside work such as taking care of children or homeschooling, emotional drain from limited contact with others, not being able to plan for the future, etc.). Often, you don’t have to fix anything. You can simply offer listening ears and empathy so your team feels supported.
Understand their tasks and workload. Everyone has good and bad days at work. The tasks assigned for a day may change in priority (or quantity), some unforeseen events can occur, someone might go off sick, etc. In order for your team to succeed you need to be aware of their tasks and workload. Remember that no one likes being micromanaged but will, at the same time, appreciate being supported in challenging times. Asking this simple question - ‘How can I help you to achieve the best outcome?’ - can go a long way. Create an ‘emergency’ plan - make sure that every team member has a backup (they are trained to temporarily take over some tasks). This will bring peace of mind because you know that your team can complete the assignments and they will feel supported.
Praise collaboration - bring your team together! Having team members working together towards a common goal is the best thing (and advertisement) for the entire organisation. Organise team meetings where everyone feels free to express their opinions. Cultivate a diverse point of view. Make sure also those team meetings are not all about work. Think about how you can bring some fun. Most importantly, show gratitude to everyone in your team. Remember to say ‘thank you’ and appreciate their efforts.
Don’t know where to start? Start with yourself. Be authentic. Sharing your personal experiences and challenges can get your team to understand your own struggles. Show that your message has a meaning behind it. Something that you truly believe in. To find out more about my services, visit www.sylwiaglowa.com. You can also book a complimentary discovery call and sign up to my mailing list. I look forward to hearing from you!
Sylwia Glowa Career Coach and Strengths Profile Practitioner