6 Tips for Leading Remote Teams

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This new era in working from home means it's more important than ever that leaders understand how to motivate and grow resilience in their teams.

Remote Teams

Strange times, challenging times, difficult times – for sure (the biggest workforce experiment since the industrial revolution?). But also we are experiencing innovative times. Working from home can leave individuals feeling isolated and rudderless, but it can also unlock latent productivity, as long as our leaders can channel it well.

In April 2020 research from Visier, 68% of workers said they feel more productive or equally productive working from home. Without the stress and expense of the commute, we arrive at our home office desks ready for the day. But the lack of human interaction and physical exercise brings with it wellbeing issues that leaders must address.

The same research revealed that 75% said their manager trusts them to be productive but only 31% of employers had new processes to monitor their output. Here we have the danger of misplaced trust and a laissez-faire attitude that could damage productivity. Leaders must recognise that they need to lead their remote teams differently. 

6 Tips for Leading Remote Teams

Understand Your People

This has to be right at the top of your list. If your people have previously completed a McQuaig Word Survey®, dig out that report and read it again. Even better, get them to complete another one now, to better understand how the move to remote working is changing their behaviour on the job. Stress that the purpose of this is for leaders to understand how they need to support their teams, rather than to identify whether they are still right for the job. Hopefully you know  that these people are great at their jobs, but the situation that they are now working in has changed and they may need to be supported differently. Some may be hit hard by the forced solitude, while others revel in it! A fresh McQuaig Word Survey® Report will give you the situational insights to ask the right questions in your virtual one-to-ones and tackle any issues around morale before it becomes a problem.

Prioritise Resilience and Motivation

Remote workers and their leaders may also struggle with their motivation and resilience when their normal working environment is removed. Insights around an individual’s motivation and resilience help leaders to engage with them to drive productivity even when all appears bleak. Their ability to be resilient, pick themselves up each day and power on is what will make your organisation one of the winners, rather than a casualty of Covid-19.

Resilience and motivation are abilities rather than personality traits. With the right support, insight and investment, anyone can grow their resilience and motivation to become more adaptable and higher achievers. Leaders who recognise and include resilience and motivaton development in their professional development plans will find that their remote teams not only survive but thrive during this period of uncertainty.

Keep an Eye on Emotional Intelligence

Cyber bullying is expected to rise among remote workers and its covert nature will make it hard for leaders to tackle. With 21% of workers citing a toxic workplace as their reason for quitting, it’s more important than ever for leaders to make emotional and social intelligence in their teams a priority. They can do this by using eqflow® as part of their professional development programmes and firmly embed emotional intelligence as a skill that your organisation requires.

Consistent Communication

If your business is the type that starts the day with a huddle whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, keep doing that. Add it to your team calendar – have a chat, keep it light. There are plenty of awesome video tools out there to maintain sociability in your teams. Think of these personal interactions as the glue that holds your people together. Consider a weekly quiz – perhaps something that you’d never normally dream of, but it fills the need that we have to interact with each other in a non-work way. 

The Right Resources to Relieve Stress

It’s an obvious one, do your remote workers have the kit they need to do their jobs well? Computer, phone, strong enough mobile and internet signal? This last one can be super variable for those who live in less urban areas. Make a point to ask your teams if they have everything they need for the long haul, don’t make an assumption. Kit and other resources that don’t work are enough to make your blood boil at the best of times, make sure your people have what they need to keep their cool.

Give Yourself and Your Team a Break

BC-19, too many of us didn’t take the breaks we need in an office environment. We would lunch at our desks or get hooked into social media instead of actually getting up. Now we have the opportunity to take the kids and/or dog for a run/walk, hang out the washing, bake some bread or even clean the bathroom! This isn’t slacking off. Doing something different allows us to reset the ‘rolodex in our head’ and come back fresh to the challenges we face. 

Work with Holst to Support Your Remote Teams and Leaders

Want to know more? McQuaig is a complete and cost-effective solution to create productive and engaged teams, including those working remotely. Visit www.mcquaig.co.uk for more information.

flowprofiler® supports and engages individuals to achieve better outcomes with unique resilience and motivation assessments.

Contact us using the form below or call 0203 111 9292.

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