As a leader, you were likely taught that “hands-on management” is best. A hands-on manager — not to be confused with a micromanager — is highly involved in the day-to-day activities and decisions of their team. They are always available to answer questions, provide guidance and assist with problem-solving.
The thought behind hands-on management is that it fosters a deeper connection than a cold, distant boss who rarely leaves their office. The strong relationships cultivated by hands-on managers create a positive workplace culture with motivated and productive employees.
But how can you be hands-on when your team is out of your reach?
Today’s business landscape of remote work changes everything. Employees appreciate the flexibility of working from anywhere, which leads to greater job satisfaction, engagement and productivity, but managing remote teams presents challenges for leaders.
Navigating the difficulties that come with leading remote teams requires out-of-the-box thinking and reaching out for guidance from an expert. A leadership keynote speaker like Steve Farber can offer extensive knowledge and experience related to what works and what doesn’t when it comes to leading virtual teams.
Managing Remote Teams: Cost-Efficient Pathway to Business Growth
While future leaders may never learn about actual hands-on management, the philosophies behind it will likely be adapted to working with remote teams.
It is becoming increasingly evident that the days of having employees at work in the office are behind us. Audacious leaders accept this and leverage its advantages to create radical success. This begins by supporting remote workers in the way that best meets their unique needs.
You have already taken the leap by offering remote work.
You’ve demonstrated to your team that you believe in work-life harmony and trust them to manage their time. You give them control of where they work and when, which goes a long way toward increasing job satisfaction and employees’ overall wellbeing.
It also grants you access to fresh talent around the world. You’re no longer limited to the local employee pool, and this creates opportunities to build a more diverse and skilled workforce, giving your organization a leg up on the competition. Remote work can also produce massive cost savings for your organization and your employees. It is a win-win, as employees relish not having to commute, especially with exorbitant gas prices, while your company benefits from lower overhead costs.
With all the advantages of remote work, it’s no wonder it’s quickly becoming the norm. Leaders worldwide are embracing it and focusing on effective management and leadership while leveraging its benefits to achieve audacious levels of success.
Six Effective Strategies for Leading Remote Teams Toward Sustainable Success
You are an Extreme Leader ready to successfully lead your remote teams toward a more positive and productive future. The only thing missing is a roadmap. Keep reading for six of the most effective tips for managing remote teams that will guide your journey toward radical success.
1. Effective Communication
Arguably the most important component of successfully managing virtual teams is effective communication. The method by which a leader communicates can mean the difference between collaboration and innovation or isolation and confusion. When you share information clearly, concisely and in a way that can be understood at all levels, your team will feel connected and ready to work cohesively.
Unfortunately, employees lose the opportunity to untangle the nuances behind someone’s words by analyzing body language when they don’t share the same space. They are also less likely to engage in the personal chit chat that creates bonds and builds trust. Having that connection with your colleagues can help defuse potential conflicts when disagreements arise.
To avoid misunderstandings and confusion, leaders must establish clear guidelines for communication. This can include different tools, such as video conferencing, messaging apps and email, as well as establishing an expectation of transparency. Supporting remote workers by demonstrating that open communication is paramount will help foster trust and build stronger relationships.
2. Set Clear Expectations
When employees understand their roles and how their work contributes to the organization’s overall mission, they will be more engaged and motivated. This is especially important to remember when managing virtual teams.
When working with remote teams, it is imperative to establish clear expectations related to the frequency and mode of communication between employees so that everyone is on the same page.
Being transparent about your expectations and setting measurable goals will help remote workers remain focused and productive. Offer constructive feedback, regular check-ins and team meetings to encourage problem-solving and brainstorming and eliminate obstacles that hinder productivity. Engaging in consistent two-way communication will also ensure your remote workers don’t feel disconnected from each other or the organization.
Keeping everyone aligned toward the same goals is critical when managing virtual teams. It will mitigate confusion and help your team maintain a sense of “we’re all in this together” even when working apart.
3. Emphasize Trust and Accountability
When you aren’t able to be a hands-on manager, emphasizing trust and accountability is even more important. This begins by demonstrating transparency in your work and actions.
It is essential to build trust and accountability first before expecting it in return.
Extreme Leaders lead by example. By modeling the behaviors you desire, you will cultivate a culture of trust and accountability and show your remote workers their contributions are valued. This method may require extra effort when managing remote teams to ensure they feel appreciated.
It is crucial that you also hold your team accountable. You can do this by establishing guidelines for the quality and quantity of work required and deadlines that must be met. This clear guideline will give your team the confidence needed to deliver results, even when working autonomously.
4. Use Technology to Streamline Processes
The technology that enables organizations to offer remote work in the first place has so much more to offer. If you are leading virtual teams but not leveraging technology to its full ability, you are doing a disservice to your employees and your business.
It can keep your team connected, streamline workflows and even handle mundane tasks, which will free up your employees to focus on work that requires critical thought and problem-solving. Today’s technology also offers solutions, such as project management tools, which allow team members to track progress, assign tasks and collaborate in real-time while enabling managers to monitor productivity and identify potential challenges.
By embracing all the ways modern technology can enhance remote work, Extreme Leaders can create more productive and efficient teams that perform at the highest levels.
5. Prioritize Employees’ Wellbeing
One of the greatest tips for managing remote teams is something that should be the focus in any work environment — prioritizing employees’ wellbeing. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it also leads to greater positivity and productivity.
Focusing on the mental and physical health of your team is important. When you manage remote teams, it is paramount.
One way to prioritize employees’ wellbeing is to promote work-life balance and ensure you provide the resources and time needed to establish boundaries so that the lines don’t become too blurred. This will help avoid stress, exhaustion and burnout.
When working from home, it is easy for work and life to become intertwined to the point it is almost impossible to separate the two. It is up to you to prevent this by inviting employees to unplug from work and prioritize self-care. This may include offering flexible schedules, encouraging regular breaks and promoting activities that improve physical and mental health.
Don’t forget to do the same for yourself. After all, if you don’t prioritize your own wellbeing, how can you expect your employees to?
6. Provide Regular Feedback
The greatest leaders recognize that providing regular feedback is crucial to employees’ growth and development. When managing remote teams, this becomes even more essential, as your employees may feel isolated and disconnected. Without natural conversations about their work product and outcomes that occur in person, your team may begin to wonder if their contributions are meaningful, or if they’re veering off course.
You can prevent this with regular check-ins to provide your remote teams with guidance and support. The main priority of this ongoing communication should be offering constructive feedback. As is the case when you meet in person, the feedback should be specific, actionable and goal-oriented.
It is also important to encourage feedback from your team. This may include requesting ideas related to improving their work environment or communication. It will kickstart a free flow of ideas that can improve the remote work environment and demonstrate to your team that their wellbeing is of utmost importance.
A Leadership Keynote Speaker’s Guide to Leading Virtual Teams
Are you ready to take the leap into offering remote work? A leadership speaker like Steve Farber is the guide you need. An expert will offer insights, experiences and extensive knowledge and provide you with all the tools necessary to embark on this revolutionary journey.
With an expert like Steve Farber on your side, you can enhance your communication and build trust with remote team members, as well as deploy strategies to keep them engaged and motivated.
A leadership speaker will launch your remote teams and organization to the pinnacle of success.