How Can Leaders Boost Their Remote Teams?on 5 March 2018
Think about what it takes to be successful leader. You want someone who takes charge, without fearing the consequences of making decisions. Great leaders connect with colleagues who follow directions and are empowered to help ensure the achievement of clearly presented goals. In the digital era, great leaders must multitask to keep the team focused on the job at hand. Loyalty, consistency, fairness, courage, and a sense of humour all represent traits that great leaders must possess.
We are talking about leadership at the office and in the field. What happens when leaders must boost their remote teams? The answer is the fundamental leadership traits remain the same, but leaders in charge of remote teams must possess additional leadership characteristics, as well as apply different leadership strategies that help remote staff succeed.
Stay Connected with Collaborative Software
Glasscubes offers collaborative software that allows company leaders to stay connected to a remote staff, regardless of where or when the team is working. From real-time collaboration, to free conference, calling to an online workspace that keeps everyone in the loop throughout the lifecycle of the project. A fluid, intuitive platform that facilitates constructive communications and teamwork is an essential tool for the remote team leader.
Delegation is in, Micromanaging is out
We’re not sure why leaders try to micromanage remote staff working hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. Although there are times when leaders must roll up their sleeves and dive into a project, micromanaging typically does not motivate the members of your team working directly across from you at the office. Imagine how poorly micromanaging goes over for a group of employees working remotely. Leaders should pass along ideas on how to make a project run smoother, and then allow the team to work out the solutions. One effective way to delegate remotely is to put one team member in charge of receiving and presenting information from company leadership.
Positive Feedback Should Rule the Day
It takes less than 15 seconds and requires little forethought. Just a simple email that says, “nice job” goes a long way in boosting your remote employees. Positive feedback can be more specific, such as, “thank you for all the hard work.” The team members you interact with at the office do not like too much negative criticism. Imagine how a remote team feels when all you do as a leader is emphasise weaknesses and ignore strengths.
Remote work can turn into an exercise in futility unless leaders create a structured environment. As a leader, you should create a daily and weekly schedule of planned tasks. The daily schedules should go out before the end of the previous workday. Teams that remain well-organised maintain a higher level of productivity than teams who’s week-to week planning leaves them in the dark. You want every one of your employees to be on the same page, whether they are working in San Francisco or attending a business seminar in London.
Allow Distractions to Happen
Something great leaders should accept is that distractions happen at remote work sites. Your remote team might be spread all over the world and at any given time, at least one of the employees or independent contractors has veered off course. Distraction decreases productivity, but distractions also produce down time to help the team recharge and remain highly motivated. At the end of the day, focus on the output and not the input. Decide what your expectations are, and avoid worrying about those elements that are out of your control.
Clearly Define Roles and Team Goals
The most productive remote employees do not need to check in every hour for instructions or to explain what was accomplished the previous hour. Great leaders establish clear roles and goals, which encourages the team to work independently. We can talk about employee empowerment until our faces turn blue, but true employee empowerment starts by communicating project roles and goals. As a leader, you do not want your team to ask for your decision on every issue that pops up during a work project. You want to empower your team to make the decisions remotely.
Developing a team of remote employees and independent contractors comes with several benefits. You can recruit talent based on the exact skills required for each unique project. Remote work eliminates the need for the team to be at the same location for eight hours every day. There are less time-consuming meetings and when you do ask for the team to get together, virtual meetings typically take less time to complete. Great leaders recognise these benefits, and seek to take full advantage of them.
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