Across all industries, people are increasingly working remotely due to Covid-19. Though employees find this model convenient, safe, and even better than working in an office set-up, it poses a new set of challenges for organizations and managers. Productivity while working from home depends on the trust, communication, and motivation of the employees. However, these factors are difficult to track for managers, especially when everything is virtual.
In this article, you will learn about managing remote employees and the key leadership do's and don’ts:
· Communicate Constantly: A major challenge for remote teams is to maintain efficient communication on virtual platforms. Managers need to make sure that there is continuous communication between the employees as clear communication leads to better collaboration, increases transparency and trust. There are many, instant messaging, email, video call, audio call and collaborative software applications out there that can help you communicate without any hassle. Get your employees on board with these platforms and inform them how often you will be communicating with them throughout the day or week in advance.
· Make the Objectives and Deadlines Clear: In the office space, there are some guidelines, expectations, and unwritten rules already in place for employees to follow. However, shifting to a work from home environment requires the management to send out a new set of guidelines making the short term or long term objectives of the organization clear to everyone. Managers also need to specify the deadlines well in advance when tasks are assigned to employees.
· Appreciate Employees: Working from home is a challenging and isolating experience that often does not seem very rewarding. Good managers recognize and appreciate the efforts made by the team even if their achievement is completing the given tasks on time. An appreciative e-mail, message or, organizing an award function once a month is a good idea to keep your team engaged and motivated to perform better.
· Schedule Too Many Meetings: Remote managers tend to overcompensate for the lack of face to face interaction by scheduling regular meetings with the team. It is important to keep in mind that your employees will lose a lot of productive time due to these unnecessary meetings. Make sure every meeting has a clear goal, whether it is discussing a new project, taking updates from your team, or reviewing the weekly agenda. Communicate the purpose of the meeting with your team so that they come prepared and the meetings can be kept short.
· Avoid Following-up: After assigning certain roles and responsibilities to your team members, it is important for you to follow up and check how each member is doing. This will prevent your employees from slacking off or neglecting certain tasks. No matter how independent your team members are, managers must ensure that everything is on track. Following up with your team members is also a great way to understand and resolve any challenges they are facing.
· Neglect the Need for Socialization: Many employees feel lonely and stressed while working from home, this can lead to burnout in the long run. Managers need to make socialization a priority during these tough times. Hosting virtual team building events is an effective way of encouraging teamwork, motivating employees, and providing your employees with a platform to express themselves creatively. Interacting with other employees outside the work setting can boost the team’s morale and keep them engaged.
We hope the above pointers help you navigate remote leadership in an efficient manner!
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