Remote leadership has become a growing culture, particularly in companies operating worldwide. According to 2021 PwC research, 83% of employers preferred remote work over office work. The reason is apparent, as they find remote working atmosphere has proved highly beneficial for their organizations. With the advent of the global pandemic, the trend of leading remote teams gained an instant boost.
Unfortunately, several companies are still in the struggling phase to cope with this “new normal.” There are workplace leaders who lack skills in how to lead remote teams and face multiple challenges to succeed in their roles. Employee training and development get a serious blow when leaders aren’t competitive.
Studies have revealed that the trend of virtual leadership will continue to rise in the coming years. Therefore, to become an excellent remote leader, you need to find ways to overcome virtual leadership challenges.
Set Clear Expectations and Objectives
It is an undeniable fact that your workforce is your real asset. Therefore, you need to prepare your workforce beforehand for future challenges by highlighting your goals and expectations clearly and unambiguously.
In this regard, effective and vivid communication plays a crucial role in remote management. Long-distance communication risks miscommunication as it lacks facial expressions, gestures, and body language. In addition, remote workers come from varying backgrounds and work cultures and are unaware of each other’s working styles.
By setting clear expectations from one another at the start, you can avoid last-minute confusion and delays among your team members. Managing remote teams and making them highly productive with realistic and achievable goals is attainable and accessible.
Define Work Structure Aligned with Goals
If there are no clear goals, any team will lack focus. Therefore, remote team managers should define a work structure aligned with organizational goals. There should be frequent meetings with the team members for this purpose.
An excellent remote leader will always prioritize the vision and goals of the organization. This will help the team members to stay focused and achieve their targets. Here are some ways to create clear goals for the team:
- Provide proper instructions
- Plan and schedule tasks
- Track the progress of your team
- Set milestones.
- Tie the team’s goals to rewards and incentives.
Prioritize Outcome-Based Operation
Always remember that contended team members lead to happy customers. You need to emphasize the quality of work instead of its methodology in a remote setting. In other words, offer your employees the flexibility and freedom to complete their tasks most efficiently.
This helps build trust and a strong bond between the employer and the employee. As a leader, you should ensure your team that you believe in their capabilities to produce the expected outcome.
Establish Rules of Engagement
As a remote leader, make sure your remote teams work as effectively as they would in the physical setting. This is a daunting task as there are many distractions when working remotely. These include house chores, family gatherings, TV, social media, etc.
However, you can apply different tactics to keep your teams connected and engaged. For instance, promote a culture of open communication among your team members. Use the latest technologies and apps to remove communication barriers like GoToMeeting, Slack, Asana, and Zoom.
Encourage remote workers to connect through video conferencing, digital chats, and emails. Scheduling staff meetings and incorporating video calls frequently also help virtual teams to remain on the same page.
Offer Support & Flexibility
Flexibility is another critical element for managing remote teams in the best possible way.
Do not pressure employees to follow a set way of doing things. Allow them to be creative and innovative and let them explore their abilities while completing any project or assignment.
Also, never force your employees to finish their tasks within fixed hours. This approach defeats the advantages of remote work culture. Focus on the result produced rather than counting the number of hours worked.
Get Feedback and Make Frequent Check-Ins.
It is vital to receive feedback openly from your employees if you want to become a good manager. Besides, your feedback as a leader also helps workers improve their work and skills.
When it comes to leading a remote team, it is essential to understand your employee’s opinions regarding workload. Make your remote teams feel valued by giving constructive feedback and listening to their concerns. Show them that you care for their mental health and emotional well-being. Regular employee recognition and appreciation is also a key driver of employee engagement.
According to research, 77% of workers are more productive when working remotely from home.
However, as a remote leader, you cannot assume this to be true for your team members and leave them to work independently without any guidance.
This is because everyone is different. The only solution is to improve overall productivity and working relationships through feedback and communication about employees’ needs and difficulties.
People with the same interest and passions get along with each other quickly. This rule also applies to the remote workforce. Fostering social interaction among remote teams is a great strategy to keep them motivated and feel like a family.
Encourage teams to participate in team-building activities. Organize virtual get-togethers and fun events to bring remote teams together. You can use popular collaboration tools such as Google Hangouts, Trello, and Slack.
Regular informal meetings and casual discussions do not allow the remote workers to feel unsupported or isolated. These activities help reinforce a sense of belonging within your remote teams. This also makes them enthusiastic about their projects and keeps the spark alive to strive together towards a common goal. Bring remote teams together on the offline outdoor events: traveling works great for team building, for example
Bonus: Invest in Remote Working Tools
Managing a team in a remote setting is about getting used to new-age online products, absorbing knowledge, and learning new skills.
An excellent remote leader invests in his employees by providing them with the right remote working tools and training to get work done efficiently. Project managers and team leaders should take charge of mentoring beginners and train them to be a part of an efficient and hard-working workforce.
It is prevalent among remote leaders that they find it difficult to train their team members because of limited verbal communication and physical interaction. Leaders feel powerless when employees are not physically present and lose control of the situation. At this point, remote leaders must follow the seven ways on how to be a good remote leader. A fantastic tool named Waybook works wonders in this regard.
So, what are you waiting for? Start with Waybook now to stay ahead of the competition, have successful training programs for your employees, and be a good remote leader in 2022.