Attitude and social competence in remote team leadership
In my last article, I gave you a few tips and clued you in on several factual and functional solutions on how to lead remote teams. In this blog article, we will be looking to answer questions about how to define the relationship between you as a manager and your employees. And about what you can do to help employees maintain a positive working relationship with one another.
- How do I stay in touch with my employees?
- How do I manage the communication flow to ensure that I am not constantly directly engaged, and that business keeps going?
- How do I keep my employees in the loop about relevant information?
- How do I handle my employees’ stress?
The top 7 challenges of remote leadership
Managers consistently mentioned the following challenges in my survey:
1. Employees with caring responsibilities (school children, sick dependents) need more time than others to complete their tasks.
2. Employees who live alone or have been separated from family members due to a crisis feel troubled by their isolation and are thus less resilient.
3. I myself feel overwhelmed by the new situation – by the content, the technology, and the work process.
4. The motivation of some of my employees is fading.
5. The performance of some of my employees is declining.
6. How do I manage employees when some are fully employed, whereas others are on short-time work?
7. As a manager, I myself work from home and come under pressure from several sides – how do I deal with that?
Stay strong and carry on!
Before you start stressing out about all these questions and challenges, step back and focus on your inner attitude – towards your employees, but also towards yourself. The situation now requires true leadership from within.
You will inspire your employees by the way you conduct yourself in these challenging times – and what you do will make a profound difference to them. Because your employees can sense how you feel about them, especially through digital communication! Your team is much more sensitive these days: Are you respectful? Are you authentic? Do you appreciate your employees’ individual circumstances, but also your own life situation?
If you signal to your employees: We are all human. We are doing the best we can. We are taking care of ourselves and looking after our colleagues. Then there is a good chance that this frame of mind will carry over from you to your team.
That is social competence. Don’t miss the opportunity to increase your own social literacy and, ultimately, to promote social competence among your employees by virtue of your own attitude. This is done through daily practice. Or by making mistakes and owning up to them. Consider this process “work in progress”. In doing so, you will be investing in lasting mutual trust and independent thinking among your team members, which, in turn, will ease your burden.
5 tips for team communication and motivation
Once you have internalized this attitude, ask yourself: How can you ensure and promote personal exchange in your team? Here are some examples:
Get together with your team for a virtual chat 10 minutes before the meeting starts: This means you open the virtual meeting room 10-15 minutes before its official start. You are present and happy to see anyone who shows up early for a chat. This is voluntary. Your team is aware of that and sees: You are available.
Introduce fixed rituals on a voluntary basis: A breakfast club, an afternoon round of coffee at 2:30. Follow the same procedure as above: Open and hold the space. Both technically and by giving it all your energy.
Encourage your employees to meet up without you, whether by chat or video. Perhaps they are already doing that. But if you officially endorse this, they may feel more at ease about it. Help with any technical issues that may arise (installing appropriate software).
Actively encourage your employees to take breaks and to communicate them. Stick to this rule yourself, too: Be clear about when you can be reached and when you cannot. You are not being a good role model if you are available around the clock! Don’t expect your employees to be available all the time either.
Make your employees feel that they are needed and crucial to the whole team. Especially if you’ve sent employees on short-time work! Read more about this in the article: Putting short-time work to good use.
Take care of yourself and allow yourself to be supported.
Highly stressful situations put you at risk of exhausting yourself! Managing a team remotely requires a great deal of energy – definitely more so than in the office. In addition, you may also be juggling your family responsibilities. This can easily result in a lack of sleep and constantly running at full steam. That’s normal! But – if only for the sake of your inner attitude – it’s important that you take deliberate steps to prevent this from happening:
- Adhere to limited working hours and communicate them.
- Make a conscious effort to focus on the personal aspects of your life as well.
- Make sure you recharge your batteries – whether outdoors in nature or on your couch.
- Be patient with yourself and your team.
- Get help as a precaution: Have a coach or a mentor support you. You don’t have to do it all on your own!
This crisis – or new normal – is a special situation. If you take these pointers to heart, I am sure you will make it through. And even better: You will take valuable insights on many levels with you into the time after.
Do you have any questions or would you like support now? I am here for you!You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or +436602400135.
Your Raluca Ionescu