Leading from a distance: 7 key findings – the bottom line.
Tie and trackies – will that do? Virtual meetings at the kitchen table with the kids playing in plain sight – can I get away with that? You can get away with a lot of things if you have to. New circumstances require unusual action.
For over 5 weeks now, managers have been suddenly and unexpectedly faced with the challenge of managing their teams ‘remotely’, that is from their home offices. The proper dress code has been only one of their more pressing questions. 😉
I talked to several managers and asked them: What works well? What have you learned? What insights will you take away with you for the future?
That’s because I’m convinced that supervising teams from a distance will continue to be the order of the day. Whether because of the limitations caused by CoVid19 or because we’ve come to recognise its long-term benefits. Which is why it already makes sense to review the situation now.
The managers I work with report positive changes in 2 major areas:
- Work style
- Team motivation and performance
What are the positive effects of remote leadership on management and employee work style?
1) My employees are more concentrated and focused in their work.
2) We have more time for strategic thinking and planning.
3) I experience greater efficiency due to:
◦ a structured daily routine
◦ clear communication rules
◦ fewer interruptions.
How are you and your remote team doing?
Are you going through a similar experience? Are you focusing on the content and process level of remote management? Are you demonstrating the appropriate attitude and investing time and empathy into your relationship with your employees?
My tip: Analyse your time-wasters now. And then throw them overboard! No ifs, ands, or buts:
Focusing on the essentials is more than just the watchword of the hour. Managing to keep up this focus for yourself and your team, even beyond these “exceptional circumstances”, will go a long way for your team’s long-term efficiency and success!
How has the team’s motivation and performance changed during remote leadership?
4) The employees’ sense of responsibility has increased.
5) Performance and motivation have become more visible.
6) High performers are delivering even higher motivation and performance.
7) Low performers are delivering even lower performance.
What can you do to specifically promote the positive aspects of your remotely managed team?
Stay in the flow with your team:
Focus on your high performers: How can you bind them in more closely and support them? What measures can you take to motivate the team? You will find suggestions on this in the article: “Attitude and social competence in remote team leadership“. An approachable attitude combined with the right degree of trust is the secret to having motivated employees. How can you carry these positive aspects over into your new everyday life?
Talk about low performance:
It is a fact that low performers are more noticeable in remotely managed teams, as low performance often goes hand in hand with little inclination to act independently. How to deal with this?
Think back: What is your experience with this person so far? What strengths does this person bring to the team? Have you already fed back on this? When and how?
Do not jump to any hasty conclusions. Perhaps this person is going through a difficult life situation. More than ever this calls for the right attitude.
Seek a conversation – calmly and quietly. In a professional setting, many people find it difficult to talk about personal matters. Your tact and intuition are called for: Maybe your employee needs support? Maybe your employee’s knowledge and strengths would be better invested in other areas?
If the poor performance does not improve despite communicating with the employee: Point out the possible consequences – both for the employee personally and for the entire team. Then act consistently. By no later than the end of this crisis, your team should be in great shape and lean, ready to hit the ground running!
Trust vs control – Take a close look at your corporate culture & management style!
Do you want to carry the positive drive in your team over into the “time after”? Then it is essential to strengthen personal responsibility and initiative. They are the source of a company’s innovative strength. They require trust and a certain measure of freedom.
Analyse your own management style. Be honest with yourself about it: How much are you willing to trust? How much control do you exercise? How much trust do your employees need? Do you even know? And, most importantly: How would you yourself like to be managed? Act accordingly!
My tip: You can recognise a culture of trust by how responsible and proactive your employees already are.
If you follow these tips relating to the factual and functional level, your personal attitude and the transfer of the positive into everyday life, I promise you: You and your team will emerge from this challenging time stronger!
Would you like someone to reflect with you and help you to carry the positive lessons learned from remote leadership over into your everyday life?
I am happy to be at your service!You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or +436602400135.
Your Raluca Ionescu