Three Skills Leaders Need to Manage and Engage Remote Teams
Early 2020 saw the necessity for a remote workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the change is clearly one that is sticking around. Gartner estimates remote workers will represent 32% of all employees worldwide by the end of 2021. Managers and leaders need to make adapting to these circumstances a priority.
We’ve done the hard work for you by narrowing it down to the top three skills leaders need to manage their remote teams.
3 Key Skills Leaders Need to Manage Remote Teams
- Leading with empathy. It’s vital to treat members of your team who are offsite the same as any onsite ones. Have one-on-one weekly meetings and remember to check in often. You can also let employees know the best way to reach you (ex: chat programs like Teams/Slack). Remember when you show vulnerability with your team, you’ll encourage them to do the same.
- Communicating with clarity. Make sure you’re clear on expectations so your remote team knows exactly what is expected of them. Focus more on outcomes vs. hours, prioritize tasks but don’t micromanage them. Utilize technology, or your IT, to encourage the use of tools and software so notes and progress are both accessible and trackable for everyone.
- Building team engagement. The best way to keep your employees engaged is to engage with them. Take an active interest in their lives, careers, and progress toward goals in both. Create opportunities for remote employees to build relationships outside of their teams. Don’t forget to celebrate their accomplishments and be sure to share successes with the rest of the organization.
While daunting at first, moving to a remote workforce can be a wonderful thing. With the doors open to hire outside of your region, you could be leveling up your team. As Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner, puts it, “A hybrid workforce is the future of work, with both remote and on-site part of the same solution to optimize an employer’s workforce needs.” Seeing this as an opportunity rather than a roadblock will help smooth out the transition.