Are you struggling to keep your team encouraged and motivated? Managing a team in person, whether large or small, is a challenge. Managing a team remotely can present even more unique challenges. As remote work becomes more standardized during this time, it can be hard to think of effective ways to manage and inspire your team. We understand this problem, so we have compiled some of our best tips to help you become an even more effective remote leader.
Be flexible whenever possible. While it is important to stay on track with projects and goals, an effective leader recognizes that most employees are facing challenges while working from home. Many have children or other family responsibilities, so their schedule isn’t as structured as it would be in the office. Could you provide your employees with a more flexible work-from-home schedule instead of a 9-5 workday? Are there some tasks or projects that could be finished throughout the week or month without a strict deadline? By making the effort to be flexible, your employees will feel more appreciated and comfortable, which will help them to be more engaged and productive. To see how you could better assist your team, reach out to them to find out how they are doing managing their home and work life to see if any adjustments could be made to better support them.
Encourage communication. Working from home can feel isolating, especially if employees live alone. While you don’t want to overwhelm them with too much communication, which could come off as micromanaging, as a leader you do want to encourage open communication. You can do this by checking in with them regularly via Slack, a WhatsApp group, or another platform that your company uses. Try a “virtual coffee break” weekly where you encourage your team to have a cup of coffee together on Zoom and relax for 10 minutes.
Provide constructive feedback. It’s important to provide consistent, specific feedback to your employees. Let them know what they’re doing well and what needs improvement. Help them to see how they can do their job more efficiently as they adjust to working remotely. Realize that some will get the hang of it more quickly than others, so work together with them to find solutions by asking them questions. Find out what motivates them and what their strengths are, then leverage those so they can be their most productive. It may take a little more time in your schedule, but it will pay off in the long run.
Have meaningful meetings. With your team working from home, even with the best of intentions, they won’t be as tuned in as they would be in the office. So instead of a long and drawn-out presentation with an introduction and a conclusion, make it meaningful by being concise and to the point. What is the main objective of your meeting? Do you want to encourage or provide guidance? Do you need to go over new details of a project? Write down the message you want to convey and minimize your main points to what is essential. Make sure to repeat the main points of your meeting at the end so that listeners will come away with the most important ideas.