Work From Home is becoming the new normal as the COVID-19 crisis is unfolding. In such uncertain times, it is going to be extremely important and challenging for the leaders to effectively guide their remote employees and organizations towards success.
The key for leadership to manage these challenges will lie in mastering the virtual work environments and keeping the work from home team aligned, motivated and performance focused.
Our research identifies the following critical factors that differentiate top-performing virtual teams and the most effective virtual leaders.
This is the best thing a leader can do to encourage his team. Put utmost trust in your team and see the team succeed. Many times, leaders find it difficult when the team is not physically around them. They get energy from their people and will feel isolated and less in a position to help and manage their teams in the absence of not being in the office every day. They may thus want to know everything that is happening and how it is being done, leading to micromanagement. This will only over stress an already stressed an anxious work from home employees.
Staying Connected & Engage Regularly
Regular communication will ensure that the team is alert and updated on all the assignments. Leaders need to communicate with their teams in various ways and through different mediums to keep messages clear and to set priorities. Most of our communication is non-verbal, thus adopt mediums that will help understand and address any barriers to communication. Videoconferencing is ideal and should be encouraged for remote team communication instead of just emails and phone calls. Keep in touch with the team not just to follow up on deadlines but also to connect with them at an emotional level. Interesting informal meetings like virtual coffee chats or virtual happy hours can help people engage with other work from home team members and feel connected.
Goals & Action Plan
A structured daily one on one or Team meeting sets the tone for the day. Your employees are better prepared to perform and can have all their queries, suggestions etc discussed during this call.
Set the priority for the day and the week during this call every day. Always set clear expectations and provide clear instructions to the remote team members. This way the team can reserve their energy for being productive, rather than figuring out what they need to do. Opening and closing meetings with connections to the targets / set goals can help keep work from home employees on the same page. Remind them how their actions contribute to the company’s goals, this will make them feel part of the bigger goal.
Process v/s Outcomes
It is extremely time consuming and non-productive to keep a track of every aspect of the work done by your remote member. Therefore, virtual leaders need to focus on the outcomes and measure the team productivity accordingly rather that focus on activity or hours worked.
Use Appropriate Technology Tools
There are lot of digital tools available to help your remote employees stay organized, efficient, and productive. From project management tools, video conferencing, cloud storage software etc. Deploy tools that are easy, cost-effective, and are the perfect fit for your team.
The future of workplace is going to be remote. So, learning how to keep work from home team goals aligned despite the remote distance will be an essential factor for all future business’s success.
Contact Origin Consultants to set up Policies and Procedures for optimum results from your work from home employees.