With more people working remotes over the next period, there are a lot of team managers who usually have their team onsite and who are challenged by helping their team to remain engaged, supported and productive when working remotely. The core principles of effective team leadership remain – but the need for demonstrating those principles is amplified.

I have shared a tip a day this week online for those managers.

I hope these might help managers remember that the small actions they take can make a big impact on their people.

No.1: Trust:

Trust is central to effective remote working. Assume trust exists until proven otherwise. Do one thing today to extend trust to your remote workers. Encourage people to be honest about their own challenges and show you are there to support them.

No.2: Clarity:

Lack of clarity has been shown as the root cause of numerous work challenges – conflict, work stress, underperformance. Add in the new dynamic of working away from the office and team and the potential for clarity problems just increases. Do one thing today to check your remote workers understanding of what is expected and ensure clarity of expectations, standards and outputs.

No.3: Reduce the Feeling of Isolation:

Whilst we may need physical isolation at this time, we certainly don’t want to feel isolated. If remote working is new to your team, then the initial novelty of working from the kitchen can be replaced by feelings of isolation from colleagues and decision-makers. Do one thing today to check in on how your remote workers are feeling and encourage ways for your people to socially connect with each other.

No.4: Self Awareness:

Do you know your remote workers’ communication preferences? Do you know your own? Have you considered how this will impact on how effective your remote workers adapt to this new way of working? Do one thing today to find out how your remote workers like to organise their work and how they like to give and get information or help. Use this knowledge to help them to find ways to work that will maximise their effectiveness.

No.5: Conversations:

Many managers have shared numerous “reasons” for not having regular catch-ups with their team, even when they are beside them in the office – no time, nothing to tell, no problems to highlight!, etc. When we get behind these we often find that the real reasons are avoidance or assumptions about what people already think, know and want. If you are now managing your team remotely there was never a more important time to stop avoiding and stop making assumptions.

A team manager’s results are actually delivered by their team. In return, I believe the team should expect the opportunity to-

  • get clarity of expectations

  • hear how their work is benefiting the team and organisation

  • know their strengths

  • develop in areas that will allow them be brilliant at their current job or prepare for the next one

  • be heard

Take one step today to reach out to your team and have a conversation – you have no idea how great an impact this action can have.

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