November 22, 2021
Whether you have a new or well-established team, managing remotely definitely throws up its own unique leadership challenges!
Getting your leadership style right to adapt to remote working is paramount, and this can require a lot of skill, trust and flexibility on both sides. Micromanagement or excessive control will be counterproductive, leaving staff to become task focused rather than outcomes focused. Similarly, a too hands off approach could leave your team feeling isolated and detached. Your approach will need to vary depending on what you are trying to achieve, who you have doing the work, and where it is best to do it. There may still need to be those jobs that can only or are best done from the workplace. The thing to remember is not all staff respond in the same way and they will have a different set of motivators and preferred communication style.
The trick is to involve staff in decisions and play to strengths within the team even more than you would in a face-to-face environment. Feedback and praise will play even more of a part in staff knowing when they are doing well, or when they need to up their game. Identify what is missing from the usual environment and try to recreate it in the ‘new world’. Share if you yourself are struggling or finding the new way of working a challenge- after-all you are having to adapt and flex as well - people respond to people- make sure you are not losing those ‘water cooler’ conversations by just jumping into work straight away- small talk goes a long way at the moment, as will continued empathy with the current situation.
Regardless, transforming from a face-to-face culture to remote working will always be a challenge- particularly as it appears this will be the approach with many companies for the long term! Moving from the knee jerk reaction of lock down, to business as usual you might find there are things that need to be adapted- Ensuring that the organisations performance management process is still fit for purpose for the long term might be a real consideration.
For a no obligation chat about challenges with remote working, or designing a relevant performance management tool, please get in touch...
About the Author
Lynn is a CIPD qualified, experienced HR generalist and training professional with a wealth of experience in both public and private sectors who provides a pragmatic, common sense approach to dealing with HR topics across the whole of the Employment life cycle. Lynn has particular strengths around Employment Law, managing attendance and performance cases; discipline and grievance; assisting organisations to deal with change and coaching line managers to help them take the best approach when dealing with tricky employment issues. She has a thoughtful and adaptable approach ensuring her advice is in alignment with your company culture, enhances your service delivery and minimises risk.