Working from home is here to stay for now and it has some real advantages, a short commute with no traffic, slippers instead of heels (my favorite), your own private bathroom, and maybe even a stocked fridge.
One thing that is missing is that informal interaction with your team No casual eye contact, or quick comment about a client call that just wrapped up. No side conversation to check in on families, hobbies, or the latest book read.
Being the leader of a remote team has unique challenges. How do you keep the team connected? Are you catching those little ‘taps’ that need to be dealt with before they become big issues? Are Jenn and Matt working well together? How is Ashley managing her team? Are clients getting what they need?
As we increasingly interact as talking heads via technology, we are still people and people need connection. How do you establish or grow trusting relationships and stay on top of the needs of the business?
Teams need collaboration. This requires different, more intentional actions for leaders.
6 Key Components of a Successful Team
Leaders can follow these simple and important steps to keep their teams connected and growing.
1. Show leadership. Be sure your team knows you are still there. Connect with them as a group and as individuals on a regular basis. This does not mean hover or micro-manage, it means being visible and available.
2. Establish a Common Goal Why do you do what you do? This can be the overall vision of the company or it can be your clear quarterly objective. Teams need to know both of these goals well enough that they can easily state them. It is up to leadership to help them do this.
3. Share the Rules of the Game Maybe you went over the values of your company when you hired your people. Have you talked about them since? Talked about them as a team? Do they need to be updated now that your working environment has changed?
4. Create an Action Plan Remember to hold regular reviews with your team members. Whether you have 1 employee or 100, it is important to keep their action plans fresh.
5. Support Risk Taking Keep your team members growing. Encourage them to take more responsibility. Now is a great opportunity for each of us to look at what we do and how we do it in a new light. If we know the common goal and the rules of the game, we can find better ways to do what we do.
6. Encourage 100% Involvement Keep your team engaged by engaging your team. It can be more difficult to find ways for the team to engage remotely with each other. You have to be more intentional about doing so