Leading Remote Flexible Teams
1. Over communicate — you will need to be much more mindful about communication in a virtual team. This means, by default, communicating more than you think is necessary; using all channels available to you. Try to move conversations into open online spaces where everyone has visibility. Ensure casual “water cooler” conversations are happening on-line with all team members participating.
2. Create a social space — ensure everyone in the team have the opportunity to socialise. For example, create social web pages (private Facebook groups), non-work related video calls, bring the team together physically once in a while.
3. Use the right tech for the person — Use the technology to add the most value possible. It is important to recognise that certain people are more comfortable with certain technology and styles of communication. Some team members might prefer a daily private jabber check in, whilst others might need a daily video or voice catch up to feel connected.
4. Don’t wait — there is a temptation to leave things until “our next scheduled catch up”. Stay on the front foot at all times. It is always better to address potential issues early. If you make a habit of regular check-ins, then this is a lot easier
Be flexible in your thinking to create flexibility for your team
1. Engagement — Flexibility is an engagement strategy, not a perk for high performers. People empowered to work flexibly are more productive, engaged and committed.
2. Outcome focused — Flexible working is successful when we are focused on outcomes not visibility. Our people should feel supported not monitored. Setting goals and expectations with clarity helps team members feel confident they are on the right track.
3. It is for everyone — As long as it meets the business needs the reason someone wants to work flexible is not relevant — people from all walks of life can benefit from flexible working — but knowing your people and what is important to them will help you provide better support in the long run.
4. Address biases — There are many assumptions and views about people who work flexibly — such as, they are less productive and committed. This is not necessarily true and these perceptions should be addressed in your team
Create an inclusive team environment, encouraging team members to be there authentic self, leveraging the benefits of diverse team with different experiences and points of view
1. Diversity is an asset — See diversity is an asset that you can use to drive better results. Actively encourage participation for all team members, welcome different points of view and encourage people to be themselves.
2. Adaptable — inclusive leaders understand and respect different ways of working, they adapt their communication and interactions styles, they are flexible in the way they lead.
3. Self-aware — be aware of what makes you unique, encourage other to be authentic and to bring all of who they are to their work by setting an example.
Good leaders ‘make it work’, they are creative and adaptable. Change your style and approach to match the uniqueness of each team member and the challenges of the day.
Trust is given, not earned. Be unconditional. Trust your people, believe in them, see them as their ideal self.