Keeping your team motivated while working remotely can be a challenge to leaders, especially when it has not been planned for like so many workplaces today. However, the following tips can help ensure that your team remains connected and motivated even when working remotely.
Establish a foundation through transparent communication
When managing a remote team, it is important to ensure that the team members have a clear understanding of the organizational goals and how each of the tasks they are doing contributes to the organizational goals. The expectations that you have from each of them should be clear. You should also be sure to provide regular constructive feedback to ensure that the team members are kept in the loop and know that you're invested in their success.
Enhance and promote teamwork
Creating virtual support structures where team members can get assistance when working on different tasks, working collaboratively with other members, and sharing and addressing concerns is key. Be sure to involve the team members in deciding the methods that can be employed to ensure that the team works together effectively. Slack, Zoom, and other tools are great resources to start with!
Create professional development plans for team members
Creating plans that are geared towards enhancing the skill set of employees improves their commitment to the organization and lets them know that you care about their success. Linking the team members up with various platforms where they can advance their knowledge in their areas of operation will not only motivate them but also enhance their productivity. Also, as changes occur in the different areas of focus, equipping the team members with the skills they need for those areas is critical. Think about providing access to sites like Lynda Learning or offering a professional development reimbursement to team members if you can fit it in the budget- it'll help you retain employee and save money in the long run!
One of the greatest traits of the most effective leaders is the continual development of their skills in leadership. As the professional and global leadership avenues continue to become more diverse, leaders need to continually invest in their professional development in line with the ever-changing leadership portfolios. However, as a leader, time to acquire such essential skills that enable you to be a better leader in the changing times can be a challenge. Here are some of the ways you could find tools and resources to help you keep growing in your leadership journey.
Take our courses
What would this article be without a shameless plug? Here at Managerine, we strive to bring you a wealth of resources and tools to help you advance your skills in leadership. Enrolling for the online courses at https://managerine.teachable.com/ will assist you in keeping track of the leadership and management trends of the current diverse world. Managerine will give you an excellent platform to learn practical skills to apply in your position in the most convenient way.
Explore the possibility of training from your organization
As a leader in your organization, you may be in a position where you can identify gaps in leadership or developing trends that may need a unique set of skills to manage. These could help you build a case for your organization to support you access training that will aid you in addressing such issues better. Organizations are interested in ensuring that they have the best leaders as a way of giving them a competitive advantage.
As technology continues to advance, it is becoming increasingly easy for all kinds of organizations to share some of the tools and resources that have worked for other leaders using various online platforms. For instance, https://www.leadership-tools.com/ has collated some of the tools focusing on different areas. Check with your local professional organization and chamber of commerce as well to see what they offer!
Managing a remote team can be challenging as you seek to ensure that the team members remain focused on the organization's vision and mission even as they telecommute. Amid the pandemic, many employees have been forced to work from their homes and managers managing the employees as they telecommute. Here are a few tips to help ensure effectiveness as you manage telecommuting workers.
Establish a clear communication plan
One of the best avenues of ensuring that managing remote workers remains effective is setting up effective communication within the team. You will need to determine the best mode of communication based on the resources at the organization's disposal and the employees working from their homes. Once the method is identified, ensuring that all employees are comfortable with the selected method will be critical. Schedules for when regular communication will be made can then be established and communicated to all employees. This can be based on the needs of the team as well as the objectives teams seek to achieve.
Determine the work the employees can carry out remotely.
Due to the changing environment of working, there could be some tasks that your team members may not be able to accomplish. Reviewing the job descriptions of employees to ensure that they are assigned tasks they can carry out remotely, based on the equipment and resources allocated to them, is key. It's also wise to prioritize the essential and high-impact tasks.
Put in place the right monitoring mechanisms.
While you need to ensure that your employees remain productive even as they telecommute, micromanaging them could give you the opposite effect. Establish clear goals that need to be achieved with every task assigned and identify timelines when progress for the tasks need to be shared. Establishing effective tracking methods that work for the employees could also be helpful to ensure that employees are keeping time. For instance, you could use online collaborative spaces where employees post the work done for reviews and comments within agreed timelines. Then, make yourself available, but trust that your employees will get the job done!
When working from home, the boundaries between what is professional and what is personal can get blurry. As a result, productivity at home could be adversely affected. It's important to create an environment at home that enables you to be productive through streamlining your schedules and enhancing the boundaries between professional and personal lives.
Set aside an arranged workspace
Productive telecommuting workers have a dedicated workspace or office at their homes. These spaces are well arranged and devoid of any clutter. This arrangement aids the workers to remain focused on the tasks they are working on.
Have a routine and follow it
Creating a daily routine will help get to work in the right mindset and enhance your productivity. Your daily routine should include the time you get out of bed, when you get to work, and the time when you stop working. When creating the routine, it is important to consider the tasks that you have been allocated, the meetings that you will be required to be part as well as other issues related to the workplace.
Adopt regular communication
While working at home, it is essential to ensure that your team members are always updated with the progress you are making with your work. Making consultations where necessary when handling various tasks Working collaboratively with other team members and contributing to the team's success through the various online collaborative platforms.
Plan for household chores
While working at home, it is important to ensure that your responsibilities at the households are well-taken care of. Communicate your expectations when working at home from your family members. Make it clear the boundaries you have in place between working and handling home chores. Taking breaks to be with the family could also be really helpful- make time to spend with the ones you love!
In a landmark ruling on Monday, the Supreme Court has upheld that Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to sexual orientation and gender identity as well. This ruling was unexpected and long overdue- a major victory for equality in the workplace!
According to this ruling, employers are no longer permitted to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. In the words of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch “an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law."
So what does this mean for employers? For most of us, not much. As long as you're firing individuals because of reasons like performance issues, nothing will change. However, for those who want to fire someone simply based on being transgender or homosexual, you could face consequences.
Whether you are a team leader, or entrepreneur, or manager, one things is for sure- you are under the constant pressure of deadlines. However, there's one key step you can always take to make sure that everything on you plate is handled- delegating. Want to know how? Here's our top 5 tips on how to delegate:
1. Learn to let it go
As a manager, one of the hardest transitions to make is being responsible for just your own work to being responsible for the work of others. Often, we want to do things ourselves in order to avoid having to train others or out of fear that they won't do it correctly. However, as a manager, it;s essential that you learn to let it go and trust your team.
2. Establish a priority system
One great way to determine what to delegate is developing a priority system. This can vary based on expertise, your organization, and the type of task involved, but the general principle remains the same. Keep the highest skilled task on your plate, while those with lower skill requirements can be assigned to others. Delegating with this method can save tons of your time and effort, while not having to waste time training staff members on complicated processes.
3. Know your employee's strengths
When you know what each of your employees are excellent at, you can use this knowledge to optimize the quality of work you receive back on your delegated tasks. Is Carol a great writer? Have her tackle that press release for you! Jane is an excel junkie? Let her create the charts you need for a presentation.
4. Always include instructions
Even if the task seems to be simple, make sure that you include instruction with everything you delegate. Be sure to set a firm deadline as well so that the task doesn't get put on the back burner. Include straightforward instructions with a clear due date will help in avoiding the communication gap, and you can get your task done in the way you want. It's a proactive strategy that both you and your employees will appreciate.
5. Trust, but verify
Once you have delegated the task to your employee, let them take it from there. You delegated to get this item off your plate and no one likes a micromanager. However, make sure you let the employee know that you're free to answer questions and offer support as needed. Then, verify the completed work is up to standard when completed and provide any feedback you have so that the employee knows for the future.
Delegating is not an easy task, but it can be an incredible time-saver for any busy manager. Be sure to follow these tips as you improve your delegating process and it's sure to be a load off your plate in the future!
You've gone through the hard process of hiring. Countless interviews, hours of pouring over resumes, and you've finally found the one! Most managers at this point are chomping at the bit to make the offer. However, it's a huge mistake to skip one last step- reference calls.
Why? Well, there are countless horror stories out there on the internet of managers who discovered that their dream employee was actually a convicted embezzler or quit their last job in a flourish of sabotage. However, on a less dramatic scale, talking to references gives you valuable insight into how employees actually behave in the workplace. So far, all you have to go off of is the word of your potential new superstar. We all want to think the best of ourselves though. Talking to a former manager can give you a sense of what it's really like to work with this employee.
I'd also advise avoiding an emailed questionnaire. You get a lot more context from a phone call than you do an email. The reference's tone of voice and inflection can give you insight that you may have not gathered otherwise. It also gives you the opportunity to ask follow-up questions and probe deeper into the comments they made.
My favorite questions to ask references include:
We've all been there. You like your employee. They're a great person, they've got a family to support, but their performance just isn't what it needs to be. As a manager, you need to give them feedback. Like many of us, you may be tempted to try and deliver your feedback in the nicest way possible. However, this actually may do more harm than good!
When managers sugarcoat their feedback, what often happens is that the specifics get lost in the attempt to make your criticism as nice as possible. Employees may leave the conversation confused as to what they need to do or worse- they have no idea they just received a critique! So how do you deliver feedback without losing the message in the niceness? Here's my advice:
1. Be clear and to the point
Make sure you're making the point in crystal-clear language. This may seem harsh, so I like to start with a compliment, then move into the critique. For example, "Ann, I really appreciate your positivity and the energy you bring to our team. However, your sales have been below 20% this past month. What's going on?"
2. Lay out expectations and consequences
Often, managers leave the conversation open-ended without clearly laying out what they need to see going forwards. This puts employees at a huge disadvantage, as they can't reach your goals if they don't know what they are! Say something like "I need to see your sales above 20% by May 1st. Otherwise, we'll need to terminate your employment. Given that, what can I do to support you so we can get your sales back up?"
3. Follow up via email
After the conversation, document what was said in clear terms via email. I like using bullet points for this. State what issue was addressed, what the expectation is (including a deadline), and what you can offer to help them overcome this issue. By sending this email, you make sure that the employee doesn't forget anything that was said during the meeting, especially if emotions were high.
Change is hard. But what may be even harder is managing that change. Managers face a slew of complaints, concerns, and more when changes are implemented. However, it doesn't need to be a nightmare. Here's my secret to addressing the top complaints you'll hear when change is coming and how to avoid headaches down the road.
1. But that's the way we've always done it!
Lord, this complaint is one of my biggest pet peeves. Change is a good thing- otherwise women wouldn't have the right to vote, alcohol would still be illegal, and your cell phone wouldn't exist! While I certainly don't advocate change simply for change's own sake, it's important to grow and develop to avoid becoming obsolete. When met with this objection, I like to make sure that I'm being completely transparent about why the change is taking place. Many employees may not normally be given the reason for change- they're just told that change is happening, end of story. By explaining the reasoning, you allow them to become invested in the change and see the benefits, especially ways that the change will benefit them as employees. Now, some employees will dig their heels in just for the sake of being contrary. However, for most reasonable employees, if the change is soundly based in logic, simply explaining why can be enough to dispel this objection.
2. We don't have time for that
Often, implementing change involves a workload that's higher than normal. However, any good project manager will have a plan in place to address this. Determine what projects or tasks may need to be pushed back to accommodate this. Get feedback from your team members so that you can make them feel valued and get a realistic understanding of how the change will affect their workload. Consider bringing in a temp during the transitional period. Then, communicate this all to your team upfront.
3. We tried that before and it didn't work
For long-time employees, this can be a common and reasonable concern. If they've seen time wasted on an initiative in the past, why why it be any different this time? This is why its important that prior to implement change you look at the history of the organization and get feedback from employees. If its been a failed attempt in the past, why did it fail? What are you going to do that's different? Then, communicate this to your staff up front.
Seeing a theme here? The best way to avoid objection and push back is clear and early communicate. By gathering feedback from your staff, they feel invested in the success of the project. Addressing their objections up front allows you to both get their buy in and address any roadblocks that you may have not anticipated.
Now, go forth and make that change happen!
This week, I had the opportunity to chat with author Angela Smith about my career, inspiration, and some relationship advice. You can read all about my opinion on relationship dynamics, what a day in my life looks like, and more! Check it out here.
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