By Pete Petrella, Managing Director
Are you craving some quality in-office interaction? Do you find yourself itching for a sense of workplace normalcy? Is your mind desperate for a return to the way things used to be?
Unfortunately, it may be several more months before these dreams turn into reality—and we all need to properly prepare ourselves for the uncertain road that lies ahead. Although our collective patience for the work-from-home environment may be wearing thin, it’s pivotal that our organizations maintain buy-in throughout the remainder of this remote work model. To keep workplaces motivated and on track—even in a remote setting—leaders must skillfully demonstrate strength and sincerity.
If you find yourself in a leadership or management position, you understand that leading within the virtual workplace isn’t always easy. That’s why we’ve composed the following tips on effective leadership to help you set the right example for your team.
The importance of trust and accountability
In any industry, the success of a team is contingent upon the strength of its relationships. To that end, it’s imperative that leaders establish a sense of mutual trust among their team members. Despite the inability of managers to physically monitor their employees’ work habits, these leaders must have confidence in their teams to perform at a high level—even while working from home. An absence of trust can lead to the disintegration of relationships—or even the complete destruction of teams.
The need for consistent feedback
According to a recent report published by Gallup, 47-percent of employees stated that they received feedback from their manager “a few times a year” or less. In today’s workplace, that kind of assessment cadence isn’t going to cut it. Employees—particularly those from younger generations—crave performance feedback. If you haven’t implemented a plan to offer routine evaluations for your team members, perhaps it’s time to get started. By sharing personalized feedback with your employees, you’ll help to drive performance improvements and optimal workplace results.
The value of daily or weekly check-ins
It should come as no surprise that some leaders do a poor job of making themselves available to their teams. In our virtual world, it has become common for managers to jump from one conference call to the next with limited downtime. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to reassess these meetings and determine which ones are actually meaningful. Removing these unproductive video calls and replacing them with daily or weekly check-ins with team members is critical to maintaining employee engagement and motivation. Better yet, these one-on-one conversations can help to build personal relationships between a leader and his/her team.
The significance of the “golden rule”
Despite being a relatively simple principle, leaders must do their best to adhere to the “golden rule.” Even though many of us learned about this rule in our kindergarten class, don’t let its clichéd nature distract you from the truth—by treating others with kindness and respect, you’ll cultivate a workplace culture that’s conducive to success. Rather than micromanaging your employees and directing their every move, allow your teams to do what they do best. By providing sensible amounts of freedom and autonomy, leaders will observe a positive difference in overall work quality and performance.
While the ability to work from home comes with its fair share of amenities, it’s evident that many workers are excited at the thought of returning to the office. Until that day arrives, however, leaders must remain diligent—particularly with their communication strategies—when managing their teams. By following these leadership tips, your organization will benefit from your stronger and more convincing influence during this time of need.
Interested in learning more about Pete? Connect with him on LinkedIn.