Tips for Empowering Your Remote Team
Perhaps a virtual team has always been part of your business model. Or maybe a remote workforce is a new feature of your company’s culture, having transitioned to remote work options or a hybrid model in the past few years.
Regardless of your current strategy or plans for transitioning existing employees and/or onboarding new recruits, it is critical that leadership focuses on empowering remote employees.
As an employer or leader, it’s necessary to understand not only industry trends but also, how the workplace is evolving. An ideal environment for your digital workforce is one that cultivates and nourishes professionals at all stages of their careers.
At the core of any successful relationship is trust. Even before the pandemic, companies exploring remote work options had to consider: How can remote work function without sacrificing culture or productivity?
A New Normal?
Breaking from traditional employer/employee relationships and remaining productive has been at the heart of most conversations around remote work situations.
With the onset of the pandemic, the conversation rapidly turned to action as companies around the globe rapidly pivoted to WFH options to remain productive. Productivity has subsequently been reframed to highlight results-based outcomes, trust, and time management when considering a remote workforce.
Keeping your team motivated means not only sharing common goals and keeping up with them on a schedule, but it also means sharing values that are driven by a clear sense of purpose and mission supported by strong, vision-driven leadership. Giving your team members ownership of their work and developing a sense of accountability and measurable success helps them become part of the daily, weekly and on-going victories of your organization.
Be Not Afraid. Build Trust.
The fear of transition to remote work seems to center on two approaches to management: one of empowerment and one of monitoring. It is possible to do both, but over-the-shoulder style surveillance may result in a fundamental erosion of trust and unintentionally create a stressful and potentially punishing work environment.
While some IT solutions offer surveillance as a possible strategy to monitor accountability, a relationship built on trust and a strong mission are at the core of both great leadership and a great team. The danger of a Big Brother work environment, as Dr. Ifeoma Ajunwa points out in a recent WSJ article, is that it becomes more about the “worker being stressed out about surveillance or paying too much attention to the surveillance rather than getting the work done.” Joseph Freed also agrees that this “different approach to optimizing talent is an empowerment strategy.”
With that in mind, here are a few tips for empowering your remote team:
- Place cybersecurity – for employees and clients – at the top of your list. Resolve any IT or connectivity issues as they arise.
- Have a strong mission and build purpose to elevate the ‘why factor.’
- Make sure your ‘why factor’ reflects your company vision and is mirrored at all levels of the company.
- Invest in your team. A cared-for employee feels like their work is valued and that when they grow, the company grows.
- Emphasize an ongoing conversation about their position and focus on consistent, meaningful communication, while developing a routine for engagement.
- Create transparency around outcomes and allow for both synchronous and asynchronous collaboration.
In addition to these remote workforce tips, make sure your remote team has the IT support they need to succeed and incorporate a little fun where you can. You may already use technology to create a better UX for your customers or clients, but when it comes time to attract and retain top talent, lightheartedness goes a long way.
Want to help your remote team be more productive? Reach out to Nettology today and schedule a consultation with one of our IT experts!
Tags: IT Support Remote