What Does Effective Remote Leadership Look Like?

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2022 is well underway, and as today’s workforce continues to adapt to the massive changes brought about by COVID-19, many managers and executive leaders now find themselves facing a unique challenge when it comes to effectively managing their team remotely. While some companies and organizations throughout Vancouver have made a cautious shift back to the office, many have opted to remain working from home indefinitely, and others have opted to transition to a WFH format permanently. With so much of our understanding of traditional executive leadership and coaching methodology rooted in an “in-person” dynamic, it’s time to do a quick review and make sure your leaders know how to effectively manage and inspire your employees remotely.

Pivot HR is proud to partner with companies and organizations throughout Canada to ensure your team is equipped to face today’s workplace challenges, including offering executive leadership training and coaching when it comes to managing remote teams. Below, we’ll cover 5 different aspects to keep in mind when leading remotely. Read on to learn more!

Understanding the New Office Environment

It’s no secret that the work from home environment is quite different from what we may be used to working in an office. The expectations and needs of your team change based on their environment, and effective executives and leaders know how to pivot according to make sure everyone stays on track. One of the most challenging changes and areas of communication to address is the fact that it can be difficult to find the perfect balance when it comes to checking in and monitoring staff progress. In an office, you can generally get a good feel for where people are at by observation, but when everyone is otherwise offsite, it becomes much more challenging to do so.

Effective leadership in a digital/remote setting means finding a way to check-in without overwhelming or alienating team members. While intercommunication programs like Slack can be useful and give you the chance to fire off a quick message when you need an update, you also need to be mindful that that same simple action may be one of many incoming messages and could feel like micromanagement and create more division than cohesion.

Focus on setting clear goals, milestones and guidelines with your team and keeping these at the front and centre of your conversations to avoid “spamming” staff and ensuring they know why you’re following up rather than feeling pressured.

Be Mindful of Problem Solving Vs Coaching

As leaders, it can be easy to want to jump in and problem solve when you see your team struggling, but when working remotely it’s even more important to remember that doing so can actually strip away someone’s autonomy and motivation. Coaching is a key part of team development, and it becomes absolutely essential when you don’t have the benefit of face-to-face communication. Remember to try and empower your team to solve issues themselves and make sure that they know you are there to support them as needed. Coaching is all about building authentic connections based on trust and mutual respect and the payoffs are even more valuable when you have a remote team that’s tight-knit.

Find Ways to Be Present

By far, the biggest hurdle to overcome when it comes to managing a team remotely is the fact that it can be extremely difficult to feel “present”. Staring at a screen all day strips away dynamic interactions and moments of growth that you experience together as a group. The good news is, with a little planning and careful implementation, you can find ways to create a vibrant online community that allows your staff to feel valued, connected, and heard. Opt for video-based communication where possible, plan social “breaks” for the team (i.e. virtual cocktail hours), and if possible, consider a safe in-person meeting once a month or quarter if your team feels safe doing so.

Encourage Communication

Communication is the foundation of any healthy relationship and in leadership, this is certainly no different. As much as you need to ensure that you have effective communication and dialogue with your team, you also need to make sure they know they can communicate with YOU. No one should feel like an island, and they definitely shouldn’t feel like their leadership is unreachable. Give your employees and team members the chance to share, and you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll both grow together.

Lead Effectively with Pivot HR

Need some help leading in a remote workforce? We’ve got you covered! Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Pivot HR is here to help you lead confidently and effectively with leadership and executive coaching services that can help your team get back on track. Contact us today to learn more!

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