People First Approach: 4 Secrets in Leading Virtual Teams Effectively
If it’s any consolation, the pandemic has hastened the digital adaption of just about every aspect of our lives. It’s no wonder the biggest sellers today are online. Top of the list is Amazon. You could say it was at the right place at the right time. Its business model was perfect for the pandemic. And true enough, the online giant’s profit soared nearly by 200% catapulting its founder, Jeff Bezos, to become the richest billionaire on the planet.
We can say that Mr. Bezos did his homework – to a large degree deserving his reported value of $214 billion. In the first five years of its operation, Amazon posted zero profit. As they streamline their operation, America’s biggest online seller didn’t make a dollar. We could say, the pandemic was their biggest payday.
By the same token, you could be just learning the ropes of digital adaption. As a business leader, you may be wondering how to master running a team remotely, perhaps hoping someday you’ll get your big break.
Fortunately for you, leading a remote team isn’t rocket science. While leading a team is a whole new challenge from just working from home, it is doable. Great leaders made their productivity soar even when most of their employees are online. Here’s a list of their key takeaways.
Set Clear Expectations
Many people rejoice when they hear that they can work remotely. Now, they won’t have to go through hours of traffic every day. They’re safe and earning from home, free of the burdens of the physical office.
However, as easy as it is to get lost in the convenience offered by work from home (WFH), we need to remember that remote work is no walk in the park. In short, there’s a job you need to do. Key Performance Indicators (KPI) need to be met.
It’s important, therefore, that right from the get-go, you set clear expectations. By setting clear guidelines, you save yourself from a host of complications that are bound to haunt you later on. Some key things you need to set are to delineate the quality work you are looking for.
In addition, you need to be clear when they should be online while working part-time or full-time. Indeed, having time to discuss things together as a team can work wonders even when you are working remotely. That golden time not only reinforces your work as a team but also allows your people to voice out issues that could be affecting their work such as their kids or whatnot.
It’s best you establish the rules early on so you won’t have to backpedal and straighten things midway.
Use the Right Technology
The right technology isn’t everything but it allows you to be more effective and efficient at the same time. It’s important then that you identify what tools your organization needs. Is it communication? Is it in project management? If you don’t know what your team needs, then you need to ask yourself what are the things that are slowing your current operation. You need to be brutally honest to factor in needed changes in the organization.
However, keep in mind that you’re bound to have issues with your people in terms of productivity at the onset. Like working in an office, working remotely has its own challenges.
In this regard, it’s good to bear in mind that there are people you can trust to help you. For one, virtual training experts can help you establish needed routines that will bring out the best in your people. In short, these training professionals are shot in the arm when it comes to worker productivity.
Have Faith in Your People
It’s natural for you to put in controls and checks so your team produces quality output. But to be effective, you need to step back. As long as you’ve given them the tools needed to succeed, be ready to pull back. Now that you’ve empowered them, let them do their part. It means putting faith in your people.
You might worry things won’t come out fine. While checking in on them every once in a while is healthy, micromanaging them destroys their creativity. It tells them that you don’t actually think they can get the job done. On the other hand, if you take a step back, you’re giving them the breathing room to perform the task as best possible.
It’s paramount you take care of your people. At the time when the virus is still at large, you can’t just think about your business without thinking about your people first. That would be a formula for disaster.
You need not be confused about it though. What this means is before you think about what’s good for your business, think about what’s good for your people. If you’re putting people in harm’s way to earn greater ROI, then you are destroying your biggest asset. Think of the well-being of your people first before you think about the profit. In short, be human.
Stephen Covey said it best, to get the golden egg (production), you need to nurture the goose (production capacity). The gold-laying goose, of course, refers to your remote workers. When you care about their welfare, your productivity skyrockets.