Effective Leadership Skills For Working Remotely

Now more than ever, remote work is gaining traction. Some professions lend themselves well to remote working with seasoned professionals operating effectively on remote teams. Other industries and employers are exploring opportunities to compete in the market for remote employees and building out the infrastructure as they go. Remote teams still require management, however, and managing remote teams brings different challenges than those who work together in the same office. As remote working is becoming more commonplace and a more substantial portion of the workforce moves to remote functions, it is essential that managers are qualified and equipped to manage their teams successfully. Thus, leadership training for remote managers is equally—if not more—important than typical leadership development. There are several steps managers can take to ensure the inclusion, productivity, and success of their remote teams. Here is a list of five areas to address to help build strong virtual teams.

1. Improve Your Listening Skills

Listening skills for remote managers is critical. Over 80% of communication is non-verbal. If you can only see part of someone’s body language, if you can’t see any because of viewing one another remotely, or if you are reviewing written correspondence, the chances of miscommunication increase significantly. Leaders must be very intentional about their communication skills, especially listening skills. Repeat what you think your employee is trying to tell you and reflect it back to them and respond accordingly.

2. Tailor Motivation And Recognition Efforts To Employee Preferences

Not everyone is hardwired for remote work. Some people find it challenging to stay on task and keep focused while others work very well autonomously. But, all people are different and are motivated and incentivized by different things. Solid leaders know their employees, including what motivates them and how they like to be acknowledged and rewarded. One person may be driven by a pay increase while another may want words of praise. Find out what works for each of your employees and address each of them uniquely.

3. Leverage Software Solutions For Performance Management

It can be a challenge to keep your finger on the pulse of employee performance when you are operating in different geographic locations. This can be especially cumbersome when managing large teams in a matrix environment. Fortunately, there are many software solutions available, many of which are free, to assist in your efforts. Chat features, project management software, and customer relationship management software can all be used to assign tasks, track their status, follow customers through the pipeline and sales process, and communicate with employees immediately without trying to sync calendars for a call.

4. Invest In Leadership Development

In days past, leadership development was reserved for those who showed potential management skills or for people who performed their roles well and were in line for a promotion. This remains the case today; however, the inclusion of remote management in leadership training is essential in today’s evolving marketplace. Those who equip their future leaders to manage well and do so remotely will have a leg up on the competition. If you are interested in learning more about leadership development and how to successfully implement a program for remote teams, contact us to schedule a free consultation.