Remote work is still prevalent today, even with COVID-19 vaccines being administered around the world. It’s not only safety that it promotes but a degree of flexibility that suits the lifestyles of today’s workforce.
If you still have sections of your company persisting in this setup, you, as a manager, know just how challenging it is to keep the team spirit alive. Everybody might have been motivated when you first transitioned to this arrangement. Still, now reality has sunk in, and they’re beginning to realize just how tricky it can actually be in the long run.
Just what can you do to solve this?
Re-Introduce the Vision
The importance of your company’s vision cannot be stressed enough. It’s what enables you to work with the bigger picture in mind and understand the impact that you are making.
Any remote team can easily overlook or forget the vision you introduced to them when they joined your company. It could due to the lack of physical reminders like the posters you had on the office wall or the absence of feedback that emphasizes the value of their work.
Identify avenues to re-introduce the company vision to them, and commit to actions that can serve as regular reminders. It could be something as simple as emailing them a summary of your team’s performance per week and including positive customer feedback. You can also add statistics or reports showing the impact your company is making during the pandemic, not just to your customers but to the people who operate it. Whatever encourages and illuminates your vision, share it with your team.
No, you don’t have to fund their weeklong vacation to the Maldives. It might not even be possible yet due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Promoting rest needn’t be expensive or complicated. Some teams do this by requiring their employees to take a ten-minute break away from their computers. Some spend these precious minutes having virtual coffee-time with their team and catching up. You can also introduce team games that you can play at the end of every meeting or lunch break, just to break the monotony of work.
For something more fun and engaging, you can all unplug by participating in virtual team-building activities. Check out websites like letsvidya.com for options that suit your company culture. It might surprise you how different forms of rest from work can make your team more productive.
It’s understandable why you feel the need to micromanage. Remote work can make you distrustful of your team and fearful that they aren’t doing their tasks the way they are supposed to. If you’ve been sending them slack messages several times a day, then you must already know that micromanaging them isn’t benefiting your team.
Instead of overseeing every activity, they do, why not empower them to make their own decisions? Having the freedom to call the shots in certain parts of their work can give them a sense of ownership. Since they feel that they are in control and directly responsible for the results they produce, they are likely to show more accountability.
Recognize Their Contribution
Who didn’t love getting stars from their teachers back in kindergarten, right? Believe it or not, the same principle applies today in the workplace. Successful companies, both big and small, make recognition a part of their work culture. Some send virtual stars to employees who do well, and others settle for a less flashy but otherwise effective form of appreciation.
Find what suits your team, and determine ways you can maximize this effort. Should you set criteria? How often must you do this? Will anyone feel left out? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to giving recognition. You can, however, get inspiration from other companies to see which style works for you.
Schedule One-on-one Meetings
Your employees may be going through personal dilemmas that they aren’t comfortable sharing with your team. It could also be that you haven’t provided an avenue for them to approach you, so they’re unsure if you’re interested in hearing them out.
It’s crucial that everyone in your team can speak to you about things that affect their performance. Initiating this through one-on-one meetings will make it easier for them to do so. You might finally understand why they’re not performing as well as they used to or why there is tension among your team members. They can also use this to give feedback on your leadership and the work culture you promote, giving you ideas for improvement.
The Bottom Line
Don’t worry if you’re having a hard time managing a team remotely. Even with these steps in mind, you might still struggle to implement new policies and see improvements. Give yourself a margin for error and enough time to make progress. The positive changes you’ll reap are worth it.