With each of us feeling the impacts of COVID-19, the last few weeks have felt like a blur. Businesses have been scrambling to make contingency plans, and those of us lucky enough to grant the ability to work remotely have been doing so.
It’s ok as a leader to feel a little overwhelmed right now. We’re all in this together and we’re all learning together. Managing a remote team for the first time requires a different skillset to working in close proximity. At GD Commerce, our team has been remote since day one and I want to share some of my learning about managing a team effectively in a remote environment.
Consistency is Key
In a remote environment, it’s vital to be consistent in how you manage each team member. If part of your team is remote, and part still working together, lead the entire team in the same manner. Don’t let some team members feel like they’re being neglected. Everyone must have the same importance in how you manage them.
Just because team members are out of sight, doesn’t mean they’re out of mind. Identify the most effective way of communicating with your team. It can be a check-in each morning to go over tasks for the day, it can take place via Slack, or even let team members know you’re just a phone call away when they need you.
Outcome Oriented Leadership
In a remote setting, it’s key to ensure every team member knows what deliverables they’re expected to be working on. Instead of assigning tasks, consider assigning outcomes. If your team needs more direction, break tasks up into smaller chunks and help them to create do-do lists at a more micro scale.
As you transition to a remote setting, one-on-one meetings are a MUST. At the beginning, these meetings should be more frequent, tapering off over time as everyone becomes more comfortable with their situation. Team meetings can, and should, still happen but make sure there’s a purpose for them so you aren’t interrupting workflow for no reason.
Be there to help your team identify what works best for them in their new at-home office and provide support and suggestions for maximizing their efficiency. Don’t be afraid to share your own challenges with team members, we’re all learning together and we’re all human. Now is a good time to find that out.
If working from home is new to your team, they’re likely learning what it’s like to work independently. There will be temptations that will hinder productivity and that’s ok. If productivity slows, let it. With everything going on in the world now is a time to lead with even more compassion than you normally would. Productivity will get there if you create an environment that organically allows it.
Here to Help
It’s a difficult time for small businesses and we want you to know GD Commerce is standing by to help. Contact Us and find out how we can lessen the load.