As we are coming on six months of working from home, you are probably feeling disconnected from your team. I have seen a million articles all giving great advice on how to remove the isolation being felt by teams. However, I thought there was room for one more.
During my career, I have led remote teams across every time zone imaginable. Some of my teams worked really well and others not so much. Personalities, company culture and business circumstances definitely affected our team’s performance, but a couple of things kept us together.
- Daily Pop-ins: I believe that you need to speak to every person on your team every day. Typically, they should last for no more than fifteen minutes. You cover business stuff, but also get a temperature check on your team. Any face to face application works.
- Create Project Teams: Put your team into groups and assign projects geared towards improving processes, solving critical business problems or increasing morale. “Force” the groups to meet regularly and report to the larger team with progress.
- Reimagine Team Meetings: Stop the one directional “I talk, you listen” team meetings. Incorporate individual contribution segments that engage the team. Encourage open ended debate- both work and socially focused. Bring guest speakers who can improve industry, business or general knowledge.
- Increase Performance Reviews: there is nothing worse than not knowing where you fit in a company. That feeling increases the further away you are from the corporate office. Couple that with working from home, a pandemic that is decimating job security, and the unrest around the country and you have the recipe for disaster. Keep the reviews short and direct. Reaffirm what is going well and be transparent in what is not.
- Be Present: There is an old sports saying that the best ability is availability. This is especially true for leaders. Making yourself available for your team will help you nip concerns before they become issues.
As always, these guides are the tip of the iceberg of being a successful leader. Please contact me if you’d like to discuss how to implement these ideas for your team.