Are you struggling to establish a successful remote work environment?
Then, don’t worry because you aren’t the only one struggling with it. Companies like Yahoo, Best Buy, and Reddit have also struggled with their work-from-home policies. In fact, many managers said remote work had direct impacts on-time delivery, team goals, employee productivity, and even quality of work.
The remote work system is hard, but it doesn’t mean you can’t nail it. If you take an example of all the failed remote work structures, you will find one come thing among them — poor remote leadership.
Yep, unstructured remote leadership is the primary reason behind failed remote work culture. And that’s what we are saying from our experience. In the last few months, we have analyzed various remote work environments and found poor leadership is highly influencing work from home culture.
Therefore, the TrackOlap team did some research to understand the need for remote work leadership and ways to build a good remote leadership before compiling this blog. So, let move ahead to know more about remote leadership in 2021.
Remote Leadership in 2021 — 8 Ways to Lead your Remote Team
Inadequate employee monitoring. Mistrust. Employee distraction. Inefficient time tracking and Unclear communication are a few remote work-related issues. Here having a strong virtual leadership can easily resolve all these problems. Your well-defined remote leadership can help you reinforce powerful remote team management strategies, such as:
Be a leader, not be a dictator
Microsoft says 73% of employees want a flexible remote work system. Remote workers wish to set their own roaster to maintain work and personal life balance.
However, it doesn’t mean you should give free reins to your employees. No, remote team leaders have to find a balance between flexibility and rigidity. They have to be leaders rather than dictators.
In remote work, leaders should assign daily, weekly or monthly tasks to their team members and mark priority tasks along with a timeline to complete them. But they shouldn’t define how and when to complete the assignment. They should let employees decide that.
However, many companies advocates here that offering flexibility led to the loss of control. In a way, it is true. Thereby, we introduced real-time monitoring and tracking features in our remote work software that let companies give flexibility to their remote workers without losing control.
Send reminders, not warnings
While working remotely, employees often forget timelines or priority tasks. Thus, it is a leader’s responsibility to send reminders in case an assignment isn’t delivered on time by the employees.
Here leaders shouldn’t scold workers for the delay. They should first ask the status of a project and then ask why the delay happen. Your reminder should show the emotion of care, not of warning.
Also, don’t send reminders a day before the final completion date. This will only create panic in your remote team. Leaders have to constantly communicate with remote employees and monitor work progress status. Doing this will also keep your remote employee engaged, and if they required any extra help, you could provide that on time.
Now, we know that leaders, aka managers, have tons of other responsibilities too. Thus, it isn’t feasible for them to send timely reminders to every team member. That’s why we have included an automatic alert system in our software. This way, your remote work dashboard will automatically send reminders to your remote workers and keep them engaged.
Support your team in real-time
Providing real-time support to remote teams is one of the biggest challenges for leaders. If remote workers don’t receive technical support in a timely fashion from leaders, they can’t deliver on time.
For instance, if your sales reps required a piece of certain information before meeting the client, the leader has to ensure that they get it before the meeting. Otherwise, the sales team can’t pitch their idea perfectly to potential leads.
For this, you need to empower your remote teams and leaders with two-way communication tools. To achieve this, we have inbuilt communication features within our software so that remote teams can anytime reach out to leaders for technical support.
Track your remote team’s performance, not micromanage them
It is a simple principle — to measure your remote team’s performance, you have to first track it. Tracking employee performance allows you to measure and analyze each team member’s output.
Real-time performance data show you whether your leadership is effective or there’s room for improvement. Additionally, by tracking your employees' performance you can—
- Boost their productivity
- Better plan your budget
- Improve project management, etc.
But tracking has a flip side too. Often constant tracking can blur the lines between monitoring and micromanaging. And, as we all know, no one liked to be micromanaged.
So, considering the importance of tracking and the problem of micromanagement, we have included special tracking features in our system, such as—
Application usage tracking — show leaders on which app/website their remote workers have used for how many hours. This way, they can determine whether employees are using the work-related applications or simply wasting their time.
Screenshot tracking — from employee’s desktop random screenshots are generated so that leaders can provide timely assistance to them.
Call tracking — through call recording and logging; leaders can keep track of the conversation going on between employees and customers. This data serves the purpose of making effective decisions related to the communication and customer management skills of your remote teams.
Timesheet — helps to track project-based and approval-based training. Leaders can create activity and time map performance of their remote employees.
Adopt workplace diversity
Diversity is the integrated part of remote leadership in 2021. Today, leaders have to learn how to manage people from different countries and regions worldwide.
Most leaders struggle with understanding the requirements of employees coming from different cultures. They simply use their traditional leadership strategies to support remote workers, which often backfires.
Therefore, remote leaders have to revive their strategies to meet different cultures and time zones. For that, they need the right communication, attendance monitoring, and performance tracking software.
For example, with the help of the automatic attendance feature, leaders can keep a tab on the attendance data of every remote employee irrespective of their time zone. The attendance log sheet show leaders when an employee took a break and at what they started or ended their workday.
Honest leaders are the best leaders
Leaders have to stay honest and enforce transparent team culture. They should openly discuss the organization’s operations, financial conditions, and other aspects with remote workers.
Leaders should share clients' feedback, the company’s goals, and business strategies with everyone. Importantly, share the same information with all team members. As sharing information with a few employees can give birth to mistrust in the organization.
While developing our employee efficiency module, we try to incorporate transparency in many ways, such as—
- Leaders can broadcast message to all team members with one-click
- Automated performance reports can be shared with concerned employees so that they can self-evolve
- All information is shared in real-time, which helps to build trust, etc.
Rewards and punishments go side by side
If leaders have the authority to punish employees for their bad performance, it is also their responsibility to acknowledge employees' good work. Not only in remote environments but also in office environments, leaders should always recognize their employees' achievements.
When you recognize your remote team’s achievements, you boost their morale and encourage them to perform even better. Additionally, when you reward an employee for good work, it will also motivate other team members to do better in their job.
Using the automatic performance reports, you can easily shortlist high-performing employees and reward them as per their contribution.
Build team culture
Your employees might be working in a remote work environment, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t working together. Despite the physical boundaries, your entire team is working towards achieving common goals. Therefore, leaders have a humongous responsibility to build a collaborative team culture.
With effective remote team collaboration, you can gain numerous benefits, such as—
- Save your money
- Reduce stress
- Build a stronger team bond
- Boosts morale, etc.
With TrackOlap software, you have many opportunities to promote a collaborative team environment. First of all, you can equally distribute the workload among your team members. This, in return, shows employees that you don’t believe in partiality or favoritism.
Secondly, when your team members have a cordial relationship, they won’t hesitate to pick an extra workload to help one another. And, this will take away a huge burden from your shoulders. Overall, leaders should prioritize building healthy remote team culture.
Leaders bridge the gap between remote workers, management, and customers. They work as an anchor to make sure that all company goals are being achieved in the right manner.
However, remote leaders have to face some extra challenges to ensure that their team is performing well. Thereby, remote leaders need to plan and strategize differently. They have to understand remote work challenges and then implement the above-mentioned strategies.
To help out remote leadership in 2021, TrackOlap has developed all the right tools. Just give us a call or email anytime to become a pro remote leader.