Mastering Remote Leadership: Building Trust and Valuing Employees in a Hybrid Workforce
With the rise of hybrid working, two major concerns for leaders emerge:
How to manage remote employees effectively
The need to ensure everyone feels valued
To successfully navigate these challenges, we must adapt our people management skills and expectations to foster a supportive and productive setting for all team members, regardless of their chosen work location.
Managing Remote Employees: From Office to Home
People management in traditional office or factory settings already requires improvement, so managing remote employees may seem daunting. However, you might be ahead of the curve in comparison to other leaders and managers.
Trust can be difficult to maintain with less visibility of your team, leading to concerns about their effort and adherence to preferred methods. To counter this, performance evaluation must shift to focus on both activity and outcomes, improving communication about 'what good looks like.' By enhancing these elements for remote workers, you'll also improve management of in-office teams.
Performance evaluations should incorporate both lead measures and lag measures, moving away from the emphasis on time spent at a desk. Lag measures, like winning orders or completing projects, are often infrequent and affected by external factors. In contrast, lead measures, such as the number of sales conversations, conversion rates, and project stage completion, are more frequent and controllable, allowing for easier monitoring and course correction.
Leaders and managers must share their expectations of outcomes and activities and co-create these expectations with their team members based on experience levels. This approach creates a fairer and more transparent work environment. By the way, we provide an amazing Leadership Development Programme that will help you empower your teams and maximise their potential.
Ensuring Everyone Feels Valued in a Hybrid Workplace
The importance of making everyone feel valued cannot be overstated, as it directly impacts employee engagement and is linked to the Star motivator in the Motivational Map.
According to a 2022 survey conducted by Visier, 43% of workers have left a job because of their manager, while 47% of respondents highlighted treating people well, listening to others, and showing respect as attributes of good managers. Furthermore, 38% stated that they stayed in jobs longer due to good relationships with their managers.
Treating people well, listening, and showing respect can be more challenging with remote work. Body language cues may be missed, and misunderstandings can occur more easily. By agreeing on and communicating clear expectations for behaviour, attendance at meetings, and time spent in the office, and conducting regular online and in-person check-ins, these challenges can be mitigated.
Embracing hybrid working is essential for businesses to thrive in today's dynamic environment. Skillfully managing remote team members, ensuring a sense of value and recognition, and encouraging motivated teams to take the initiative will help organisations navigate the challenges and harness the potential that hybrid working offers.