As the spread of coronavirus forced several businesses to adapt work from home arrangements, a new challenge arises.
Managing remote teams can be challenging even for the best managers in large organizations.
To help businesses rise up to this challenge, Refinitiv, a global provider of financial markets data and infrastructure, recently hosted a virtual talk on best leadership practices amid the quarantine.
Entitled “LeadHer Talk: How Leaders Can Keep Remote Employees Engaged and Productive During Tumultuous Times,” the discussion was led by the Refinitiv Women Network – Manila, in collaboration with non-profit Women Inter-industry Network.
With over 200 participants worldwide, the online session featured guest speakers Grace Dang, Refinitiv head of technical implementations; Benjamin Quinlan, chief executive and managing partner of Quinlan Associates; and Love Del Rosario, senior solutions consultant at Google Philippines.
Here are five collective tips speakers said were effective across virtual team management:
Observe prompt and visible action
Decision-making is crucial in crisis, especially if it involves public health and safety. It should be made fast enough to address concerns efficiently, but never too quick to compromise decision value. Businesses need to ensure that these actions provide employees with assurance and support both personally and professionally. Prompt implementation of mitigation plans, safety procedures, work compensation processes, and other crucial actions should be top priorities.
Foster honest and consistent communication
Establish various communication channels both for the team and clients. Apart from email, creating group chats on social media and messaging platforms could help facilitate quick connections. Daily check-ins, regular updates, and meetings are likewise highly encouraged to ensure aligned communication.
Define work-life boundaries
People respond differently to difficult situations. Allowing work flexibility while maintaining a clear work list boosts employees’ morale and helps reduce stress levels. A great work-life balance also helps build trust and commitment in the workplace, and even increases employees’ productivity.
Create shared experiences
Planning online activities that foster bonding is a powerful tool in motivating employees. Simple activities such as curating a group playlist, sharing work-from-home set-ups, encouraging fun contests, or even sharing journal entries go a long way in inspiring the team.
Lead with empathy
At the core of leadership is understanding and addressing the needs of others. By understanding employee’s emotional needs and creating an avenue for them to voice out their opinions, leaders create a culture of trust, collaboration, transparency, and a greater sense of purpose for their people.
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