Managers and leaders have been forced to adapt to the rapid changes unraveling at the workplace. As the world races to stop the spread of Coronavirus, many companies have been left to rely on remote workers and flexible positions that combine in-person days with work from home schedules. For managers, the challenge is to find effective ways to motivate and lead their teams remotely in what is referred to as virtual leadership. The Chamber has put together these five management keys for effective virtual leadership:
Use Challenging Objectives
Leaders can often spot talent in their employees. The challenge is to find effective ways to nature and develop these skills, especially in a virtual workspace where traditional approaches are obsolete. However, thanks to modern technology, managers can develop strategies to ensure each employee gets their share of challenging objectives that propels them to the next level. The challenges should also focus on developing individual talents while fulfilling daily scoreboard expectations.
Constant Feedback and Virtual Meetings
Communication is vital for productivity and collaborations, which is why open office plans, shared time and breakrooms were workspace highlights pre-COVID. In the new virtual world, leaders must ensure adequate communication frameworks that allow for constant feedback and meetings. The continuous back-and-forth communications help to cultivate a direct approach where issues are aired and resolved quicker. Feedback also allows managers to clear confusions and rally the team towards common goals.
Attack Problems as They Emerge
Watching from afar is no longer an option in virtual workspaces. With no direct contact and analysis, leaders have found it harder to predict employee issues as we shift from a time of random crisis to long-term crises with varying impacts. For leaders, this means problems should be identified and resolved as soon as they emerge, and several issues may arise. Emotions, communication problems, breaking company culture and codes, poor judgment and wrong decisions must all be tackled early so the team can grow.
Personal and Professional Harmony
Leaders in the virtual world are facing a test to ensure personal and professional lives are in congruence. Employees working from home have no supervision present, which opens a window for distractions. Managers are responsible for leading by example, ensuring professional dress codes during virtual meetings and encouraging home setups that promote better focus. Balancing personal and professional life is the ultimate milestone of managing remote workers.
Encourage Self-Knowledge and Self-Motivation
Self-knowledge and self-motivation are vital for career success. During these COVID times, employees are expected to acquire more soft skills to perform better. Leaders must encourage employers to continue learning new skills, building confidence and shaping their careers. The leader should be outright decisive, respectful, kind, inclusive and reliable as employees can pick up on these traits for their motivation.
As a leadership organization, ourselves, we agree that the task at hand isn’t an easy one for leaders in the virtual environment. However, there are various changes and tools available for managers. Here at the Chamber, our goal is to be a catalyst for positive change, convene leaders and influencers, and be a champion for the community. Virtual leaders must adapt to the needs of their teams and customers while maintaining an increased level of communications for the foreseeable future.