“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success.” – Henry Ford
COVID-19 has forever changed the face of leadership. Smart leaders with agile business continuity policies are adjusting their strategies and adapting their leadership styles to the changing business environment emerging from the pandemic.
Managing a virtual team can be challenging. The absence of shared office spaces has led to a loss of community feeling, group cohesion, and belonging among employees.
Leaders and team members who previously struggled with communication while working in proximity pre-covid now find it more challenging to connect and communicate with colleagues virtually.
Employees are becoming more and more isolated from colleagues than ever before, and teams are no longer connecting organically. Leading teams, especially in the post-pandemic world, means a shift in management methods and mindset. To manage small teams remotely, leaders must learn how to:
1. Maintain frequent contact with their team
Frequent and regular contact keeps employees informed and updated. The people management approach, therefore, needs to shift when teams work remotely.
- Provide the right tools. Businesses should be prepared to invest in infrastructure that enables teamwork while working remotely.
- Consider subsidising staff Internet or mobile data plans to ensure they can work off-site
2. Maintain frequent Communication with their team
One of the golden rules for effectively managing remote teams is communication. Regular communication, especially informal conversations, help to maintain morale and make up for the loss of everyday face to face interaction.
3. Maintain frequent person to person check-ins
Leaders should weekly track how people are faring. For example, some employees may need support but are not comfortable sharing their concerns in a group setting. Leaders should watch out for signs and changes in people’s behaviour. This type of contact will further boost employee morale and sense of belonging.
Leaders now have less direct control over remote teams, hence the need to adopt new management styles that give staff more autonomy. Leaders should trust their teams more, frame what needs to be done, give them the room to innovate and profer business solutions without micromanaging the teams.
To effectively exemplify these skills, managers and leaders need to receive adequate training and coaching. pcl. has worked with numerous clients across sectors to ramp up their ability to lead in the post-COVID-19 world.
Recently, pcl. partnered with Jesus college Cambridge to deliver a coaching programme for team leads and unit managers aspiring to senior leadership roles. The High-Performance Coaching programme is designed to equip participants with the required knowledge to successfully coach a team in today’s dynamic environment. The coaching programme is a one-day event to be delivered virtually and facilitated by professors from Jesus College Cambridge and management coaches from pcl.
For further information on this and the pcl. learning services for the future of work, specifically the pcl. Post-Pandemic Team Management, please reach out to the Training team at Training@phillipsconsulting.net