WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — How do you lead a team when everyone is scattered and working from home? That’s the question many team managers are asking themselves since the coronavirus sent employees home to work from their own houses.
Galit Ventura Rozen, author of The Successful Woman’s Mindset, said remote working can be done, it just requires a different approach from leadership.
“When you’re a team leader, you probably already know a lot of these messages,” said Rozen, “You just have to fine tune them a little.”
First, Rozen recommends a weekly team meeting to go over goals and keep up team moral. In those meetings, ask for input from employees on how the team can improve. She also suggests making the meetings engaging with the use of video conferencing instead of just a phone call.
Second, managers should keep an open door policy with employees so their team members can reach out anytime with questions or ideas.
“You really want to keep that open door policy, even though that sounds funny because they can’t walk into your office,” Rozen said. “So make it really clear in those team meetings when you are available to them and how.”
While working from home, you also need to treat your employees differently. Rozen recommends focusing on your team members strengths and delegating out to other employees their weaknesses to limit frustration and keep up motivation.
“Some people are really good at working from home and they’re really experienced at it. Others have no idea,” said Rozen.
Meet with each employee individually to ask them what they are being challenged with and what is coming easier to them.
“It’s going to make them feel a lot more motivated when they’re focusing on what they’re good at and not really giving them a hard time at what they’re struggling with,” said Rozen.
Just as you started the work week, Rozen suggests wrapping up the week with another team meeting. In this meeting go over what worked that week and what didn’t, letting your employees chime in with their own thoughts.
Finally, don’t micromanage. Leave space for creativity and problem solving for the employee. Instead of focusing on the time it took the employee to complete tasks, look at the work that is completed in the end.
So, in review…
- Hold weekly team meetings
- Keep an open door policy
- Focus on team members’ strengths
- Wrap up the week with a meeting
- Don’t micromanage