Unpacking Remote Management

Many of us are a good ten months into managing a remote workforce. Although some have done well and even flourished, others are stumbling. This can be frustrating, especially if you felt successful when you were together with your team in the office.

Work will eventually return to an office environment, but it will not likely ever revert to the way it was a year ago. The managerial skills that make you brilliant in the office are different than the one you need to succeed remotely. And whether you return to a conventional office environment or stay remote, the skills to successfully manage remotely will serve you well.

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New Year, Fresh Start

Welcome to the new year where things seem more like “same old, same old” instead of new and fresh. Although we’re still operating in a challenging external environment, you can create new energy that can result in a fresh perspective.

The new year provides a metaphoric reset, so take advantage of this. There are numerous things you can do now that will not only set your direction, but will create a new tone for the year and help boost morale as a consequence.

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How Are You Being Heard?

Isn’t it fascinating when you perceive that you couldn’t be clearer in how you communicated something and your co-worker doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about?

Communication snafus like this happen every day, and sadly, some people think that the way to resolve it is to say the same thing over and over (remember the definition of insanity…). Instead, consider how you can rephrase or use an example to make your point.

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Give Thanks

Next week is the quintessential American holiday, Thanksgiving. I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving because the celebration centers around food, family, and friends. What’s not to love?

This year’s Thanksgiving will be different because of the pandemic. Modifications in your traditional routines, especially the number of people around your table, may be disappointing.

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Facilitating Resilience

People are getting wobblier. Perceptions of adversity are increasing, particularly with the expectation of the pandemic lingering on for months ahead.

As a result, vulnerability is popping up more frequently. The more vulnerable the employee, the harder it may be for them to get the job done.

While it is not the leader’s job to evaluate and “fix” wobbly employees, understanding some of the principles of resilience may help you help them.

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Management By Walking Around….Virtually

Just because many companies are working remotely doesn’t mean that your staff isn’t experiencing strife. “He said” this and “she did” that and “I don’t know anything about this” are expressions that pop up, whether you’re remote or physically in the office.

When you hear these types of phrases occasionally, it’s normal and controllable. But if these expressions occur regularly, you need to investigate what’s going on.

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Managing Expectations

Everyone has their own standards of performance and achievement even if they don’t consciously think about them. The workplace supplements these standards by setting expectations for performance on the job.

Leaders need to be clear about their expectations, especially in our multigenerational workforce. What an older Baby Boomer experienced earlier in her career and expects as a given probably isn’t the norm today. If that same older Baby Boomer imposes 1970s expectations on a Gen Z employee, they may not be enthusiastically received.

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Virtual Onboarding

Last time we looked at issues related to virtual hiring and today’s topic is what to do after someone is hired. Virtual onboarding is obviously a little trickier than onboarding in person, so here are some tips. Some of these are obvious, but who hasn’t had a time when the obvious was forgotten?

+ Replace a job description with a statement of roles and accountabilities. Clearly identify what is expected and identify the accountabilities. Accountabilities are important because it demonstrates from the beginning that you expect the person to be responsible for outcomes. Review this on the first morning and check back during the next few weeks to make sure the person is clear on these responsibilities.

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Virtual Hiring

Are you in hiring mode? Even if you’re not at the moment, as we are six months into the pandemic at some point you’ll need to add some staff, especially if you have strategic or even immediate needs.

Not all companies have returned to their physical places of work, and as a result, your interviews and hiring decisions are likely to be made based on video calls.

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Nurture Your Network

The days of in-person cocktail parties, lunches, coffees, or association gatherings are distant memories. While it may be a while before we again break bread with clients or colleagues, you can still nurture your network virtually.

Some people are reluctant to stay in touch, concerned that they may hear some bad news, creating an ackward moment for someone. You won’t know if you don’t ask. And the longer you wait to reach out, the harder it will become.

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