What will be the stories your employees tell about 2020?
Will they be stories of inspiration or desperation?
As our workplaces, schools, doctor’s appointments, and, let’s face it, our lives go virtual, we have all had to adjust our lives online. At Performex, we want to make sure that your managers are equipped and empowered to thrive in virtual environments, whether they have been working remotely since the internet was invented or just installed Zoom for the first time.
After all, in 10 years, will more people be working remotely, or will fewer? If your managers haven’t faced challenges in an online workspace, they can certainly look forward to some bumps in the virtual road. We are not in the middle of a virtual moment; we are ushering in a new virtual reality. Are your leaders ready to thrive in the long run?
Today, we’ll be discussing six things great managers do to re-energize their virtual teams and generate long-run momentum to THRIVE in today’s(and tomorrow’s) digital world.
TOUCHPOINTS: Great managers reach out regularly to team members to build relationships, provide feedback and ask for input. In order to continue building emotional connections, managers first need to understand their employees’ individual personalities. Quiet personalities and those who lack attention to detail, for example, often have a harder time transitioning online. Great managers check in with each team member at least once a month to understand employees’ motivations and open conversations that set the stage for coaching, such as:
- What would you like to improve on this month?
- What is something you are better at this month than last?
- What was your professional high point this month? What was your professional low point?
- Is there anything about your work that keeps you up at night?
A great manager continues to build emotional connections with his or her team by making frequent contact, seeking to understand each team member’s work environment, and providing this consistent and safe space to have honest conversations.
HELP: Great managers help team members grow and develop, especially when working remotely. Exceptional managers get that it is not just “HR’s job to build talent.” They recognize that it is their job to develop their team, regardless of the work environment. Great managers take ownership in employee’s short-term and long-term success. They understand that building talent is critical for employee engagement, retention and establishing a pipeline of future talent needed for the business. These managers’ actions consistently reflect a commitment to developing the employees by:
- Meeting regularly with all employees to create an on-going dialogue regarding their development.
- Utilizing effective coaching techniques by asking open-ended questions, actively listening, and empathetically receiving responses.
- Cultivating ownership and action with employees towards their development.
- Providing specific, clear, and direct feedback.
- Planning discussions for effective outcomes and always following up on commitments.
- Delegating meaningful work to grow skills and provide exposure.
RESPONSIBILITY: Great managers make sure team members understand the team goals and their personal responsibilities.
Leaders get optimal results when they operate consistently with what their employees expect. Encourage your managers to begin with the end in mind as they set new goals by asking team members what obstacles they might foresee. Then, the door is open to discussing strategies to overcome these obstacles. Leaders make sure their team members know why each goal they are working towards is important, and they set mini-deadlines on the way towards each goal in order to encourage communication, collaboration, and accountability.
INSPIRE: Great managers make their teams feel like they are making progress and winning. Inspiring managers:
- • Understand the importance of winning for engaging their teams.
- • Set a standard of excellence through both communication and modeling excellence personally.
- • Ensure their teams understand their mission and objectives.
- • Make sure each team member understands his or her individual role in team success.
- • Communicate and celebrate progress towards team goals.
- • Recognize team and individuals for excellence.
VALUE: Great managers make team members feel valued and create value for employees.In leadership, every discussion has the potential to be a teaching opportunity. Online conversations, however, can be confusing due to a lack of nonverbal communication, multitasking, and difficultly focusing. How do leaders communicate virtually? Great managers:
- • Project confidence and enthusiasm, even over the phone.
- • Are aware of their tone of voice, especially in the absence of non-verbal cues.
- • Link company and unit success to your employees’ successes.
- • Listen and ask questions to teach, engage, and motivate.
- • Admit mistakes openly.
- • Draw out “experts” and those whose voices aren’t being listened to.
- • Emphasize doing the right thing, always.
ENGAGE: Great managers engage team members in ways they can expect. In the Art of War, Sun Tzu says to “Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections.” Meeting management is one of the top 3 most visible indications of someone’s skill as a leader. Check your managers’ meeting management skills by asking yourself:
- • Do my managers state meeting purpose ahead of time?
- • How do my managers conduct meetings that align their teams?
- • How do my managers build in accountability during and after meetings?
- • Have I noticed enhanced performance in teams after my managers run meetings?
- • Are my managers’ team members engaged during meetings?
- • Do my managers openly encourage their teams?
When your managers thrive, your organization will thrive as well. Learn more about Performex Accelerated Coaching to equip your managers with the tools and skills to not just survive 2020, but THRIVE in our current virtual reality.