Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, managers have had to find new ways of engaging with their employees. Before forging a new trail for remote teams, leaders should take time to evaluate their own expectations. Do they fit the present reality? Are they appropriate? Are they considerate?
Our white paper, A Guide to Managing Remote Teams, provides practical advice on overseeing your remote employees, as well as maintaining reasonable expectations as a leader.
Consider these questions as you continue to manage your team remotely:
Have you set technology standards for your employees?
Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft 365 are just a few of the countless available technologies for staff. While it might seem exciting to try them all, it would be in your best interest—and the best interest of your team—to select only a couple, and then provide troubleshooting guides and tutorials. Also include best practices for online meetings, such as muting microphones, not eating during the call, and using sufficient lighting. Be flexible and compassionate when things go wrong—but find ways to improve for the future.
Are employees expected to keep you updated? Or will you check in on them?
If your team has gone virtual, you’ll need to communicate more often and more clearly until employees feel confident. The worst thing for your team right now is a sense of confusion or isolation. Let them know how often you need to hear from them or how frequently you will be checking in. Make sure to learn the best way of interacting with each individual; some will need more communication than others.
Don’t just ask about work—be interested in their life beyond your company. Have they been able to see their families? Have their children been attending school virtually? You can create a compassionate, effective foundation if you know more about your staff on a personal level. These check-ins, of course, should not be used as a way to pry or micromanage.
To learn more about adjusting expectations with regards to HR policies, onboarding, and annual goals, download our eBook.
To create an environment in which employees feel safe, understood, and equipped for productive work, leaders must learn to manage expectations. For more tips on how to care for your team, read our eBook.