“How can one exercise good leadership and communication in a team with several remote workers?”
As remote work becomes more common, it poses unique leadership challenges. In the office, you can walk over to your coworkers’ desk to ask a question, but with remote workers, communication can be a problem area.
The first thing you should do is let your team know that you won’t let the distance prevent good communication. Show them that you’re going to make it a priority to develop a strong relationship regardless of where everyone works. There are several ways to engage remotely including email, Skype, FaceTime, the phone, and others. Utilize them all to develop good relationships.
Then, figure out what works best for the people on your team and build a plan to connect at regular intervals. Connecting regularly gives a sense of stability and keeps everyone aligned as priorities change. At Echelon Front, our team is spread throughout several states. In order to make sure everyone is on the same page, both our operations team and instructors have weekly Skype calls.
In addition to regular calls, work with your leadership to set up face-to-face meetings as often as possible. Getting occasional face-to-face time with your team gives you a better understanding of their personalities which can translate to improved remote communication.
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Email can slow down progress when one person is waiting on a reply before acting. A ten-minute call can often eliminate a week-long back-and-forth email exchange.
Lastly, a good remote team needs to be flexible. Things don’t always go according to plan, so it’s important that your team is able to adapt to the needs of both the company and individuals.
Distance makes leadership a challenge, but it won’t prevent a good leader from building strong relationships with a team of remote workers.