Managing is challenging enough, especially for those new to leadership. It’s even harder when you’re remote. Physical distance can make it feel impossible to get a read on morale and the state of everyone’s work. Without casual chitchat or physical cues, employees might not know whether they’re meeting or exceeding expectations.
Whether being remote is your team’s “normal” or the result of an emergency, be the best manager you can be. If your company uses Lattice, here are some ways to help lead your team no matter where they are.
1. Write more.
Actions may speak louder than words, but few means of communication are as effective and consequential as writing. If remote work isn’t what your team is accustomed to, writing can clear up the ambiguity that gets in the way of great work. While that’s true for email or Slack communications, and just as important for teams using Lattice.
Come prepared for your one-on-one meetings with thoughtful questions. Add them as talking points in Lattice so your team members know what to expect. Write prompts that encourage deeper conversation rather than tactical updates.
Since everything you write here is intended to translate into marching orders or expectations, always aim for clarity. Write full sentences rather than shorthand so your reports can read and understand what you mean without explanation. Make sure to document action items in your shared notes so you can revisit them in the following one-on-one to hold each other accountable down the line.
2. Ask for updates.
How’s your team doing? You might feel like you have a general sense from your one-on-ones, but those only provide you with a snapshot. If those conversations represented the before, what’s the after? Because you can’t casually check in at the water cooler, use Lattice’s updates feature to learn about recent accomplishments, upcoming projects, and anything they might be “stuck” on.
Make this a team ritual. Fridays are a great time for reflection, so have them make a habit of jotting down what they accomplished throughout the week as well as what they need help on from you or the team. In addition to providing you with tactical updates, this information gives you a sense of whether priorities need to shift or if a member of the team needs support. It also gives you clarity come Monday morning.
3. Share feedback often (especially praise).
When you have limited face time, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of giving feedback and recognition. Physical distance doesn’t need to equate to emotional distance. Your team wants to hear how they’re doing and will appreciate any recognition you can send their way. That’s especially true during times of uncertainty.
Use Lattice’s feedback tools to show you’re invested in their growth and want to hear from them, even when you’re working remotely. Remember one of the keys to giving great feedback: be specific. Root the feedback in observations, not generalities. How do they support other team members? How did they go above and beyond? Did a client send a positive note about the individual? Bring it up. Lattice’s Slack integration allows you to give much-needed public praise, even though most or all of you aren’t in the office. And if your employee doesn’t love the public attention, giving private recognition is also made easier through Lattice’s feedback tool.
Those are just some of the ways Lattice clients and their managers can continue inspiring remote teams. Sign in and get started today. For additional resources, check out our COVID-19 and remote work toolkit.
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