Don't Be Remote If You're Running A Team From Home
Regular contact is all-important right now ...
Posted by Roger Eddowes on 20/04/2020 @ 8:00AM
Thanks to the Coronavirus outbreak, many managers are now running a team from home for the first time, but there is a question here: how do we manage that team remotely? After all, if we can't see them, how can we be sure they're working?
If you're running a team from home, your empathy and compassion are more important than ever before!
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This isn't much different from a regional manager who would look after multiple offices and has to travel between them. Not being able to be in all those locations at the same time doesn't mean that your teams aren't working; far from it.
"I'm very lucky with my team at Essendon Accounts & Tax!"
I know them all very well, we've worked together for a long time, and I know that they are highly skilled people who are committed to the goals I've set for the company. I have no reason to believe that when they're at home, they're not working to support our clients and give them the same level of service and support that I'd expect from them if they were sitting next to me in the office.
But for managers of other companies, they may need to keep on top of their teams a bit more. Knowing each of them well is a great start and although you can't meet up face-to-face right now, a check-in phone call on a regular basis helps you to understand them better. Ensure each member of your team knows they can contact you at any time for advice and support as well.
As a remote manager, your job is to set the overall strategy and help your team members to be the best they can be by providing the support they need and removing obstacles that stop them from completing their assigned tasks.
"Instead of micro-managing them, set expectations
and let them get on with it!"
If each team member knows what is expected of them and you have the Key Performance Indicators available to both you and them, then you can pretty much let them get on with it, only needing to intervene if those KPIs get out of range.
Remember that praise and encouragement is a big part of being a manager, even more so when you have to manage a team working remotely from home. To steal an analogy, you are conducting the orchestra and your team members are playing the instruments.
If you have team leaders and managers underneath you, then more regular contact with them will be necessary and this can be in the form of daily video calls if needs be. Speak to them about their own teams and offer up any support or guidance if needed. And don't forget to encourage your team leaders and managers as well, they're just as important as those that produce the end results.
But even with a layer of management beneath you, it's still a good idea to speak to your team members. Maybe a monthly phone call with each of them would be useful? Maybe a group video call with everyone would benefit the motivation of the entire team?
"Remember, it's not just about the work!"
Getting to know your team members, whatever their level will help with motivation and produce better results. In normal times you'd probably have an open-door policy so anyone could pop-in and talk to you, but making it known they can text or call you at any time is going to really help you connect with them.
Although we're in lockdown right now, family issues like divorces and bereavements still happen and everyone is worried about their finances. Today, your empathy and compassion are more important than ever before.
Even your furloughed workers need regular contact. If they're stuck at home twiddling their thumbs, assurances about their paycheque and plans for their return to work will be a great comfort to them!
As I said earlier, I'm very lucky to have a well-motivated team at Essendon Accounts & Tax. We are all working from home, but we're in regular contact and I am available to offer them my support and advice whenever they need it.
And once lockdown is over and we're all allowed back into the office again? I'll be sure that they know I appreciate every single one of them.
Until next time ...
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about running a team from home, call me on 01908 774320, leave a comment below or click here to ping over an email and let's see how the Business Godparent can help you.
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About Roger Eddowes ...
Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.
Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.
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