When the COVID-19 pandemic hit us, we all presumed our time working from home would be temporary. However, weeks turned into months, and months eventually turned to a year, and our companies began searching for solutions to optimize and manage teams.
When it comes to effectively managing a team remotely whether that’s during a global pandemic or not, it can be a lot. Many of us have been exhausted from weekly Zoom meetings, all while having to deal with family, juggle work, meet the needs of clients, and run a productive team.
Recently, we sat down with serial entrepreneur and Founder of SmithCo., Jasmine Smith, and Business Consultant, Makeda Andrews to share some tips on managing teams, virtually or in person.
Top solutions for managing a team remotely
While working from home, meeting deadlines, prioritizing tasks, and managing a remote team can become difficult. Makeda Andrews, a leadership and team building coach with 15 years of experience, shared a few solutions to help you combat this.
● Do less policing around the time spent “at work” and focus on the achievement of the end goal.
● Give people leeway to work when they are most productive as long as they are accomplishing the goals that you have set.
● Due to distance, an intentional plan around communication MUST be developed otherwise it simply will not happen. Or far worse, you will end up communicating with your team only when there is a problem!
● Become proactive about providing the level of support that your team requires. It is not enough to check in and be talking TO THEM, scheduled sessions for LISTENING is just as important too.
Knowing the proper way to frame a meeting Is essential
How many of us have attended a pointless meeting and have thought, this should have been an email?
To avoid wasting valuable time, we talked to Jasmine Smith, the Founder and CEO of SmithCo., for more insight.
As Smith shared with us, “The best team meetings should have an agenda, purpose, an ideal outcome or opportunity for everyone to contribute. Time is valuable in team meetings. Meetings should provide clear and succinct solutions to the current project needs and goals.”
Smith also suggests keeping the meeting organized, focused, and effective to avoid wasting the team's time.
#1 skill managers need to build trust amongst teams
Not all managers are created equal. Managing a team goes beyond dutifully scheduling meetings and monitoring the progression of projects.
As a manager, building trust amongst your team is essential. Your team should feel comfortable coming directly to management with updates or concerns. When there is a lack of trust in a team environment, it can affect the productivity across the organization. Managers have the power to ignite trust and boost morale to increase high performing results.
Smith shared with us, “Trust is developed through the formation and development of the relationship. If you want your team to trust you, start with respecting them as humans and professionals. This means paying attention to the person behind the email. Do you know anything about them outside of work? It helps to be intentional about understanding who people are, what motivates them, what their goals are and personal commitments that may impact their work from time to time.”
The difference between average leaders and great leaders
In order to effectively manage your team, you have to be a great leader. Leadership is an innate skill that is ingrained into our work ethic, dedication, and self-development over time.
As Andrews shared with us, “Leaders recognize that it is no longer about their individual performance. It’s about helping a group of people achieve consistent outstanding results by creating the right environment, hiring the right people and setting the vision.”