One of the most notable shifts in the last couple of years is the remote workforce becoming a more practical and more popular approach to operations.
When you cultivate flexibility among your staff, you have the opportunity to gain a competitive edge in an uncertain commercial environment.
From the employer’s side, remote work means better productivity and reduced spend on office expenses.
As teams work remotely there is no more need for so much office space as well as cost is reduced on such office staples like coffee and snacks.
Another big reason for why employees consider adding remote team members or remote teams is alarger pool of candidates.
Allowing people to join in without coming to the office means being able to recruit in other countries and attracting a younger workforce.
According to a Deloitte survey, 64% of millennials would like the option of working from home. Thus, companies that are focused on enabling remote work are far more likely to get younger talent.
In order for companies to navigate this new style of work, business leaders need to make sure that there is a strong culture of agility present. When you cultivate flexibility among your staff, you have the opportunity to gain a competitive edge in an uncertain commercial environment.
Fostering this agility is especially important if, as a growing number of companies, you are currently functioning with a primarily remote workforce.
As companies embrace this new normal, here are a few strategies ways that you should focus on & employ on in order to cultivate agility among your remote workers.
Your remote workers might have the skills to be agile, but they don’t have any motivation to use them for the benefit of the business if they are not fully engaged with what you do and where your goals lie.
This is particularly important in remote circumstances where workers might not be surrounded by the positive elements of your company culture every day that encourage them to engage.
You can engage your workforce by ensuring that you are frequently communicating effectively & appreciating your employees.
Among the most important things that your remote team needs to keep engaged is clear and consistent communications protocols. Set up channels that are designed to support agility — platforms such as Google Hangouts, Slack, and Microsoft Teams provide voice, video, and text-based options that give workers the tools they need to react flexibly during any given situation.
It’s important to make sure there are channels for social interaction, too, to forge stronger bonds among colleagues.
Take time to connect with your remote workforce, both privately and in online meetings, to acknowledge their efforts boosts morale and push them to improve their standards and skills.
Appreciating your employees also tends to encourage the remote workforce to collaborate with one another more effectively, improving their likelihood of being agile as a team.
Strive to use varied forms to show your appreciation through praise, remote events and celebrations, and recognition programs that provide rewards.
Organizations need to encourage activities that nurture morale for their remote workers. Simple things like casual lunches or impromptu coffee breaks are not possible in a virtual work environment.
Agile teams that work remotely make a conscious effort to be social, polite, precise, and courteous. This will ensure that everyone will feel just as safe contributing and collaborating remotely as they did in person.
Business leaders should encourage their agile teams to imitate remotely everything they would have done in person, but with more frequency given the abruptness of the switch to remote work.
For example, if employees are used to one-on-one coaching over coffee, they should also try doing it remotely.
Coaches and mentors should also encourage all team members to turn on their videos and actively monitor body language during group meetings.
Providing mentorship opportunities that instill skills that ensure your teams grow into the influencers your business needs in the digital age is quite critical.
This should incorporate aspects of critical thinking, an understanding of the value of collaborative knowledge creation, and cultivating an innovative mindset.
However, it is equally important to ensure this program is open to everyone in the business so this agility can also benefit from a diversity of perspectives.
Organizational leaders need to be more deliberate when engaging with team members, especially with remote workers, where they have limited in-person interaction. Agile team leaders need to be more proactive at guiding their own team members.
Leaders need to be more purposeful at engaging stakeholders. They should also be transparent and reassuring in their communication about team objectives and performance.
Above all, organizational leaders need to show both in their tone and approach, that everyone is in this together. In other words, they need to be the glue that unites everyone together.
We are all used to working towards personal goals. This affects our compensation, benefits, and other aspects of the job.
However, the importance of team goals rises quite significantly when we talk about remote teamwork. To make sure the team members work together and enhance each other’s performance, they should be focused on team, not personal goals.
This may seem strange at first, especially if you are used to creating personal goals for everyone. But setting team goals fosters the environment of collaboration and this is exactly what remote teams need to succeed.
Knowing you are part of a larger goal motivates team members to work together and look for the best ways of collaborating.
Another common letdown when we talk about facilitating remote teamwork is the fact that you don’t have a chance to get to know your colleagues.
In an office environment you chat while making coffee, eat lunch together and discuss major events going on in the world.
All this informal communication leads to knowing your co-workers on a more personal level. However, this is lost in remote teams.
To make sure your team knows each other, proactive steps must be taken. Some offer to have a place like a forum where each of the team members introduces themselves and shares fun facts about their personal lives.
This way team newcomers can read through the information to get acquainted. Others organize online gaming tournaments, meet my pet conference calls, and other informal online activities to foster communication.
Find a way that works for your team and get acquainted.
In conclusion, having an agile team is important for any industry. Ensuring that your distant employees remain engaged and that they have opportunities to benefit from a collaborative environment can be instrumental in fostering this valuable flexibility.
Just as important, though, is putting time and investment into cultivating your workers’ skillsets and preparing them for a future since remote working is here for good.