The COVID-19 pandemic has created major disruptions for business leaders, including a sudden shift to digital transformation. This change has forced many to rethink how they lead newly established remote and hybrid teams. While this change has been difficult for some, it’s nothing an effective leader can’t handle. According to Benoni Tagoe, the president of Raedio, an “audio everywhere” company, there are six ways to improve leadership in this new environment. Below is a summary of his tips, originally published in Rolling Stone:
1. Be transparent and listen: Leaders who are implementing new ways to work should take time to understand how this affects their teams. “Spend a few meetings observing and listening to them,” states Tagoe. “You’ll gain more by letting them speak first, before responding to their ideas and opinions.”
2. Establish policies that encourage staff “to protect their space”: To help your employees work better from home, consider budgeting for work-from-home office setups.
3. Check-in with your employees: Take time to get to know your team members and form connections with them beyond the office. This can be done through virtual lunches or other gatherings. “With my team, I sent everyone a gift card for Goldbelly that allowed them to order food from restaurants around the country,” writes Tagoe. “My note was simple: Since we all can’t visit our favorite restaurants, we’re bringing your favorite menu items to you. Then I followed up on a team meeting and asked them what they ordered, which allowed the entire team to bond over their favorite meals.”
4. Establish “rules of engagement” for video calls: You don’t always need to conduct team meetings over video but you should probably use video for client meetings, writes Tagoe. Leaders should also make sure calls on the calendar are absolutely necessary. This will help prevent unneeded calls that could have been emails.
5. Regularly update your employees on remote policies: Leaders planning a return to physical offices should keep their employees informed with a general timeline.
6. Keep in mind that most employees want the ability to choose: Staff value being able to choose who they work with, what projects they work on, and how they perform their tasks. “As a leader, your mandate is to make sure you engineer events that create camaraderie and allow fellow team members to create a bond around the work,” Tagoe writes. One way to accomplish this would be to restate company goals, explain decisions made that impact them directly, and make sure they are up-to date with financials and business challenges so that they feel a sense of transparency and can also make informed decisions.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rattle global markets, leaders will continue to face challenges. However, you may find it easier to navigate this new world of remote/hybrid work by following these simple tips.
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Tagoe, Benoni. (15 November 2021). 6 Tips for Effective Leadership in Uncertain Times. Rolling Stone.