So, you’re leading a remote team during a crisis. Ask yourself these four questions

Written by Jaclyn Menendez, Ph.D., Project Consultant
Previously published by PSI Talent Management or Cubiks, prior to becoming Talogy.

Leading a team is never easy, and becoming a leader under sudden remote circumstances is its own beast. 

You probably did not have time to receive training, learn best practices, or take any time at all to reflect on how your approach should be adapted for a virtual workplace. If that’s the case, and you’re not sure how to get a feeling for your team during these crazy times, we have four questions that you should ask yourself.

1. Is work getting completed on time?

Your natural first instinct during this time may be to micromanage, and that’s normal – but it’s not effective. During times of uncertainty or a loss of control over the familiar, people naturally tend to overcorrect with the things that are still in their control. But all this does is move your stress around, and micromanaging passes that loss of control onto your team. Instead of tightening the reins and checking in multiple times a day about due dates and progress, take a step back. Is work getting completed on time? If so, then your team is proving that they don’t need your virtual shadow hovering over them in order to stay motivated.   

2. Have I talked with all the people that I normally would?  

It’s tough to be a leader when you can’t see your team. It’s a lot easier to monitor progress and nip issues in the bud when you have close physical proximity and consistent casual contact throughout the day. In the absence of these comforts, try to outline whom you would normally communicate with throughout a typical day and recreate those regular meetings as best you can from an online standpoint. Don’t just clam up and maintain communication with those who proactively reach out – your less vocal teammates will feel left out.   

3. Have I told my team my thoughts lately?  

Everyone is looking for strong leadership right now. You might not feel particularly sure of the future, but your job as a leader is to be there for your team. This doesn’t mean you need to put on false bravado or make empty promises – even simply sharing your own acknowledgement of uncertain times can be really comforting to your colleagues. Strong leadership can mean that you share your own vulnerability in an effort to promote team cohesiveness and togetherness.   

4 Am I getting what I need?

OK, so you’ve adjusted your needs for your team, you’ve made sure work is getting done, you’ve done everything a good leader should do during a time of major change – so, how are you doing? Are you feeling uncertain about your own path or unclear on metrics? Think of your leadership abilities as a bank: you can’t keep making withdrawals without depositing something back in. Make sure you are reaching out to your leader or mentor and recharging and getting guidance as needed. 

Being a good leader is tough, being a good leader during a crisis is even harder. Reflect on your days with a quick review and you’ll be more apt to stay on target – and stay sane. 

Building resilient organisations

As a result of both the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the recent pandemic, change is now constant and relentless.

Despite the vast opportunities that change enables, issues like increased stress, burnout, and lower well-being are on the rise – highlighting the undeniable importance of organisational resilience.

To survive and thrive now, it is essential for leaders to build their resilience to be able to respond to change well and recover from setbacks. As they learn this, they then directly impact the resilience of their teams since the most critical ingredient for a resilient organisation is its resilient people.

It has been shown that highly resilient employees are 43% more productive, 47% more engaged at work, and twice as likely to stay in their current organisation.

Download our white paper now to find out:

  • What is resilience?
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