Employees who are working as virtual teams are always out of sight. Although more and more people are working remotely, a recent study by Harvard social scientists Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield suggest that unless we build a close bond of trust and connection with our colleagues, we will suffer.
Nowadays teams do not work physically side-by-side and they also not live in the same cities. In the past, they had a close connection, ate at the same restaurants, and even had kids who attended the same schools. Today, teams are spread across different sites around the globe.
In these situations, the relationships are kept alive by technology, but it is difficult to build trust. According to this research, the remote workers, and the managers that are tasked with keeping them focused and engaged, face looming challenges that need immediate address.
More than 1100 employees were surveyed and 53% said that at least some of the time they work away from their office. And when they do, they are not treated equally by their colleagues. They report that their colleagues mistreat them and leave them out.
They worry that their co-workers say bad things behind their backs and make changes to their projects without informing them in advance and even lobby against them.
Although the remote employees may enjoy the freedom to work where they like, working with others becomes more difficult for them. They report that workplace politics are pervasive and difficult and when conflicts arise they have a harder time resolving them. So when remote team members faced workplace challenges, 84% were left concerned and 47% admitted to letting it drag on for weeks or more.
And it is not just about relationships. Remote employees to report negative impacts of these challenges than their on-site colleagues on results, including productivity, morale, stress, and retention.
But ending remote work programs and bringing everyone back to the office is not the solution to this. Instead, managers must encourage habits that lead to feelings of trust, connection, and shared purpose. They must get to the depth of employee issues using the best iPhone spy app.
So the researchers of the new study asked their respondents to describe the attributes of a manager to manage remote teams especially. The respondents were asked to share positive stories and describe peculiar skills these managers practiced to facilitate productive working relationships with remote workers.
Here we are mentioning the best habits shared by more than 800 respondents of this research:
Check in frequently and consistently
Almost half of the respondents said that most successful managers checked in frequently and regularly with their remote workforce. Though their frequency of check-ins varies from daily to biweekly, they were always consistent and usually had frequent scheduled one-on-one meetings. It is not clear whether they used the best iPhone spy app to monitor the remote workforce. But they did not leave their employees alone. So make sure you are in touch with them.
Use face-to-face or voice-to-voice contact
Managers who insisted on face-to-face meetings with remote employees were most successful, this was said by one in four respondents of the research. So managers must make a visit to their remote employees and schedule a mandatory in-office day any time. And use this time for forging a team atmosphere. If in-person meetings are not possible then use video conferencing technology or just pick up the phone to ensure colleagues see one another’s face or hear their voice. Use the best iPhone spy app to monitor their work rate.
Demonstrate exemplary communication skills
The respondents emphasized the importance of effective communication with their managers and their co-located colleagues. The most successful managers have the attributes of good listeners, communication, trust, and respect. They inquire about the workload and progress without micromanaging. And they do this all while modeling the same behaviors for others on the teams.
Communicate expectations explicitly
Managers use the best iPhone spy app to know about their remote employees, but when it comes to managing remote teams, being clear about expectations is mandatory. Managers who are direct with their expectations of both remote and on-site employees have happier teams that can live up to those expectations. People are never left in the dark about projects, roles, or deadlines.
Demonstrate familiarity and comfort with technology
Successful managers don’t just resort to phone or email; they are familiar with video conferencing technologies and a variety of services like Skype, Slack, IM, Adobe Connect, and more. Managers may use the best iPhone spy app but they must often tailor their communication style and medium to each employee accordingly.
Team building is important for any team, but good managers go out of their way to form personal bonds with remote employees. They use check-in time to ask about their personal lives, families, and hobbies. They designate team meeting time for “water cooler” conversation so that the whole team can create personal connections and build rapport.
This research shows that a lack of close contact with the remote employees inhibits the formation of trust, connection, and mutual purpose — three essential ingredients of a healthy social system. However, managers who practice these seven types of intentional behaviors can increase the likelihood that “out of sight” does not lead to being left out.