How to Support Leaders During Challenging Times

Saying it’s been a tough few years to lead would be an understatement. Navigating Covid-19, transitioning to remote and hybrid work, surviving rampant burnout, and pivoting with economic markets are just a few reasons leaders have been challenged.  

However, right when you think it should be getting easier, fears of global recession and news of massive layoffs at companies like Meta, Salesforce, and Wells Fargo add additional layers of complexity. 

In times like this, people need to sense hope, witness courageous acts, feel encouragement, see sound strategy, and experience elite decision-making. These only happen with excellent leadership. As I tell professionals in our leadership workshops,

Leaders are always needed, especially during challenging times.  

While it might seem like all great leaders have an S on their chest and wear capes, they don’t. They are ordinary people, just like you and me, who choose leadership and receive significant support from others.  

No one except God knows what the future holds for sure. However, there will always be problems to solve, challenges to overcome, and unbroken barriers to break. This is precisely why leaders are needed more than ever and why it’s our job to support those who choose to lead.  

Here are three detailed ways the best companies support leaders during challenging times:

1. Reward and Recognize Their Contributions

Surprisingly, most companies still use financial incentives to motivate their employees to perform. Economists, psychologists, and sociologists have found the more sophisticated and creative a task is, the more counterproductive incentives are. Check out Daniel Pink’s presentation on what motivates us to learn more.  

Effective leadership is a collection of both simple and complex skills that are as much art as science. This means leaders need the opposite of financial incentives to lead their best.  

Effective leadership is a collection of skills that are as much art as science.

Hubert Joly, the former CEO of Best Buy, who led the company in one of the great turnarounds in American business history, wrote in his book The Heart of Business, “If financial incentives do not motivate us personally, why would we think they motivate others? I now believe financial incentives are:

  • Outdated
  • Misguided
  • Potentially dangerous and poisonous
  • Hard to get right in any event

He continued, “Financial incentives are outdated as they were designed for a different type of work.”

Whether you agree or disagree with Joly, we know money is essential to life. So this is not to demonize money. It’s to open eyes to a different type of support leaders need. What leaders need during challenging times is to reward and recognize their contributions. As I wrote in Building the Best, “people have three needs- they need to feel well-liked, important, and appreciated. One way to fill these basic needs is to give authentic praise.”

People require appreciation for what they have done to continue doing more if it in the future.

To adequately support leaders during challenging times, find ways, big or small, to reward and recognize their contributions in ways that go beyond incentives. For example, give them an award, write them a letter, or say “thank you.” 

2. Reinvest In Their Development

Creating time, space, and money for development isn’t easy when things are busy and challenging. However, Starbucks recently opted for a different approach hosting a District Manager Leadership Experience for two days for over 2000+ leaders in person. The theme of the event was taking ownership and being accountable for results. 

Howard Shultz told Starbucks leaders at the event, “The future of Starbucks is sitting in this room. After 51 Years of growth, success is not an entitlement. The future of Starbucks is whether or not we’re going to understand what is at stake. Starbucks is not entitled to our customer’s business, we earn it.” 

Success is not an entitlement. Personal growth is a requirement for future success.

The cost of the event alone would detract from such an event for most companies. Think about 2,000 District Managers’ travel and expenses alone. Not to mention the cost of food, drink, entertainment, venue, outside speakers, and employees’ productivity to be away at training. An educated guess of the cost of the event would be $5-7M. 

However, the education, inspiration, and application from such an event will far outweigh the cost. As Boxer Manny Pacquiao said, “if you work hard in training, the fight will be easy.”

3. Inspire Them With Vision

Vision provides hope. The late great Dr. Myles Munroe used to say, “Vision is the capacity to see beyond what your eyes can see.” While Munroe’s words may sound funny, our eyes are the enemy of a great vision. This is because they are limited to what you can physically take in.  

When times are challenging and we are working in the weeds, it’s hard to look above the clouds and have a vision for a brighter future. Regardless of your role, inspire people going through challenging times with vision of a brighter future. The reason is simple, the future can provide limitless hope, and hope breathes life into people.

The future can provide limitless hope, which breathes life into people.

Talk positively about the future, highlight what’s working, and focus on what great things will happen because of the effort given today. 

Closing

There is nothing easy about leading during challenging times. Recognizing contributions, Investing in Development, and Inspiring with Vision are just a few strategies to support leaders. Replanting core values and giving paid time off are other great tactics.  

Regardless of how you support leaders during challenging times, the key is that you are doing it. Because if there is one thing I know for sure, leaders need help, and no amount of it is too small.  

What are other ways to support leaders during challenging times? Tell me in the comments. Your comment might be highlighted it in an upcoming newsletter.

Free Downloadable Coaching Cheatsheet There is nothing easy about coaching. So we put together a list of eight of the best coaching questions to help you. Download it for free here.

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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company helping executives and managers to lead their best. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Management & Workplace. John is also the author of Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success. You can follow him on Instagram @johngeades.

How Leaders Create a Thriving Culture While Working Remote

Corporate culture and discipline illustrated by office subjects in strict order

Culture has always mattered. It impacts performance, engagement, retention, and employee satisfaction. However, culture has never been more critical than it is right now. 

The idea of “culture” has been misused and misrepresented, so let’s level set on what “culture” really means. “Culture” comes from the Latin word “colere,” meaning “to cultivate.” I define company culture in Building the Best as, “The shared beliefs and values that guide thinking and behavior.” 

A leader’s job is to ensure their culture promotes effective thinking and positive behavior regardless of the circumstances. 

John Eades

Right now, a vast majority of companies and teams are working remotely. The list of companies who have made announcements of a fully remote workforce for the rest of the year is long and includes huge tech giants like Zillow, Apple, Google, Dropbox, and Twitter.  

With culture being the shared values and beliefs that guide thinking and behavior, staying remote makes the continued alignment even more challenging. Here are just a few of the reasons why:

  • Distance between team members
  • Limited opportunities for effective communication
  • Distracting priorities
  • Conflicting attention

Like most challenges, the payoff of success is great. If you want to build and develop a thriving culture while leading a remote team, lean into these four strategies:

Safety First

Before anyone can perform at their best while working remotely, they first need to feel safe and protected. Since Covid-19 puts a wrench right into physical safety that previously existed, we are going to focus on safety in two critical areas: 

  1. Job Security
  2. Psychological Safety 

First, while no job is 100% secure, it’s tough to create a thriving culture if people are worried about their job. At best, you can define the reality of the current economic impact on the business to provide transparency and candor. Second, employees need to feel psychologically safe enough to share ideas and feelings without fear of any repercussions.

Unity Even While Physically Apart

Feeling like you’re part of something bigger than yourself feeds productivity and innovation. The hardest part of remote work is the natural siloes, loneliness, and general separation it creates. While Zoom and other technologies help the cause, it’s not the same as sitting shoulder to shoulder with someone and rolling up your sleeves together. 

While there is no magic pill, nothing creates unity like achievement or working through a conflict. All the virtual coffee breaks or virtual happy hours in the world put together won’t help a team come together like a team coming together to achieve a common goal or overcoming a struggle.  (Pro Tip…Use a tool like Peoplebox to define OKR’s and measure them with a remote team)

Your job as a leader is to create clear short-term team goals and make every team member aware of their role in helping achieve that objective.  

John Eades

Positive Beliefs and Reinforced Values

Beliefs drive your actions, and actions drive results. If your team’s beliefs are optimistic and positive, good things will continue to happen. Positivity is inspired from the top-down, and it’s contagious. One of my favorite ways to do this with a remote team is to make a video like this:

Once you have the positive beliefs reinforced on a day in and day out basis, remind yourself and the team often about your shared values (the fundamental beliefs you hold to be true). If you haven’t reminded your remote team of your values, set up a culture meeting next week to reinforce them. If you don’t have your shared values defined, that meeting is a great time to do so. 

Elevate the Energy

Energy keeps your team going and impacts the intensity and speed at which people perform. High energy yields high performance.  

Since you have probably already been on three or more video calls today, you have seen your people’s body language and facial expressions. Were they excited and ready to attack the problems they are responsible for solving or were they lethargic?

Leaders set the team’s energy and are responsible for elevating energy when it drops. 

John Eades

Use strategies like a Maximizing mantra or a reward the team would care about to help elevate the energy.  

Closing

Building and strengthening culture is part of your job as a leader. Since remote work is here and here to stay, it’s time to get serious by evaluating the safety, unity, positivity, and energy that exists today. 

Take the Free Leadership Style Quiz? Join over 45k leaders and discover your current leadership style for free.

Download the Leading Remote Teams Toolkit for free Here.

About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company making virtual training easy and effective. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Management & Workplace. John is also the author of  Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success and host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.

How to Stay Involved But Avoid Being a Micromanager

Conceptual image of business hierarchy

Remote work has put managers in a precarious position. The natural distance between leaders and their people has many managers defaulting to a style that isn’t in line with what the best leaders do.  

I hear from managers all the time; “I hire the best people and let them do their work.” While this makes sense on the surface, I don’t know one high performer who doesn’t leverage a coach to help them perform. Let’s use athletes as an example. The best golfers in the world have instructors to help them hone their craft. The best basketball players in the world have head coaches that create systems for them to play at their best.  

Talented professionals that are high-performers are no different. They need a leader to help create a positive culture and to challenge them to higher performance levels.

Great leaders are involved in helping their teams be successful.

Be Involved But Don’t Micromanage

For the sake of clarity, let’s get clear on what it means to be a micromanager. Webster defines it as; “manage[ment] especially with excessive control or attention on details”.

It is common for micromanagers to have narcissistic or perfectionist tendencies which can influence how they delegate work to their team. These managers don’t believe the work can be done properly by anyone but themselves. Micromanagers typically take credit for a team’s great results but are just as ready to pass the blame for negative results.

Being a micromanager is not what the best leaders do; but, at least they are involved (albeit too frequently and in the wrong way). If you are ready to be involved in the right ways as a manager here are a few ideas:

Define a Vision that Creates Excitement

When Dabo Swinney interviewed to be the head football coach at Clemson University, many board members had the vision to raise the program to levels like some of the blue bloods of college football. Instead of echoing that vision, Swinney squashed it. “Best is the standard I want to see here. I am not setting out to be like someone else. I am here to create a new standard in college football.” It sounded crazy at the time, but 10+ years later, Swinney and the Clemson Tigers have made that vision a reality. 

Simon Sinek famously said: “great leaders must have two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate that vision clearly.” Even if you don’t see yourself as a visionary leader, giving your team a picture of a world that doesn’t exist today, is a worthwhile aspiration.

Involve them in short-term measurable goals

After interviewing hundreds of the best leaders on the planet to write Building the Best, it is clear that great leaders understand two simple things about goal setting. First, they know how important goals are; the true meaning of the word “team” means “coming together as a group to achieve a common goal.” Second, they set goals that their team cares about achieving.

Great leaders define short term goals their team cares about achieving.

Research has revealed that setting challenging and specific goals further enhance employee engagement in attaining those goals. Google uses Objectives and Key Results (OKR’s) to help managers and their teams perform better. Many companies have been working hard to provide leaders with the tools to be successful in setting short term measurable goals for remote work. 

I have been using Peoplebox.ai and couldn’t be more impressed with aligning my team to short term measurable goals. If you don’t have a tool, now is the time, especially if you lead a remote team.

Coach like You’re a Carriage

One of the ways a leader positively involves and separates themselves as a manager is by coaching their people. A coach is someone who trains and instructs. The word coach comes from “carriage,” which means to take someone from where they are today to where they want to go.

It is impossible to be an effective carriage when you are completely hands-off. Instead, it requires you to be in tune with the effort, performance, and mindset of each team member, and look for ways to help them improve.  

Sometimes this means knowing when to be quiet; other times, it means asking thought-provoking questions. Here are a few of my favorite coaching questions to add to your arsenal:

  • Could you walk me through your thought process?
  • What do you think we should do to create the best result for everyone?
  • What other approaches might you take next time?

Connect Before you Correct

If you don’t know about the importance of love and discipline in your leadership style, you might be making a huge mistake.

It’s essential to understand what love and discipline are; both are in the context of leadership.

Love is to contribute to someone’s long term success and well being (to will the good of another)

Discipline is to promote standards in order for an individual to choose to be at their best.”

In leadership, one is more important than the other. The reason is simple, because you have to connect before you correct. 

Closing

Hiring the right people to help run your business is always going to be important; but, don’t let your confidence in the skills of your team cause you to fall into the trap of being absent as their leader. Your involvement is necessary for the success of the team and the business; it is finding the balance in that involvement which will take both to new heights.  

Virtual Building the Best Leadership Workshop? For the first time, we are offering the Building the Best Leadership Workshop virtually on July 28th-29th from 1:00-3:30 EST! If you lead a team, we would love to have you as an active participant in the workshop, Register Here.

Download the Leading Remote Teams Toolkit for free Here.

About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company making virtual training easy and effective. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Management & Workplace. John is also the author of  Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success and host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.

How to Lead Your Remote Team

Remote work concept. Designer demonstrates color swatch

The snowball effect has been in full force. First, Facebook made a work from home announcement, then Google, Twitter, and Salesforce followed up with policies of their own. While these companies’ WFH policies are slightly different, managers will be leading remote teams for the foreseeable future.  

On the surface, this is great for professionals because it provides built-in flexibility to control their commute and work schedule. However, when you dig deeper, it exposes some real challenges for people in positions of leadership. Sustaining productivity, performance, teamwork, and culture are all more complicated in a remote work setting.  

After studying remote work and helping managers prepare for their changing responsibilities, one thing is abundantly clear:

Most people manage a remote team, but few lead one.

Managing focuses on numbers, KPI’s, schedules, and performance management. These are obviously important when it comes to remote work, and often can be automated or be executed successfully, even by bad bosses. Leadership, on the other hand, is about inspiring, empowering, and serving others. The best leaders elevate others to levels they didn’t think possible.  

Challenges for leaders of remote teams

Leading this way is hard, but it’s even harder with a remote team due to the inability to gather the team together, in person. In a recent episode of the WorkLife Podcast with Adam Grant, he covered two primary challenges of remote teams that leaders need to be aware of:

Shared identity. Teams need to feel they are all in this together. When working remotely, it is easier than ever to feel like you’re on an island and lose sight of achieving things as a group instead of individually. Grant said it so well: “We bond best when our individual actions contribute to a common purpose.”

Shared understanding. Individuals need to feel alignment with what a team is doing and what it values. Since each remote team member will have a different personal situation and remote work set up, having a shared understanding is essential.

While both seem simple on the surface, they are difficult for leaders of remote teams to achieve. If you are faced with leading a remote team, here are a few best practices to help ensure you are leading and not just managing:

Connect them to a shared cause and objective

The verb form of the word “team” means coming together as a group to achieve a common goal. Setting a clear cause and an objective for a team is instrumental in achieving higher levels of success.  

Do not go another minute without being clear on why your team is doing what it’s doing and what you’re working towards achieving. It’s easy for people to get lost in the monotony of their everyday work without considering how their work impacts the larger organization and customers. 

If you’re unsure how to communicate this to your team, start by answering these two complicated yet straightforward questions:

  • What do you do, and why do you do it? (Hint: it’s got to be more than making money)
  • What goal would your team be excited about achieving?

It’s easy to skim past those two questions, but I’m challenging you to pause. Reread those two questions and ask yourself if each member of your team could answer them. If the answer is no, you have some work to do.

Clarify remote work standards

A standard is defining what good looks like. From all of our research in studying what the best leaders do in Building the Best, it’s clear:

Managers define what good looks like; leaders define what great looks like. 

It will be tempting to lower the standards for your team since you are working remotely. I urge you to reject this temptation and instead maintain or even raise the standard. Clarity your team standards around work schedules, team and one-on-one meetings, and communication methods.  

Every leader of a remote team should have a standing weekly team meeting; Don’t just stop there; leverage a weekly one-on-one scheduled meeting each week with every team member. Use a tool like Peoplebox to help you be an effective leader during these interactions. 

Coach for development 

Since so much of remote work is about outcomes, leaders need to make a dedicated effort to coach and develop their people. The word coach comes from “carriage,” which means to take someone from where they are today to where they want to go. The late great John Whitmore took the formal definition even further saying:

“Coaching is unlocking people’s potential and helping them learn rather than teaching them.”

Be present. If you are going to coach your people for development, being present in your interactions is essential. Reject the temptation to multitask and instead lock in and focus on how you can help them develop.  

While being an effective coach isn’t easy, it will not only pay off in the short term but will leave a lasting impact. If you ever find yourself veering away from coaching your people ask yourself this simple question. “What is the value I can give the person in front of me right now that’s meaningful to them?”

I have included a list of remote coaching questions to get you started:

  • I’ve struggled to unplug from work since we are now remote, how are you managing it?
  • Do you have a proper work setup at home?  
  • Which aspect of remote work do you enjoy the most?
  • Is there anything I can do to help you be more productive when you’re working from home? 
  • What’s the biggest challenge you face while working remotely? 
  • How often are you speaking with other team members? 

Closing

You are capable of leading your remote team through this unprecedented time. Embrace the discomfort of your virtual environment and elevate your people to higher levels of performance.

Download the Leading Remote Teams Toolkit for Free Here.

About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company making virtual training easy and effective. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Management & Workplace. John is also the author of  Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success and host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.

How Great Managers Successfully Lead Remote Teams

“Most people can manage a remote team, few can lead.”


Working remotely is finally here because of the Coronavirus, and many managers just got uncomfortable. Not only because of the virus, but now they are being forced to lead a remote team.

Executive leaders at organizations like Wells Fargo, Amazon, Apple, Google, and many small to medium-sized businesses have instituted remote work policies to keep employees safe. 

While I commend these companies, there is no doubt there are many managers that are now responsible for leading a remote team without any prior experience. Leading teams is hard. Leading an entire team that’s new to working remotely is even harder. 

Leadership is already hard, and it just got harder.  

Many people can manage a remote team, but leading them is much different. Before we go any further, it’s important to level-set on the definition of a leader. They’re defined in Building the Best as:

“Someone whose actions inspire, empower, and serve in order to elevate others over an extended period of time.”

Add a remote workforce and living out this definition of leadership becomes challenging for a few key reasons:

  • Team member uncertainty and fear regarding the Coronavirus
  • Technology issues related to working remotely
  • Less work because of the economic slowdown

If you find yourself in a position of leadership and are now responsible for leading a remote team, here are a few best practices to help ensure you are leading and not managing:

Embrace Flexibility

The biggest hurdle is the mindset shift required to be successful. Working remotely doesn’t mean people have to be tied to their desks from 8 AM – 5 PM. In fact, it’s an opportunity to align with what employees already want, flexibility. 

In a recent Deloitte study, 94% of respondents said they would benefit from one thing: workplace flexibility in the form of remote work and flexible hours. It’s time to let go of the old belief system and to trust your people. Make sure they know they have the flexibility to manage their own time. One of the significant benefits fo remote work is being able to go for a walk, enjoy a workout, or have lunch/dinner with family. Not to mention, many people are balancing their children being home during this time as well. 

Address the Work From Home Struggles Head-On

When my seven-year-old son found out two weeks of school were canceled yesterday, he beamed with excitement. He didn’t realize he would be doing his schoolwork from home, not taking an extended break. Most professionals are working from home for the first time, and it’s essential to ensure the entire team is on the same page. 

Our businesses and their financial stability are on the line during this critical economic period. The best way for them to continue to thrive is for people to work hard in the face of adversity. Each person is now responsible for their results more than ever, and the mindset of working remotely versus a passive mindset is paramount. Educate them on the typical struggles they will face working from home. 

The state of Remote Report from 2020 found the biggest struggles for remote workers to be: 

  1. Collaboration and communication 
  2. Loneliness
  3. Not being able to unplug
  4. Distractions 

Instead of avoiding these, make your team aware of the struggles they are likely to face and ask them how they are going to create systems to overcome them.  

Maintain Team Meetings for the Win

If you are leading a remote team, your ability to run effective team meetings will make or break you. Not only do they provide a platform for communication and connection, but most importantly, they will keep everyone engaged and accountable if done correctly.  

Set a weekly Zoom meeting (video on) on Monday or Tuesday and require everyone on the team to attend. My favorite structure for effective remote team meetings goes like this: 

  1. Personal Updates – Weekend activities, news, etc.
  2. Overview message about current priorities and recent wins
  3. Individual update – Each team member updates the entire group with three things: one thing they did last week that helped, what they are working on this week, and where they need help.  

If there isn’t enough work to do because of the current environment, these team meetings are an opportunity to challenge yourself and your team members to be proactive in finding new ways to aid the company or develop skills they didn’t previously possess.  

Show Authentic Appreciation and Care

Since you won’t have the opportunities to show appreciation for the work your team is doing in person. It’s essential you show them authentic appreciation in one way or another. The reason is simple:

Employees who feel appreciated will always do more than what’s expected

Take this example from my friend Adam O’Daniel from Movement Mortgage. His boss showed him he authentically cared about Adam.

Your team has a lot going on right now at home and at work just like Adam did. Take time to show authentic appreciation and to show you care about them. Something as simple as a “thank you” text will go a long way.

Closing

If you have been leading a remote team for a while or you are brand new, know you are capable of leading your remote team through this unprecedented time. Embrace the discomfort of your virtual environment and elevate your people to higher levels of performance.

Let me know in the comments section: What do you do to effectively lead your remote team? If you have been a remote team for a while, what are the biggest mistakes leaders make?

About the AuthorJohn Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company that exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. He is the author of Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success. He was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.  

How to Build a Remote Team from Scratch

Photographer equipment and blank notepad

Remote working has become more popular than ever and is a major leadership trend in 2020. A recent Remote.co study reported 66% of companies to allow remote work, and 16% are fully remote. With the reduced cost for employers and reduced commute times for employees, this trend will continue to skyrocket. 

As beneficial as it can be, leading remote team members has unique challenges versus leading a team working in the same space every day.  To help you out I explored effective strategies in ‘The Keys to Successfully Leading Remote Teams’.

If you don’t have a remote team but envision yourself working with one, here are six key steps on how to build your remote team from the ground up:

Step 1: Establish a Recruitment Plan

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail.” Which is why it’s essential to come up with a recruitment plan right from the get-go. Part of every leader’s job is recruiting talent and leading a remote team is no different.

Most people don’t know what a recruitment plan is, so I asked Comeet’s David Markowitz and expert on the subject and he said, “A recruitment plan is a proactive approach toward aligning your company values and goals with your human resources processes to get that perfect match as you search for new employees.”

Markowitz also exposes some great lessons in his blog ‘How to Develop a Recruitment Plan’, where he highlights how a plan is necessary to get you the right people for the job, as well as “increasing your business’s efficiency.” Another benefit of building a recruitment plan is being able to forecast times where you might have unfilled positions and preventing these from occurring.

Step 2: Scan the Field, Interview, and Test

Before hiring anyone much less your dream team, it helps to do your research and know what kind of person (values and talent) you are looking for and where you are going to look. Because it’s a remote position, you’re able to pick and choose members from a huge talent pool all across the world.

Once you started to narrow it down, video interviews are a requirement for remote workers. This will help you filter out candidates even further and give you a better sense of who they are as people. A few test jobs or trial projects can also help you see who can match your standards for doing remote work before making your final decision.

Step 3: Implement KPIs

Once new team members are properly onboarded, it’s time to turn your attention to key metrics to monitor. These are often referred to as KPIs (key performance indicators). KPI’s are essential to help you monitor and confirm the progress of your employees.

To come up with appropriate KPIs, Mike Swigunki suggests thinking about your company goals. Next, you should find a way to keep track of employee results, which can be aligned with quarterly and yearly goals. Lastly, you should also “track your own efforts with KPIs in order to hold yourself accountable to the same standards you expect from your employees.”

Step 4: Use Proper Communication Platforms

Because your team is remote, it’s more important than ever to maintain proper channels of communication. While traditional things like email and text messages can be used it’s the next generation of technology that allows for better collaboration, which is key. In Influencive’s article on team collaboration tools, they suggest having a collaborative communication platform for your team to deliver the best results, such as Teamwork, Flowdock, or Slack. These feature chat options are more instantaneous than email, allowing members to “attach files, documents, pictures, and links, creating a virtual meeting place where everything is in order.”

Step 5: Come Up with a Central Communication Hub

Having your team’s tasks clearly laid out along with key information is vital for organization and efficiency. When you’re running a business, additional tasks tend to come with no warning and before you know it, you’re unable to stay on top of things. Through popular management software platforms like Asana, Monday, and Trello, your team can stay focused on their main priorities and less-urgent tasks can be saved for later. This way, it’s easy to keep track of your progress and stay motivated until the job is done.

Step 6: Find Ways to Get The Team Together in Person

Remote work is great, but people still look for ways to connect in person. Schedule a yearly or biannual event to get your team together in a central location to help foster deeper relationships and improve employee engagement. If this isn’t possible, schedule group meetings for no other reason but to help people get to know each other.

Although it may seem unusual at first, being part of a remote team is becoming more popular with employees who are tired of their daily commutes. Increased productivity and flexibility are also making remote teams more desirable in the future for all parties involved.

Elevate the Way You LeadBuilding the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success is published by McGraw-Hill and debuted as a #1 Best Seller on Amazon. Learn the stories, principles, and tools to help elevate the way you lead.

About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company that exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.

The Keys to Successfully Leading Remote Teams

Poor signal. businessman searching for mobile phone signal in desert

“Hope is not a strategy.”

In season 23 episode 4, John Eades covers five key strategies for successfully leading remote team members.  


5 Key Strategies for Successfully Leading a Remote Team

  1. Remember Remote Team Members are Human
  2. Build and Maintain Trust-Based Relationships
  3. Set Clear Standards
  4. Constantly Communicate Culture
  5. Get Them Together Face-to-Face

Specific topics include:

– Why trust is so important with remote employees

– Why employees deserve to be led better

– How to see people as human when they are remote

– Why clear standards are important

– How often to talk about values and culture

Elevate the Way You LeadBuilding the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success is published by McGraw-Hill and debuted as a #1 Best Seller on Amazon. Learn the stories, principles, and tools to help elevate the way you lead.

About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company that exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.