To get the most out of your employees, here are 5 tips to help you empower your team remotely.
Alongside the rise of remote working, managers have had to adapt their practices and change the way the way they manage their teams. However, it is difficult when managers are far away from their employees. According to the Telework and Hybrid Organisations 2022 barometer carried out by Malakoff Humanis, 43% of managers believe that working remotely has complicated their role as managers and 36`% reveal that they have reviewed their managerial practices.
In the study, managers also mention some of the main difficulties encountered with remote work including a decrease in informal exchanges (37%), the maintenance of team cohesion (36%), and managing the fragility of employees (34%).
Managers also fear that employees who remain at home by themselves will lose their motivation and will no longer be as efficient or productive. How can we ensure that employees remain productive without becoming micromanagers?
What does “empowering your team” mean?
Empowering your employees involves ensuring they are engaged in their work, that they give it their all to accomplish their objectives and be successful in the tasks and projects that have been assigned to them.
At work, empowering someone entails making them aware of their responsibilities to their team and/or company, as well as ensuring that they commit to them and accept responsibility for the outcomes (good or bad). It’s about making sure teams are able to complete tasks independently.
For a manager, empowerment means learning to delegate, to let go, and to trust the team members. It requires letting employees work autonomously without feeling a need to control everything and validate every method.
Follow these tips to empower your team, from a distance.
1. Articulate your demands with precision
They key to empowering your team remotely, is to ensure that team members understand what you expect from them and why it matters. To do this, you must be clear and precise in your demands. But be careful because the meaning of words can be different for each person. For example, “quickly” can mean within the hour, within the day or even within the week. So, to ensure that your request has been understood, ask the employee to re-explain it or to explain it to a colleague.
It is also essential to explain why a particular request or task is important, as it will motivate the team to carry it out Thus, each request must be justified in order to encourage your employees to work on it.
2. Determine each employee’s role
Everyone needs to know their role, their responsibilities, and the tasks they have been assigned. No one can take responsibility if they don’t know what they are supposed to do. Therefore, as a manager it is important to clarify roles within the team from the start.
3. Define clear and precise objectives
This involves the short, medium, and long-term objectives as well as the strategic objectives of the company. This way, your employees will understand the significance of the tasks at hand and the impact they will have on the organisation. This is both rewarding and motivating, and it is what will push them to take responsibility.
Another way to make them more accountable and involved is to encourage them to set their own goals.
There is a very effective goal-setting method that you are probably already aware of: the SMART method, an acronym that stands for:
- Specific: an objective should be simple, clear, and precise
- Measurable: able to track progress towards the goal by implementing various indicators (KPI’s)
- Attainable: objectives should be both challenging and attainable in order to motivate the team
- Realistic: an objective must consider all different restraints (budget, resources, deadlines, etc.) and be aligned with the company’s strategy
- Time based: it is critical that each objective has a deadline and be time-bound
Assure that each employee takes responsibility for achieving his or her goal in complete autonomy, reporting to you once a week without your intervention or follow-up. Of course, it is essential to remain present and available in case your team need you.
4. Developing trust
There are two types of trust:
- The manager’s confidence in his or her staff
- The self-confidence of each team member
To empower your team from afar, it is important that each member understands that you trust him or her. Team cohesion is the key to developing a climate of trust within the team, even at a distance. As a manager, you must understand your team members’ strengths and weaknesses in order to delegate authority to them.
To take on responsibility, an employee must confident and believe they are capable of completing the task you have assigned to them. Training is a good way for employees to gain confidence by learning new skills. You can also publicly congratulate them on their work (for example, in a virtual team meeting) to encourage and boost their confidence.
Once your employees have trust in their own abilities as well as belief that you trust them, they will take responsibility upon themselves.
5. Provide the necessary tools
You can try to empower your team remotely, but it will be futile unless you provide them with the tools they need to work. Here are some of the essential tools to facilitate effective remote work:
- Project management software such as Wimi
- A platform for instant messaging to enable spontaneous exchanges
- A video conferencing system to organize virtual meetings
- A corporate social network to follow company and team news
- Online file storage to centralise all company documents
These are the keys and tools to effectively empower your remote team. Be patient, and don’t hesitate to thank your employees for their contributions.