Remote working is a growing trend due to the current scenario surrounding the ongoing health crisis. The option has become an appealing alternative to help companies continue operations and protect employees’ health at the same time.
However, this is not the only reason the trend has gained traction over the years. Due to increased globalization, many companies and organizations have started hiring people across borders to promote remote working and diversify the workforce.
Although “the work from home” (WFH) option offers great freedom, it can be surprisingly difficult. Whether your employees work from home regularly or perform duties occasionally, they need timely guidance and assistance to be productive.
It doesn’t end here, as the entire scenario requires developing leaders through virtual and digital platforms. As millions of people prefer working remotely permanently, it has become crucial for businesses to focus on some unique leadership initiatives.
Once organizations develop progressive processes and systems, they have the support and mechanism to develop leaders while managing remote work. Here are some easy yet powerful tips to help you get started.
How to Develop Leaders in a Work from Home Environment
Develop Standards for Better Remote Management Assessment
Managing remote workers is different from handling in-house teams. That means no matter how well someone handles in-house team management, he or she may struggle with managing employees working from home. Your company needs to hire managers and leaders who are well-versed in handling various work models.
To achieve that, companies need to develop assessments and standards that can allow them to evaluate managers’ abilities to lead remote teams. Businesses can also use the same standards and assessments to get new workers up to the required speed.
To determine what remote leaders require in a “work from home” environment, consider the following ideas from Gallup:
- Begin by Asking: ask remote workers where they need training and support? What are the points you’re not comfortable with yet?
- Communicate Regularly: by training managers and leaders, find out what employees need. Check-in with the workers regularly and make a reflection report.
- Technology: Expand your company’s technical support. Technical support not only refers to improving chat tools and video call software, but various learning-specific resources, such as on-demand videos and easy-to-access training programs and documents.
In addition to that, you can invest in a variety of subscriptions for remote workers to help them access diverse and professional training videos from the comfort of their homes. AlignMark, for instance, offers a breakthrough program focused on five behavior models.
The remote team members can learn about their working style to become better and successful team managers. Moreover, you can also offer training courses on remote collaboration and leadership. The affordable options are easy to use.
However, if you’re outsourcing training or service professionals to train managers, you need to ensure that they have sufficient development resources to guide remote teams.
Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Like anything in business, it is crucial to set clear objectives and expectations for not only the company but also employees who are learning. Hubget’s communication experts explain in “Powerful Strategies for Building a Strong Remote Team,” if workers misunderstand tasks and requirements, setting instructions on the go may result in a loss of valuable hours of work.
Besides leading to frustration and conflicts, it can also set back operations and teams. You need to make sure your team or workers know exactly what their responsibilities are to avoid potential damages. Moreover, don’t forget to set goals for the team and follow the progress to develop leaders.
Here are some expectations you can set for the remote employees;
- Maximum or minimum time spent in learning
- Work with the specific goals of each training course or program
- What should they focus on or let them opt for an individual learning paths
- What they should do after the course or training
Setting clear expectations ensures that your investment in learning software or a program is well-spent and your managers or remote employees are reaping the benefits.
Provide a Diverse and Valuable Learning Experience
While you might not believe in catering or accommodating different learning styles, variety in content provides your remote workers a chance to switch between written work, text, and video to share their opinions, experiences, and expectations with coworkers. It helps them keep the remote work engaging.
Here are a few ways you can diversify leadership training and development in the workplace.
Don’t Ignore Importance of Video Learning
Many businesses find it difficult to share content with remote workers in a unique way to give them playback experience across devices while providing scalability and security for a global workforce. That is why businesses must invest in high-quality and secure video learning platforms whether they work in an in-house setup or hire a third-party provider.
Leverage Employee-Generated Content
Nothing can empower remote workers more than providing them “a say” in the process. Businesses can leverage collaborative opportunities to keep remote workers interested in different development opportunities while sharing valuable knowledge.
Boost Engagement of Employees with Targeted Learning
Businesses can use quantitative and qualitative data to provide targeted learning. This can help develop leaders who contribute to long-term goals.
Ensure Incorporating 360 Feedback
Incorporating 360 feedback is another tried and tested way to develop leaders in a work-from-home environment. It is a development based on received feedback from different sources that help workers increase self-awareness in the light of various perspectives.
It can serve as a vehicle for remote workers to highlight their strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to become better leaders. Moreover, when leaders receive positive feedback, it builds confidence in the workers and boosts morale. However, you need to provide it constructively.
Fostering continuous improvement, the ongoing process of 360 feedback emphasizes gradual change over time. The feedback training is ideal for continuous development as it can highlight areas for improvement and provide different means to work on them over time.
Other than this, 360 feedback may offer the following benefits;
- Creates an open culture
- Empowers employees and leaders
- Increases Accountability
- Offers effective professional development
While there are many reasons employees opt for work-from-home jobs, employers may also enjoy plenty of similar benefits. Keep in mind that when your employees or workers are satisfied with their working situation and roles, companies become more productive and profitable. Put simply, with a work–from–home structure, businesses can also develop a productive workforce.
All in all, when it comes to leadership development, one size doesn’t fill all. This makes it crucial for businesses to develop leaders who are equipped with all the tools and knowledge to manage teams and can thrive in any environment.
Related Blog Post: Grow or Die: Suggested Leadership Development Goals for All Leaders.
Related Resource: Leadership Development- Big Questions Answered.