1. Understand what drives your remote employees.
As a remote leader, you don’t get a chance to spend time interacting in-person with your employees and discovering what makes them tick. A workplace behavioral assessment—such as the PI Behavioral Assessment™—can give you a wealth of information about your employees’ drives, needs, and natural work style. It will help you understand how they like to work and be rewarded. For example, if you know someone has a low degree of extraversion, it might be OK to contact them infrequently. On the other hand, if an employee has high extraversion, you might want to spend more time interacting with them—even if it’s grabbing a cup of coffee over Zoom. Especially now, when your employees are feeling uncertainty and fear, it’s all the more important to communicate and support your people in meaningful ways.
2. Check-in on their emotional state.
The psychological impact of a pandemic and downturn isn’t something you can ignore as a people manager. Yes, you should check-in on their workload and projects—but you should also check-in on their emotions. Don’t be afraid to ask your people, “How are you feeling emotionally?” As Josh Bersin said, “In today’s world, the CEO has to be the Chief Care Officer first.” And the same goes for managers. In a crisis think people first. Are you doing all you can to support and lift up your team?
3. Dial-up the self-awareness.
When faced with extra pressure, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and let the negative thoughts flow. But if you’re the best version of yourself, you can lead your team through any crisis. Look deep inside—leverage your last review if you have one. Be aware of your weaknesses and continue to keep them under control to set a great example for your direct reports.
4. Manage for substance, not adherence to a 9-5 schedule.
One of the top reasons employees enjoy remote work is they can fit work into their lifestyle. Whether they have morning childcare duties, like to workout midday, or serve as a caregiver for a family member, working from home can offer flexibility that allows them to live their life while still making a living. That’s why a general best practice is don’t judge your employee based on their adherence to a 9-to-5 schedule. Instead, evaluate remote performance on what they’re able to produce—not how they produce it. But right now, employees need even more schedule flexibility. Mandatory school and workplace closures mean your people will be trying to be productive in spite of interruptions from kids, partners, roommates, and pets. Be cognizant and empathetic
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