During these rough times of a global pandemic, working as a team has become slightly more of a challenge. In a recent podcast featuring Courtney Wilson, VP of Global Marketing at Cloud Academy, he discusses with host Billy Batemanabout how to lead a marketing growth team during the pandemic. He lays out how to work around the restrictions of working remotely, focusing mainly on how to stay connected with your team to drive best results.
Building a Dream Team
When constructing your ideal team, you need to realize that talent is everywhere! You don’t have to limit who you will hire based on where they are geographically; instead you can focus on what they can bring to the table. Now that so many people are working remotely, it isn’t unrealistic to have a team that spans across the globe.
Many of us are not fully accustomed to working with teams who are completely remote, which poses some challenges. We can no longer simply turn our heads to the desk across from us to bounce ideas off of other team members. Things have gotten a little trickier. And you as the manager need to be ready to adjust how you lead your team to victory.
Challenges of a Remote Team
There are two main challenges of working with a remote team: building trust and coordinating schedules.
1. Building Trust
Building trust among a team requires effort on your part. You want to build relationships with your team members so that the team can be unified. Now, this may not sound very business-y, but it is crucial to learn more about your team. And not just in the context of work. Learn what’s most important to them in their life, explore cultural differences or similarities, and even find how you can relate to them. Don’t let a global pandemic stop you from effectively connecting with your team!
Studies show that employees whose managers maintain frequent communication are 3x more engaged compared to those whose managers remain more distant. Another mind-blowing statistic is that 69% of employees have said that if their efforts were more recognized, they would be more motivated to work harder.
2. Coordinating Schedules
Though creating a team with experts across the globe will allow you to work with the best of the best, it does place limits on how you plan your schedule. Due to potentially-differing time zones, there will likely be some late nights and early mornings.
How could you and your team work efficiently if you’re not even working at the same time?
The solution to both of these challenges is that you must leverage technology! Platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, or Skype are the key to overcoming these hurdles.
Video calls are how you will connect with your team and maintain good communication. As previously mentioned, managers need to do one-on-one meetings with individual team members. That is how you will be able to talk, listen, and align your visions so you can ensure that everyone is on the same page. A team that lacks communication is a team that does not work efficiently.
It is important to listen to your team. Find out what they like working on, or what projects are stressing them out. This can help you as the manager figure out who will contribute best to what. Leverage your team members’ strengths and talents to best suit your business strategy.
These one-on-ones should occur on a weekly basis and can be either formal or casual. The point is that you need to keep your team up to speed and vice versa. You want to remind your team that their manager isn’t a robot!
Do What Works For You
Overall, you, the manager, need to do what works for you, your team, and the company as a whole. If everyone is willing to make slight accommodations to account for the new working environments during this pandemic, teams will be able to function just as smoothly as they did before.