In stressful times, basic values often fall by the wayside first: friendliness, empathy, helpfulness. The current crisis, which has turned many habits in private and professional life upside down, is no exception. Colleagues are scattered all over the planet, each with their own deadlines and urgencies – sometimes of a professional nature, but often private.
It is difficult to keep track of things and maintain the necessary interpersonal contact. Here are some important tips to keep your business together:
For managers, the primary challenge and the key to managing remote teams has become awareness: staying on top of performance, collaboration, morale and more – from a distance.
- Focus on performance.
- Give real-time feedback.
- Schedule one-on-ones regularly.
- Take the pulse of remote teams frequently.
- Pay attention to soft skills.
The last point is currently the most important: Many managers neglect soft skills – such as teamwork, self-motivation, emotional intelligence and ethics – in favor of hard results and more task-specific or technical skills. But soft skills serve as pillars for remote work.
5 smart tips to help you excel at remote performance managementFast Company
Soft skills also make your job easier by increasing employees’ ability to work well independently and reducing the need for supervision. Include soft skills in your performance management process, and remember them when you conduct reviews. Here’s the elevator pitch:
Cracking the Leadership CodeWiley Read Summary
‘Loneliness on the Job Is a Public Health Crisis’Forbes Read Summary
SuperconnectorDa Capo Press Read Summary
Take Steps to Counter the Loneliness of Social DistancingThe New York Times Read Summary
10 Rules of Professional Etiquette for the Digital WorkplaceLifehacker Read Summary
By the way: Even though we have summarized and recommended some new releases here, what the modern classics have to say on the subject is still true. We recommend Robert Bolton’s People Skills from 1986 for starters, and our brand-new getTogether series Understanding People for practical tips:
Understand Where You Belong
Do you also sometimes not know where your head is at? This is quite natural in times of crisis, but it should not be a permanent state of affairs. So, stay calm and please take the time to become clear about your own role. What are you responsible for, how are you qualified for your roles (and, where is there a need to catch up) what can others possibly do better?
The following abstracts might help you find your focus:
The Role of the Board Chair During a CrisisMIT Sloan Management Review Read Summary
Leading Out of AdversityThe Boston Consulting Group Read Summary
The 7 Secrets of Responsive LeadershipCareer Press Read Summary
It may sound strange to make a recommendation to start additional experiments in uncertain times. But honestly? Now is the right time to find out if there is potential for improvement in workflows and products that will give you a decisive competitive advantage.
People Priorities for the New NowThe Boston Consulting Group
Harvard business professor Max H. Bazerman and associate professor Michael Luca told the MIT Sloan Management Review how to use randomized controlled experiments to create value for companies and customers:
Want to Make Better Decisions, Start ExperimentingMIT Sloan Management Review
This is especially true, by the way, if you have only just realized during this crisis that there is still a lot of catching up to do digitally in your company!
Sure, you can’t expect one book alone to guide your business through a digital transformation, but this hype-free, layperson’s guide to digital transformation contains enough useful strategies and tactics to get you started, and to help you avoid common and costly errors (remember, for instance, the “Mini Disc”?):
How to Go DigitalMIT Press
Of course, we also have a monthly video series on this topic: Digital Transformation in Practice. Here we talk to entrepreneurs and thought leaders who have already initiated concrete transformation projects and measured their success:
Learn Faster and Better!
You and your employees need additional digital skills. But trainings won’t get you where you need to go – especially with COVID-19 accelerating the process of digital transformation. The situation requires a more flexible approach to workplace learning, and the experts at Boston Consulting Group explain how to implement the necessary measures:
Why You Need a New Approach to LearningThe Boston Consulting Group
Here you will find very concrete advice on how to take action:
Where one has said hello in a friendly way, one should also say goodbye with a good tone. We wish you a nice day, a great weekend and look forward to seeing you again soon. Take care!