With the constant pressure of dealing with technological changes, opportunities presented by AI, geo-political impact on business, inflation, sluggish global growth trends, and evolving ways of working, everyone is stressed and trying to do more with less.
In these times, as a leader, you can not take your eyes off keeping your employees motivated and engaged. The challenge is bigger now because not only are teams working in a hybrid mode, but you have more team members from Generation Z who look at work differently and value purpose, balance, and sustainability much more. It takes intentional efforts to build authentic relationships with distributed team members across generations and cultivate a culture of care and respect where employees feel seen, heard, and valued.
Here is a list of elements to keep in mind while leading a diverse set of people you may not see as often as you are used to –
- Prioritize checking in with employees for personalized connects, providing direction, offering support and feedback, and answering questions. Be accessible, even if not physically present.
- Communicate clearly and often. Use communication channels appropriately for different types of messages.
- Be transparent about policy changes and share reasons for changes to build trust with employees.
- Use innovative avenues to build camaraderie, e.g., informal virtual gatherings where employees can interact casually on non-work related topics.
- Train managers to lead diverse and remote teams effectively. Equip them with coaching techniques to foster curiosity, connection, accountability, and autonomy in team members.
- Invest in the professional development of employees. Offer opportunities to develop skills of the future that align with the organization’s strategic priorities.
- Create an environment of psychological safety so employees can speak up, share concerns, experiment, and learn from mistakes. It builds a culture of trust and autonomy. You want to empower teams to make decisions and take ownership of their work.
- Build performance management systems that reward accountability, collaboration, and results without bias against remote employees.
- Invest in employee wellness programs. Lead by example by setting boundaries and adhering to them. Support your team members to prioritize their well-being and balance in their lives. Encourage open dialogue about mental health. Create forums where employees can talk about developments in the world which may be stressful to them.
- Develop emotional intelligence. It would improve your interpersonal effectiveness, enable you to make better judgements even in trying situations, and help you become aware of and understand your own emotions as well as those of others and how you affect others.
- Prioritize social responsibility and greater societal good in your vision and values and let them guide your actions.
People are the most critical aspect of any business. Leading an engaged workforce will differentiate your organization and help it navigate the challenges of the fast-changing world effectively.