With the impact of COVID-19, there has been a greater need for employees to work remotely. And that has put more responsibilities on leaders. To say that leadership is going through a transition period is an understatement. Leading a team in a virtual environment isn’t a new concept. But some leaders are now having to learn new ways of interacting with their team. What used to work previously as a leader has now become somewhat obsolete.
So, the question remains, how should leaders interact with a virtual team to ensure they stay connected without becoming overbearing?
Redefining Expectations with Employee Independence
As a result of being guaranteed, employees are becoming more self-reliant. And that is a benefit to the entire organization and a leader. While a virtual team integrates the right balance between life at home and working remotely, independence may be more appealing to them. At the same time, it’s a golden opportunity to get to know a team better and identify ways for employees to see how valuable their work is to the company and their personal lives. It’s a great way to create better rapport and to gain more respect at the same time.
Communicating Effectively in a Virtual Environment
For leaders, effective communication is vital, especially those who are servant leaders. However, now that the team is in a virtual environment, it’s impossible to walk over two cubicles to check in with an employee. To communicate in a way that isn’t overbearing or excessive, leaders should understand that communication must be based on a need rather than for the mere sake of checking in. While monthly team meetings must remain, leaders should incorporate the concept of weekly virtual one-on-one meetings to address concerns and ensure that employees know they have the support they need.
Virtual leaders must now focus on new ways to establish productive and favorable outcomes for employees. Choosing persuasive communication methods increases loyalty while making sure vital connections remain. By implementing empowering strategies, positive differences in leadership styles emerge. As productivity begins to build and personal accountability becomes the new normal, there is an opportunity to enhance the possibility of more success for the company and the team.