Effective Remote Leadership & Management
June 22, 2020

Anyone who has led teams knows how challenging it is to inspire a group of people around a clear purpose, get them to internalize that purpose and rally them to achieve it in spite of inevitable obstacles. Increasingly, that challenge is made harder by the amplified requirement to do the same with a remote workforce. 

It was not long ago that sci-fi visionaries foresaw that a leader could run an organization by never leaving home and controlling an entire operation from an all-electronic, multi-channel, fiber-optic video console. Today, there are high-level executives who claim to do that effectively.  For companies that do not have mature processes and systems, and for the vast majority of managers, it can present a significant challenge that can cripple an organization. 

At Audere Partners, we are grounded by experience-tested fundamentals on how to lead and run a business. We strongly believe that these fundamentals must inform any solutions deployed to enable organizational leaders to run remote teams more effectively.

At the heart of our business performance management philosophy, we believe that leaders need to make measurable and results-based assignments to remote workers with sufficient support and clear success criteria in the shortest practical interval. Doing so drives key behaviors that are essential to building a high-performance organization. 

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, we can expect that remote teams will be part of the new normal. An April study conducted by Gallup reported that as a result of COVID-19 remote work has increased from 43% (2016) to 62%. In addition, prior Gallup studies on remote work indicated that only 6 in 10 employees understand what is expected of them, and only 26% feel that their managers are good at clarifying priorities.  Moving forward, these fundamentals are the critical elements that organizations will need to define priorities and drive performance. 

Managing a remote workforce does not have to be much more complicated than managing an onsite team – it merely requires the right tools, training, and mindset – along with discipline and accountability. 

The pressure is mounting to enable your organization to work remotely and effectively. Most organizations that do a conscious self-assessment on whether they tick all fundamentals will often still find room for improvement. 

Take a look at the following information showing Audere Partners’ Six Fundamentals of Remote Leadership, and the organizational behaviors that they drive. If you don’t have a roadmap to strengthen these fundamentals, reach out to us for a practical perspective on how to do it.

1. Cascaded Strategy

Clearly cascaded strategy across all functions and roles.  The strategy is connected to company, team and individual employee performance goals.

Associated Organizational Behaviors:

  • Drive accountability to deliver agreed strategy
  • Reinforce strategy at every opportunity to address performance and results
  • Establish presence with the workforce frequently and make oneself available
  • Be decisive, correct course when needed and make oneself available for feedback

2. Standardized Meeting Cadence & Scoreboards

Optimized meeting time by setting performance expectations and team rituals to make decisions that make progress towards defined strategy

Associated Organizational Behaviors:

  • Set performance targets, confirm these targets and continuously follow-up 
  • Make daily and weekly assignments to set the pace for performance
  • Utilize performance and results data to make decisions
  • Prioritize resources and give specific direction on courses of action
  • Reinforce team’s mission frequently
  • Lead teams by example and drive the execution of strategy

3. Action List Management

Visible and systematic approach by which team members commit to solve specific “bite-sized” problems in an agreed timeframe

Associated Organizational Behaviors:

  • Commit employees to action with a sense of urgency
  • Incorporate follow-up and feedback into daily leader standard work
  • Integrate activities across the team to solve issues effectively
  • Create accountability for solving performance issues on short intervals

4. Issue Escalation

Rapid approach to respond to issues on the ground raised by employees according to predetermined trigger points

Associated Organizational Behaviors:

  • Enable employees to ask for help and expect it from their leader
  • Provide a continuous feedback loop and coach team members to identify recurring roadblocks
  • Create trust and open lines of communication to solve performance hurdles
  • Ask for help as needed and don’t suffer in silence

5. Root Cause Analysis Management

Creative and disciplined mindset to solve issues so they don’t happen again and lessons learned are captured

Associated Organizational Behaviors:

  • Solve key issues with the mindset that they won’t happen again
  • Prevent recurrence of issues while focusing on short-term containment 
  • Allow the organization to learn from its mistakes
  • Prioritize resources to solve highest-impact issues first

6. Celebrating Success

A job well done is recognized and celebrated at an individual and team level to develop a healthy culture where employees’ contributions are valued and success is repeated.

Associated Organizational Behaviors:

  • Keep a finger on the pulse and recognize achievements 
  • celebrate successes, both individually and in teams
  • Create a culture where good work is always recognized
  • Build cross-functional trust and cooperation to enable results
  • Reward and engage employees to repeat successes

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