A new work year is the perfect opportunity to reset the year that was. From introducing new ways of working, new planning strategies and maybe even a new approach to something, a new year means a new lease on your professional life.
After a much-needed break, you return to your responsibilities and duties as a leader feeling refreshed and excited.
As the leader, you want to rally your troops and share in the buzz of a fresh start with your team. With new goals, prospects and targets to hit, you need to engage your team to achieve the results you’re after.
But how do you do this when your team is working remotely?
Connection is key to keeping your culture alive, keeping team members productive and the work moving forward. Start the year by connecting with your team individually and showing genuine care and compassion. Set aside time for each individual person to simply catch up with them. Chat about their holidays/break, check in and establish how they are feeling and what level of energy they are coming back with. Ask them what their expectations are for 2021? What they want to achieve and what they want to do differently.
They might not have had the break they were expecting and could be feeling the same as the end of last year.
There will be an initial need to lower the expectations for delivered work, allowing your team to settle in at their own pace, before ramping up to the high performance you expect. Also, allow time for the team to reconnect with each other, share experiences and talk about their time off, goals and aspirations. This promotes connection with the team, promoting a stronger bond that will continue throughout the year.
Starting the new year with a growth mindset (and continuing this throughout the year) will offer you, as a leader, the ability to be flexible and open-minded as new challenges arise. This means believing that you will continue to learn as you challenge yourself, the team and the business in the year ahead.
This will also help to alleviate pressure and unnecessary stress when things don’t go to plan. Adopting a growth mindset, will allow you the mental capacity to deal with other, more pressing issues, plus also affords you the ability to promote a new way of working within your team.
Moving into a new calendar year for a lot of businesses, means financial planning, setting up new monthly/quarterly/yearly goals and setting up new strategies for the team. This is usually executed by everyone involved coming together in a single room and working through and creating the plan as a team. As our ways of working change, involve your team in the decision-making process – What do we need to achieve as a team? What do we need to do differently? How can we do this? How can we make it easier? How do we see this working?
Involving your remote team in decisions like this, means uniting them under a common goal, further fostering the connections between manager/leader and direct report, and with each other as individuals.
Leading with these ideals in mind, means your team will maintain a strong connection to the organisation, to the team leaders, to their co-workers, their work and most importantly why they do what they do. The difference that we make every day!
This is essential in keeping everyone connected and aligned, keeping that culture alive even when your team is remote.