Strong relationships are one of the keys to building a great company culture, especially for remote or hybrid teams. When you lead with intentionality and clear expectations and communication, your team begins to trust you.
The best thing about leading in a virtual environment is that it challenges aspects of your leadership, requiring you to be the best version of yourself.
In this episode of One Next Step, I share a few key tips for leading with empathy, setting clear expectations, and creating a culture where feedback is encouraged.
Whether you’re new to working with hybrid teams or you’re an experienced leader who just wants to learn more, this episode is full of practical advice and insight.
Here are some takeaways I shared:
1. Most people want to do a good job but may struggle when expectations are unclear.
People start to underperform when they don’t have clear expectations and it’s obvious what the outcome should be.
By using task management software, setting KPIs, and documenting expectations for meeting and email etiquette, you can set your team up to perform at the highest level.
Once you have the tools and systems in place, take it one step further by being clear on what your expectations are around productivity, availability and meetings.
It could even be helpful to create a document for your team members of what you expect from them and what they should expect from you. This could include something as simple as your available working hours. That way everything is clear on both sides and no micromanaging can happen.
Overcommunicating what your mission, vision and values are becomes a quick and easy way to build a deep relationship.
2. Great leaders are willing to be a launchpad.
This starts with being willing and deliberate in creating a streamlined interview process and onboarding plan.
When you’re truly invested in helping your team members succeed, you can celebrate if they take the skills they learned from you and move on to something new.
You should want your employees to have an increased skill set along with increased emotional intelligence so that they become better people by working at your organization and are, in turn, able to go elsewhere to get a job to advance their careers.
Create a culture that is empathetic and overcommunicative to allow you to celebrate them no matter if they’re flourishing where they are or if they’re going somewhere else.
And when you’re leading with an open hand, they are much more likely to stay at your organization.
There’s nothing better than being a leader who has helped someone live out their dreams.
3. Feedback is a two-way street.
You should be connecting weekly and face-to-face via video chat. You need to be able to see the emotion on someone’s face and read body language in order to lay the foundation for – and continue to build – trust.
One of the best ways to keep growing as a leader is to build a culture where your team can provide and receive frequent feedback. Practicing this during your weekly meetings will set you up well during your quarterly reviews.
Keep in mind that feedback goes both ways, too.
We’re certainly not perfect people nor are we perfect leaders. As leaders, we often don’t come to the table with open hands willing to hear the issues we should be working on.
Feedback is not meant to be malicious or hurtful, but tells the kind truth.
Pulse surveys, performance reviews, and 360 evaluations can be helpful tools for feedback being quicker and more regular — which sets up trust-based relationships and can even limit overall anxiety and animosity.
This episode’s resource is BELAY’s eBook, Lead Anyone From Anywhere, a guide for all hybrid leaders who want to equip a hybrid workforce to be just as effective as – if not more than – a brick-and-mortar organization.