Team Performance

4 Ways to Maintain Meaningful Human Connections While Managing Remote.

Apr 16, 2020 | Written by Daniel Spitty

These conversation types and more tips on managing remotely can be found in our latest ebook, How To Motivate and Manage Your Team Remotely. Download your free copy today.

Physical distancing will not eliminate human connection opportunities with your people. Online sessions with your team on tools such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts or Zoom are a great way to talk, work, or run remote trivia sessions and Friday night drinks.

It's especially important while working remotely that as a leader you continue (or if you don’t already, make sure you start) 1:1 time with your people frequently. Your team members will need to have the equivalent opportunity to have meaningful connections and interactions with each other (which you should promote) and with their leader, you!

Why is this important? The old saying goes “out of sight, out of mind.” With remote working, there is less to see, which sometimes creates a perception that because I can’t see my leader/manager as often as I used to, that reflects the level of care and recognition for me. As a leader, you want to reduce the likelihood of this perception eventuating, so here are our recommended meaningful human connection categories to help you execute with your team to sustain their sense of belonging, psychological safety and self-confidence.

Here are 4 types of conversations to have with your team members to maintain meaningful connections while managing and working remotely.

The Check-in.

The check-in is a scheduled frequent short interaction that usually occurs between a manager and their employees. Typically this is over a coffee or in a breakout room and walk and it focuses on the individual updating their manager on how they are going.

This is a great opportunity for managers to align their expectations with the priorities of the individual, and how they can help the individual achieve them.

Objective

Confirm and align expectations, understand how you can support them to help them perform at their best.

Meaningful Data Categories

Mindset, Behaviours, Performance, Wellbeing

Ideal Duration

20 minutes

Default Frequency

Weekly

Golden Rule

Send weekly pulses with rotating questions to your team to complete before your check-in so you can really focus the discussion on what matters most to them.

Remote Tip

Show your face online, and watch their facial expressions and body language. This will tell you more about how they are feeling.

The Analysis + Plan.

The analysis and plan is a scheduled session that analyses a longer period of time than the check-in. It is an opportunity to understand how the individual is performing to expectations and understand the lead indicators and how they are trending.

This session should review at least a month’s time frame and always run to the same agenda;

  •  Numbers and Metrics 
  • What went well?
  • What needs improvement? 
  • What should you start, stop and speed up?

Objective

Understand what is going well, what needs improvement and what should you start, stop and speed up.

Meaningful Data Categories

Mindset, Behaviours, Capacity, Performance, Wellbeing

Ideal Duration

60 minutes

Default Frequency

Monthly

Golden Rule

Strike the right balance between hard and soft data. For example, hitting your sales numbers (hard), rating your confidence in selling the value proposition (soft).

Remote Tip

Get the individual to share their screen and show you their own data, ask them to drive the session.

The Coach + Grow.

The coach and grow is a scheduled session that is ‘asset’ focused. That is, really looking at your people with the lense of how to increase their value as an asset. This shouldn’t be performance-focused, rather, where should the individual invest in growing their capability, strengths and opportunities to improve.

This doesn’t just translate to training either, on-the-job growth is one of the best ways to improve.

Objective

Empower the individual to improve in the areas that matter most to them and align with their mid - long term goals.

Meaningful Data Categories

Behaviours, Capability, Capacity, Performance, Impact

Ideal Duration

60 minutes

Default Frequency

Quarterly

Golden Rule

The ownership of their development needs to be owned by them, not you as their leader. Supporting, challenging and keeping them accountable to their own growth plan is your role.

Remote Tip

Use peer feedback pulses to gather meaningful feedback from the people that work with the individual in the lead up to the coach + grow session. Review and share this with them prior to the session to spend more time on the future, rather than the past.

The Sideline Observation.

The sideline observation is titled this way as it refers to those coaches who stand on the field with their players and provide real-time feedback and support as the game happens.

You also have this opportunity, if you have the right data to lean on. Updates around what’s happening with your people in real-time are critical, particularly when you’re working from home and provide that feeling that they are cared for, this increases their psychological safety.

Objective

Support your people in between your scheduled sessions, they might just have a bad day from time to time and your support is valuable in these times.

Meaningful Data Categories

Mindset, Behaviours

Ideal Duration

However long it takes.

Default Frequency

When you get triggered.

Golden Rule

Use the data to introduce the topic to discuss. For example, if ‘how are you feeling’ has dropped 75% for someone, start the conversation by saying ‘I noticed your pulse results this morning and you had a big drop, are you ok?’

Remote Tip

Let them talk, your role is to listen. Silence is ok too. Show your face online too, that way you know the internet reception/connection isn’t lost.


These conversation types and more tips on managing remotely can be found in our latest ebook, How To Motivate and Manage Your Team Remotely. Download your free copy today.

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