“Check yo’self before you wreck yo’self,” a well-known refrain by the rapper Ice Cube, happens to be excellent management advice. Companies need to regularly check themselves — kick the tires, test the brakes, check the oil — to avoid driving into trouble.
If employees don’t see the point of their work and where it’s all headed, they tend to lose focus, making deals with the wrong clients or developing poor products. The result is increased turnover, decreased profits, and stagnation.
Bill Quirke, a top communications advisor and managing director of the consultancy firm Synopsis, says that when employees understand their role within the firm, more than nine out of ten (91 percent) will work towards its success. When they’re unsure of their role, fewer than one in four (23 percent) do so. Those are game-changing numbers.
Consequently, when you communicate the company’s strategic plan, it’s crucial to provide context, explaining that objective A leads to goal B and how these objectives embrace company culture and move the firm toward its purpose. When you make requests of a team or team member, it’s always wise to briefly explain the why as well as the what so they understand the purpose behind the task. This is especially important with remote workers. Instead of “Please send me the documents from Friday’s meeting,” say, “Please send the documents; We need them for x, y and z.”
Achieving strong strategic planning with a remote workforce requires a particularly nuanced approach, partly because you want to ensure immediate tasks and goals will continue aligning with purpose over an extended period. For most companies, the vast majority of annual strategic planning occurs within the strategy conversation itself. But when working remotely, conducting an effective and valuable planning session can still be a challenge.
The primary challenge of managing remote teams is obvious: Without regular in-person interactions, you, as the leader, need to find ways to overcome that hurdle and keep the team connected. A well-planned offsite is absolutely crucial to this endeavor, and can highlight how results-driven strategies, rather than increased surveillance, can help transform your results.
With increased demand for hybrid and fully remote work styles, most firms understand that some form of distance work is here to stay – and have put some remote protocols in place. But are they the right ones?
It’s time to take advantage of the many opportunities remote work presents. Stop saying “we’re not there yet,” and start saying “we’ve arrived!”
This book will show you how.
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