The Wfh Entrepreneur and How to Lead Your Team
Working from home, or wfh, while your team is at the office or scattered throughout the globe can be unnerving; especially if you’re used to having personal connections and brief exchanges that let you know you’re in the mix.
However, there are still several things you can do to elevate your influence, presence, importance, and necessity while working from home.
You Must Learn About Others
Invest time into asking more questions about the people you work with.
What drives, motivates, excites, and inspires them? Where does that thing come from? When did they notice it became important to them?
Be direct and ask.
Take notes with everything you learn.
Too often we get in the habit of expecting before providing.
The best managers understand that they are facilitators; they provide the resources, the space, the training, the materials, and the guidance for others to achieve their maximum potential.
Once you realize that you do your best by elevating others, it makes sense to learn more about others in order to elevate them.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”Theodore Roosevelt
Developing Culture Is Important When You Wfh
Culture is very important in any workplace; but especially important when you or any member of the team is wfh.
Having a great culture means reducing and eliminating negative behaviors such as machismo, toxicity, destructive comments, and just plain sour attitudes.
This means taking time to educate others on how to have a great attitude.
Explain the merits of thinking positively, having healthy mental habits, constructive feedback, and helpful dispositions.
Moderating harmful culture will foster positive team cohesion.
Many problems occur when we assume everything is okay and don’t address improper attitudes and beliefs quickly.
A healthy culture is a safe culture and that means investing in educating others on what that looks like.
Check In Often When Wfh
Take time throughout the day and week to check in with others and their concerns.
Offer advice and guidance when you can.
When your team feels that their concerns are your concerns, they are more likely to see you as an advocate which will help to alleviate the stressors of work and life; especially if they wfh as well.
The objective of the check-in is to listen and advise.
As this occurs throughout the week, you can check in again to see if there’s any progress or if things have stalled.
With new information, continue to guide and advise.
People tend to want to fix things but don’t know how.
Give the support they need and educate on how they can go about doing this and you may be surprised to see people rise to the challenge.
When Wfh, Group Chat Is Mandatory
Having a group chat is a must when you or anyone on your team is wfh.
This is a virtual space for you to engage and observe the overall mental climate of your workforce.
The group chat should be a showcase for people doing the right things.
Pictures and video clips are great visuals to help people stay connected.
This encourages people to focus in the right direction.
Distractions and problems will always exist, but when we focus on what’s going right and build upon it, people can find their way to emulating winning attitudes and behaviors.
That being said, if any poor behavior pops up, you can address it or hold a private conversation to listen and advise that individual.
Be a Cheerleader, Especially When Wfh
Don’t seek praise, seek to give praise.
Often managers may feel that if they’re not visibly at the helm guiding the team to victory, their station as captain is forfeit.
This isn’t necessarily the case.
When you are able to guide and coach others through trouble spots and they find a win, be sure to cheer them on and offer positive words of affirmation along the way.
If you are able to do this well enough, your cheerleading may reach “critical mass” where others are excited to overcome their trouble spots by observing their colleagues overcome their own trouble spots.
People will notice that the common thread happens to be you, the cheerleader.
Recognition Goes a Long Way
Be so busy recognizing others for their hard work that you never have time to desire praise for yourself.
Make it all about the team and never about you.
If you receive praise, it should come from your team.
This selfless leadership demonstrates the type of attitude others should emulate.
Instead of people seeking recognition from others, it’s already been given from the person at the top.
Find ways to recognize others and their efforts, big and small.
Over time this will have a snowball effect and grow under its own momentum; allowing you to take a brief step back and see others praising and encouraging one another without your direct input.
Rewards Are Important When Wfh
Bonuses and incentives can be positive distractions that take the sting of monotony out of the equation, even if only for a moment.
A movie ticket, a rewards card, an energy drink, a t-shirt, a virtual high-five; all contribute to a highly rewarding environment where beneficial attitudes and behaviors are rewarded and achievements are punctuated with prizes, certificates, and the like.
If you’re at home, but a team member receives an item others can see, it helps you maintain an influence and positive presence, even when you’re out of sight.
Whether you’re there to see it or not, your actions have consequences.
The positive effect of knowing your team, cheerleading your team, and recognizing their efforts doesn’t require your physical presence.
Even simply writing a letter or sending a card to an outstanding team member can help them all feel that you’re present and invested.
So there’s no need to be discouraged about working from home when you have a team that works in the office.
With the right approach and enough investment, they can feel you right there in the mix, even when you’re out of sight.