I made a Facebook post that stated “Leadership Is The Hardest thing Ever”
Now is it really? Or do I just prefer being comfortable with the least amount of friction in my life?
Well the alternative is working for someone else and being subjected to their brand of leadership, no thanks, I have been in that volatile situation before and I know the feeling of being held hostage to some one’s daily mood swings.
I prefer to be my own boss and determine what leadership at SCP Agency looks like. Then I want my entire team to deliver that or better. I am always learning and learning to lead better is a daily goal, but let’s talk about doing this with employees all over the USA.
Remote employees have to be able to decipher code like military personnel, reading between the lines can be foggy and unclear. But what choices do you have?
- Drive 10 hours to get face to face
You must exhaust all efforts to maintain leadership consistency even if it is inconvenient and outside of your comfort zone.
Realizing how people do not read your written words in the same voice in your head that delivered them, is a huge issue. Making sure your tone is reflected correctly in your message can be exhausting and no one likes talking on the phone anymore….like no one!
But being able to bring a team together from all over the country can be amazing. The opportunity for your staff to live their best life because they can have a job as well as raise their kids because they have the ability to work from their own home has proven to be a game changer.
But managing and leading a remote team has its challenges, such as:
- Keeping them upbeat and motivated
- Making them feel valued
- Coaching them through some rough times
- Making sure you have the right person when you can’t interact with them daily
- Being able to track their work and time
- Building a good work relationship with them
- Ensuring they uphold your company culture
There are many more challenges, but these are a few.
How do we do it?
Well technology helps a ton, tools like Slack, Trello, and Zoom keep the communication lines open and flowing freely.
There are even free versions of these tools, but since we need all functions, we use the paid versions.
Slack is our immediate communication tool, our team is able to get the answers they need instantly, our leadership team is able to provide information and data in a keystroke. Slack is genuinely the backbone to our entire organization.
Trello is our project management tool. All calendars for social media are managed in Trello. When a Facebook calendar is complete in Trello, the next employee needed to work on that calendar is tagged. When their work is complete and the scheduled is ready to get these posted, she marks them off and the entire team knows this calendar is complete, audited and scheduled.
Zoom is our face to face video conferencing tool; this is how we train remotely and keep our company culture alive.
Without the amazing technology afforded to us at really low costs, we would not be able to run a company of 35 remote workers (and growing every day) and keep the high standards we insist on.
Even my executive team is spread out, from Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas City and various other parts of the country. Leading at a higher level sometimes means you MUST get face to actual face and not virtual face. You must be able to invest in the team that is helping to grow your company. Even my business partner spends a great amount of time in Europe, so she has to be able to run all aspects of her job 100% remotely.
I can tell you (but I suspect you already know), that so much miscommunication happens with just written word. Text can be a horrible villain; people can read your words and totally take the wrong inference or tone. This can be detrimental to your team, so it is so important to know when to pick the phone up and just talk, or pop on a Zoom and get face to virtual face.
Your team will let you know, by their silence, when they have misinterpreted you, be quick when you feel this separation, let them hear your voice. Let them know what the tone is behind your words. This will keep your intentions clear and your employee retention high.
Does your company offer any remote positions?
I know that with the current health scare that is going on right now, we are willingly offering our remote team to those businesses that may not be set up to run virtually.
My leadership team has been raised in SCP Agency running and leading a team via technology, but sometimes, even we have to go back to old school.
- Send a card
- Drive and visit face to face
Tell me about your leadership challenges.
Robin Wilson is the founder of SCP Agency and EPIC BDC.
She spends her days finding new and creative ways to serve the automotive industry through social media or Business Development Center.
As an industry leader, Robin attends several high level conferences and speaks publicly annually.