Because of COVID-19, companies were forced to explore the long-term viability of remote work. Many people can only imagine the convenience and comfort of working from home. But, it is challenging for the management and its employees to transition to remote work. And despite the research studies that validate the benefits of working remotely, every team must carefully make the necessary adjustments to transition successfully.
Offshore teams are remote by default. Before the pandemic, some may work from an office if a team is large, but most have already worked from home since day one. Just like your co-located staff, an offshore team thrives under good leadership but leading from a distance will require some changes to tackle the unique problems of remote working.
Success with your Filipino remote team then begins with the essentials. Shared goals, agreement of expectations, and clear outcomes lay the foundation for many of the best practices discussed in this program.
No one wants to work on something irrelevant that fails to contribute to an important outcome. Meaningful goals set the direction of a remote team. Management can often miss the misalignment that occurs as teams try to make things work in the absence of clear directions. Remote workers must often deal with the lack of visibility and constant pressure to perform well independently.
But while goal-setting seems to be a given, achieving a shared understanding of goals is not. Leaders must help their staff see the importance of their work in connection to your company mission. A shared understanding of goals can make the difference between a motivated employee and one that’s just in for the paycheck. To help them work well even without supervision, it is worthwhile to regularly communicate business goals. This empowers your Filipino workers to take ownership at work. And just maybe, a shared purpose may resonate with your team well enough to result in high performance.
Instead of managing expectations, work on agreeing upon a set of expectations. Whether it is a performance expectation concerning results, outcomes, and job responsibilities or behavioral expectations that refer to values, behaviors and attitude required of their role: you must align it with theirs.
But you’re probably clear with what you expect from your team, but do you know what they expect from you? Your people have their own expectations for how your organization and your leaders should act; and if you’re prepared to listen, you will earn a higher level of trust and respect among your team.
It may be uncomfortable at the beginning, but it creates much needed structure for remote teams. It helps them stay focused on what matters, mitigate frustration and conflict, and allow constructive feedback and benchmarking.
As a remote leader, your challenge is to bring your whole team together and ask them: What does success look like for you in the context of working for this company? Without a doubt, you will get a variety of answers. Moreover, you will get a lot of great answers. That’s great, right? However, the problem lies in these great answers.
Your team can get lost in all of these definitions. Some of them can be vague. Others can be too specific. If this is the case, you need to help your team determine which among the given definitions is the ultimate meaning of your team’s success. By doing so, you can all work together toward the same definition of success in mind.