Delegate like a Boss

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You could be suffering from the common but deadly condition of micromanaging if your team seems less productive, morale is low, or… if someone has told you. Being aware is the first step toward the cure.

Here’s what the doctor ordered:

  • More delegating and mentoring. Challenge yourself to “give away“ one task today. What can they take off your plate?

  • Let go of control over every process and outcome. If the task isn’t urgent, don’t check in until you said you would.

  • Trust ‘em! You hired them because they’re skilled and competent. Have a check-in meeting to see how projects are going, then step back to let them figure things out.

Repeat this mantra: “By not stepping in, I’m helping my team learn, grow, and be more confident for our company and mission.”

Have a better one? Share it with us at ann@wardcertified.com.

"Celebrate Good Times, C'mon"

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Ready to be a rock star leader? Setting big goals gives us the fire we need to make amazing things happen. But don’t lose sight of all the small victories it took to reach your crowning achievement!

Great leaders know celebrating successes along the way, however small, has big benefits like:

  • Increasing productivity.

  • Curbing burnout on long projects.

  • Creating a positive work environment that recognizes growth and progress.

Yea, I want to work there!

Ex: Send a “thank you” email when a team member helps you last minute, bring in breakfast for an early morning meeting, or send a cheesy GIF like the one we used to give “kudos“ to someone who went above and beyond.

Step back for a minute today- How is your team is contributing to the bigger picture?

A Virtual Team is still a Team

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Just like in the physical office, remote employees and coworkers like to bond about topics outside of work. Don’t forget to engage them in the same ways you do your in-person team members.

Here’s how:

  • Have team members create profiles of themselves. What are their areas of expertise, hobbies, and outside interests?

  • Deliberately discuss non-work related topics during team meetings. At WC, we start each team meeting by asking, “What’s one exciting thing going on in your life right now?”

  • Celebrate birthdays and holidays in virtual rooms (See how in our Virtual Party Post). 

How do you keep your virtual team members on board?

Respect the Time Zone

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Last week, we covered steps to make virtual meetings rock in real time. But there’s one tip that is guaranteed to make team members more engaged throughout every meeting.

Respect the time zone.  

If the main office or location where most employees are based is in a different time zone than other employees, they are often required to work outside of workday hours to make meetings with coworkers. This can lead to burnout and frustration over time.

How can we avoid this? Here are some tips:

  • Schedule large group meetings farther in advance than usual.

  • Move times around every once and a while to accommodate those in other time zones (even if it means moving outside of your normal workday hours).

If it’s 1 hour or 12 hours, working as a team across time zones can be tricky. Communicate often and follow the team charter to minimize confusion and maximize team cohesion!

Meeting Magic

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When something calls for a real-time meeting, there are a few tips to make things run smoothly.

  • According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners. When possible, use video call software to increase engagement!

  • Run a virtual meeting as deliberately as you would run an in-person meeting. Use agendas to set the tone and keep the group on track. If possible, send the agenda out in advance to promote more in-depth responses in a short window.

  • Start with something personal- an ice breaker to set the tone.

  • Include verbal check-in points to keep everyone engaged throughout the meeting.

  • Summarize decisions made and next steps at the end of the meeting to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Share some virtual meeting success stories! Let us know here.

How should I share this message?

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We’ve all been to a meeting that should have been an email or received a call that could have been sent in a quick message.

How do we know what channel to use for each type of message?

Here are some rules of thumb:

  1. Know what your goal for the communication is. Are you looking to just share information, or discuss an issue and work to find a conclusion?

  2. Once a communication goal is decided, pick your channel. Ex: Email to share confidential or limited information, message to chat one-on-one, or video chat to have an in-depth discussion.

  3. Check on your communication protocol or team charter every once in a while to make sure you’re all sticking to the plan.

Still stuck? Check out this roadmap to virtual communication.

Standarize, Standardize, Standardize

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Last week, we introduced Team Charters to the remote worker conversation. Once that’s made, how do we make sure our communication is effective?

First things first: Standardize!

According to this video by the Harvard Business Review, there are a few things we can do to keep communication consistent:

  1. If you plan to use acronyms for any part of the communication (i.e. EOD, TL;DR), make sure you agree upon them ahead of time.

  2. Set a protocol for certain communication platforms. Where should you share what?

  3. Limit the amount of messages you send each day- too many can overload your team. Would you physically walk into your coworker’s office 10 times a day?

What do you do to keep your virtual communication consistent?