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How Leaders Can Inspire Better Teamwork While Working Remotely

Managing employees requires a new playbook today as remote and hybrid work environments become the new normal.

With so many companies adapting to fully remote or hybrid work cultures, a lot of time is spent focused on technology and logistics. But one thing that can’t be pushed down the list is company culture and collaboration. These can be challenging things to maintain and recreate in a remote work environment—but also far from impossible to do.

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“Successful remote leadership requires the same skill set as in-person leadership with just a little recalibration,” says Tricia Sciortino, CEO of Atlanta-based BELAY, a modern staffing company offering remote services such as virtual assistants, bookkeepers, social media managers, and website specialists.

While leaning on technology helps, Sciortino says leaders will need to refocus on things like active listening, proactive communication, and inclusivity, among others, to inspire teamwork in today’s hybrid work environment.

“For remote leadership to be successful, one crucial factor is non-negotiable: No amount of technology or autonomy can replace the impact of having an effective, emotionally intelligent leader who is intent on learning how to engage employees remotely,” she says.

Here, Sciortino shares her best tips for how leaders in any industry can foster better teamwork among remote and hybrid teams.

Trust your team.

Gone are the days of micromanaging. Some leaders and managers had a difficult time realizing that work can and does get done when employees aren’t within eyeshot. In remote and hybrid situations, leaders should set expectations and accountability, and trust that their employees will do their best work.

“Trust and just about every other mission-critical element of your organization’s success are mutually inclusive; they simply cannot exist without trust,” Sciortino says. “You must not only have faith in your ability to hire world-class employees, but you’ll also have to have faith in the abilities of those employees to do exactly what you hired and entrusted them to do in the first place.”

Sciortino recommends engaging teams at least weekly to keep the lines of communication active and to establish a mutual avenue of trust between leaders and employees.

BELAY CEO Tricia Sciortino
Image credit: BELAY

At BELAY, Sciortino begins each week with a 30-minute all-team video staffing meeting. From there, smaller, individual teams meet weekly for a video call.

“These ‘face-to-face’ meetings foster trust, teamwork, collaboration, camaraderie and clarity—and we make sure to inject a lot of fun, a core value of ours,” she says.

Delegate, and do it often.

Sciortino says effective delegation is at the core of remote workforces. Delegating is just as much about building trust and letting go as it is about empowering others to take on responsibilities and acquire new skills.

“I hear leaders say they won’t delegate to someone because it’s not in their wheelhouse or skillset to do the work,” Sciortino says. “But skills can be taught. Wheelhouses can be shared.”

When delegating internally isn’t possible due to team size, etc., it can make sense to outsource certain duties externally.

BELAY offers companies the ability to put tasks like bookkeeping, social media management, and office administration in the hands of capable, virtual professionals. Sometimes, entrusting some responsibilities to people outside your organization allows the people inside your company the bandwidth and confidence to do their best work.

Be human (i.e., humble, vulnerable, and transparent).

A humble leader acknowledges that every person sitting across a table from them is human—flawed, imperfect, and mortal. Accepting our failures and shortcomings is often a tie that binds us, Sciortino says.

“It’s our job to be calm, steady, and rational decision-makers; we know we need to show up and be there for our people.” she says. “We humbly resign ourselves to the fact that while we may not be able to control everything, we will lay bare all we have for the greater good of our organizations—and not ourselves.”

Click here to learn more about how BELAY can help your remote or hybrid teams work more efficiently and exceed expectations.

BELAY

Brand Spotlight Partner

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