The secrets to managing your virtual team | Ft. Alison Hill

The ability to build and coordinate an effective remote workforce will only increase in importance as our new world continues to take shape. Alison Hill made her name writing and editing, but as the remote work legacy unfolds, she is now working to establish a legacy in virtual team building. In her return to the Team Guru Podcast, she shares some of her winning insights on steering a ship through uncharted waters.

Lesson Learned

4:21 Mother of Invention

Hill launches into her perspective by highlighting the relatively smooth nature of the widespread shift to remote work. Where ¨paralysis by analysis¨ can make simple decisions into complicated processes, the COVID crisis affords no such luxury. For this veteran virtual team builder, it’s easy to envision an alternate future in which a transitioning to remote work could take years of incremental change. Instead, remote work suddenly became the only option, and organizations thrived. Fear of the unknown can unduly prevent us from acting.

7:26 Beyond the Honeymoon

Asked to speak on potential drawbacks to such radical changes implemented so quickly, Hill points to the adaptive nature of the human animal. Throughout history, we have adjusted to our circumstances, typically coming out more capable for the experience. However, a potential downside to radical change is the intense enthusiasm these changes require in order to maintain effectively. For these reasons, intangibles such as morale and momentum play outsized roles for an organization in a time of fundamental change.

12:17 Found Flexibility

Workers are discovering new ways to balance their personal and professional lives as a result of the remote work revolutions. Hill welcomes this rare opportunity to redefine our routines, pointing to conversations with clients who report more satisfaction with their work. Across industries, the commute has been drawn into focus as an underappreciated element of work duties. Without having to travel for work, organizational cultures are beginning to turn toward a model based on tasks completed and value delivered rather than time spent.

21:05 The Death of Micromanagement

Traditional wisdom has long held that the remote office was an unworkable solution. These ideas stem from a central belief: that team members are most effective when carefully overseen. If the adjustment to our modern realities has proven anything, it’s that individuals can be self-sufficient at work. Many even reach new heights of engagement, as productivity metrics are trending upward across the board in the wake of the shift to remote work.

22:53 The Toolbox of Today

Modern problems require modern solutions, and so responding to the challenges of 2020 may require a new type of leadership. Of course, some aspects of being an effective leader never change. The goal is always to maximize the strengths of your team while compensating for areas of weakness. However, Hill stresses the interpersonal aspect of leadership. Doing the work to learn what motivates each of your team members in this new environment is key to ensuring your organization stays strong through difficult moments.

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