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Leading remote teams, particularly during uncertain times, forces leaders to elevate their game around connecting, communicating, being productive and remaining positive.

Create connections

First, formalize team rituals. Since going to lunch together or catching up in the break room are no longer available options to connect, initiate daily or weekly hang-out time. This can be a happy hour Friday afternoon, a weekly sharing of highs and lows (peaks and pits) from the week, recognition of performance/living team values or a professional development discussion of remote working tips that work for you. Rotate ownership of the ritual among your team members.  As the leader, you go first to set the tone.

Another way to create connections is to maximize the use of video during meetings or hangouts. This enables you to:

  • Enhance feelings of connectedness
  • Communicate more messages than audio only
  • Enable teammates to see your new working environment
  • Sharpen attentiveness of participants
  • Boost accountability to the team.

Communicate clarity

The most important part of communicating is listening with empathy. Ensure that your listening and talking are proportionate to the number of ears and mouths you have.

With your remote team you really need to step up your communication rhythm.  Incorporate more frequent, shorter touch points to keep your team connected. A five-minute daily start up call will keep your remote team connected, focused on key goals and accountable for results. 

Also, refocus on your purpose. Changes in market demand, up or down, require you to be nimble. Pivot to what is most important to your business and your team now. Ensure your team is aligned on the most important priorities today. Even if your team’s purpose is unchanged, reinforce how they make a positive difference for their internal and/or external customers.

Promote productivity

Keep score! People like to perform… and win. So, having a visible performance scoreboard is even more important with a remote team. Identify short-term (daily and weekly) progress goals to work toward. Then, make them visible to the team and talk about them during your one-on-one and team updates to help coach your team toward success.

Spend time to work on your business. Engage your team to innovate or refine work processes for newfound efficiencies or opportunities. This will enable you to build sustained improvements for when conditions change, providing your organization a competitive advantage over the long term.

Also, work on yourself. Identify changes and improvements you need to make to be successful during this time of change.  Start small.  Select one small thing to improve and focus on turning it into a habit (it will take about 28 days of repeated effort). Reward yourself once you have mastered a new skill or acquired a new area of knowledge.

Positive power

Encourage others. Appreciate their progress along the way.  Appreciate who they are as much as what they do.  Just as importantly, encourage yourself. The most important conversation you have is the one with yourself. Talk to yourself (positive messages) versus listen to yourself (frequently negative messages).

Express gratitude. Start your day with a few moments of quiet time to reflect on three things you are grateful for and how you contributed to each of them.  Research shows that doing this for just two weeks creates benefits that last up to six months. This will help you rise and shine versus rise and whine. Take time in team meetings to share who and what you are grateful for from the past day or week.

Connect, communicate, produce and stay positive. These are the keys to creating a remote team culture that will thrive.


Learn more at a live, interactive, virtual session on building a positive culture with remote teams.

You will participate in break-out discussions to share your experiences and perspectives.

You will receive the recording and tools even if you cannot attend the live session. 

Topic:    Building a Positive Culture with Remote Teams (includes participant break-out discussions) 

When:    Wed., Aug. 26 at 1:00 pm Central  

Cost:     Complimentary

RSVP:    Reserve your space HERE (registration is required for security)