Workforce authority and popular keynote speaker Susan Salgado on Managing a Remote Workforce
“Susan Salgado spent 17 years in the trenches of a restaurant and hospitality empire before emerging as one of the leading Customer Service and Workforce authorities in America today. Susan’s experience working with Leaders and Managers of people is unsurpassed, and in this new workplace situation in which we all find ourselves, Susan has a number of key concepts to share with Leaders on Managing a Remote Workforce.
The first 2 topics Susan discusses with Leaders are Clear Expectations and Trust. Here’s that discussion:
There is a lot of literature out there about what it takes to effectively manage remote workers. Initially let’s focus on these two key areas.
Clear Expectations: For many people, this will be the first time they will have had the opportunity to work remotely. For others, they may have been doing it for a long time – either well, or with some bad habits! This is a great opportunity to reset your expectations. In this new environment, what do you want to be able to expect from them? Examples of the types expectations you might want to set could include:
I expect you to check in with me each morning to let me know what you’re working on and your progress toward your goals
I expect everyone to join a 10 minute check in call each morning to level set across the team, so I can share important messaging with you and answer any questions that have come up on the team
I expect you to update your calendar regularly so that it is always clear when you are reachable. I expect that anyone on the team who needs you will be able to reach you during normal business hours unless otherwise indicated on your calendar that you are on a call or otherwise engaged.
Expectations around childcare
Expectations around how to handle wellness/healthcare
Expectations around deadlines
What else is on your mind? What do you want to be able to expect?
Take time in the next day or two to communicate your expectations to your staff, either by email or on a conference call – or even on 1-1 calls – so they will be clear on what success looks like. Remind them that you don’t know all of your expectations right this second – you are figuring it out too! But that you thought it would be helpful to lay some ground rules at the start that could help everyone to work more effectively together, and you will all continue to figure it out together. Then ask if they have questions or concerns, or if there’s anything they don’t understand or they’re worried about.
Trust:. I always tell leaders that before you allow people to telework, you should have a high level of trust in your working relationship. In this case, you are all being thrown into telework, and the trust is going to have to develop if it’s not there already! What can you learn from our trust discussion that can help you in managing in this new work arrangement?
Remember that trust has both technical and emotional components. If you don’t trust the technical components of someone’s work, you need to provide them with clear, fair, and objective feedback about where they are falling short. Remember to take the COACH mindset – be on their side. Let them know you want them to succeed. Have a charitable assumption. If necessary, move into teacher to TEACH them what they need to know to improve!
If emotional trust is lacking, what component is missing?
What can you leverage to build trust? Having an open dialogue about your concerns – starting with a charitable assumption, of course – can help to open up the conversation and create a shared understanding that will start to build trust where it does not exist – or bolster trust where it already does.
By focusing on these two topics in your first week, you can effectively set the tone for how to move your team forward during this challenging work arrangement and ensure that you continue to achieve your mission.
Susan Salgado can do a series of short training videos tailored to your company and your industry, and she is available for virtual programs for both your Leaders and your at-home sales teams and employees. Let us show you how easy these options are to arrange today.
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