Why Do Remote Leaders Need Training?

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Companies across the world are currently faced with questions about how to reconfigure the way to work going forward after the suddenly shifting to remote work in response to COVID-19. Each week a fresh slate of executives are announcing adjusted remote work policies. For example, Chief Operating Officer, Sabine Keller-Busse, of UBS Group AG recently announced that as many as a third of its employees could work remotely on a permanent basis. In numerous sectors, including insurance, banking, media, and tech, the trend toward adopting hybrid-remote work models is spiking and becoming a defining feature of the future of work.

 

Often these announcements include detailed plans for what reopening co-located offices might look like, but what does that look like for employees who remain virtual? We fail to see the same level of care put into outlining a plan for the sustainability and productivity of remote workers. We created our own Placeless Playbook to help companies do just that. Further, the results of our recently published Remote Work Training Report emphasizes the importance of one critical step within that playbook: Upskilling managers in remote leadership.

 

In every scenario we’ve seen, be it hybrid-remote or fully remote, leaders will be managing distributed employees in some capacity. Additionally, survey respondents in our report revealed that 55% expect employees at their company will likely work remotely more. However, preparation for this remote work future varies, with only 24% of managers and 16% of individual contributors receiving “a lot of training.” Across both categories of professionals, individuals felt more prepared to succeed in a remote work environment, the more training they received. 

 

Not only did managers feel that they were more prepared in their own roles with more remote-specific training, they also noted that increased training had an impact on company performance. Across every metric measured, when managers received more remote-specific training, the company was more successful. This includes metrics of: “Managing performance across distance,” “Providing growth opportunities for all workers,” and, critically, “Maintaining productivity across distance.”  



Clearly, there is a ripple effect of training managers on remote leadership skills that is felt across the organization. As our CEO, Tammy Bjelland, shared, “The fact that management training has a ripple effect throughout an organization was particularly exciting to see reflected by the data, as it reinforced what I was hearing anecdotally from remote L&D leaders. We see this information having a real impact on how teams begin to roll out programs to support transitions to more sustainable distributed operating models.”

 

In our report, senior leaders continued to reflect that unpreparedness for remote work negatively affected business outcomes. Imagine the impact on your organization’s overall productivity, performance, and revenue just by starting with appropriately training your managers to thrive in a non-traditional environment.

 

To learn more about the impacts of remote-specific training: 

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When you’re ready to accelerate the performance of your leaders, and ultimately your team, check out our Leadplaceless, our virtual leadership training program.

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Workplaceless Team

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Workplaceless envisions a workforce that thrives in a flexible and digital-first future—where performance and growth are not constrained by location. Our team goal is to share insights and practices that will help professionals and companies achieve this aspiration.
Workplaceless envisions a workforce that thrives in a flexible and digital-first future—where performance and growth are not constrained by location. Our team goal is to share insights and practices that will help professionals and companies achieve this aspiration.
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