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Remote Team Reflection: Tips for Effective Post-Mortem Meetings

It’s that time of year again: time for wrapping things up neatly with a bow, and looking back on a year full of activities with an equal dose of nostalgia and realism, along with the resolve to make next year even better.

Yes, ‘tis the season for fourth quarter post-mortem meetings! Or, if you prefer, reflective evaluations. (What did you think I was referring to?)

Unsettling as their moniker may sound, post-mortems are a critical part of our professional journeys because they offer us all the chance to learn and grow. They help us to gain critical insights into what worked, and what didn’t, and most importantly, determining why certain things happened in the way they did and how we can improve upon them next time.

This isn’t an opportunity to point fingers. If anything, post-mortems should be a team-building experience as a way to examine past actions and their results. Finally, you’re able to assemble a collective outlook to guide future projects and...

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Gratitude

Gratitude.

It's as important to discuss with your loved ones as it is with your colleagues, supervisors, and peers. And while gratitude is certainly a powerful word, it’s even more influential in action.

Like many things in life, gratitude is often better demonstrated than described.

As 2018 comes to a close, professionals across the U.S. will soon be firing up their ovens (and their appetites!) for the annual Thanksgiving holiday feast with family and friends. They’re likely thinking about all the things they’re thankful for this year, and may even mention these at the dinner table. (I know I will, before the tryptophan sets in, that is…)

In our ever-distracted era, this kind of direct connection and sharing is a truly beautiful thing. Don’t you think it’d be ever-more-inspiring if we all prioritized showing our gratitude not just in November, but throughout the year?

It’s a smart move in EVERY context, including at work. Small acts of...

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Remote Work Certification Helps Both Employers and Employees by Reducing Unknowns

New Employer, New Employee = Fear of the Unknown 

A new hire. A new job. 

The word new in this context expresses unknown

In a situation where a new employee is brought onto a team, there are a lot of unknowns on both sides: 

The employee is not certain of what to expect of their new position and team; and 

The employer is not sure whether the employee will be a good fit or not.

Those unknowns can cause tension and anxiety, not to mention unmet expectations, dissatisfaction, disengagement, and employee turnover.  

In a remote environment, there are even more unknowns because you must rely only on virtual communication methods to communicate and understand expectations. 

How can you reduce unknowns?

There are several ways you can reduce the number of unknowns in a new hire situation. 

Remote Employers can: 

  • Thoroughly vet candidates by going through various rounds of interviews,...
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Traits of the Best Remote Employees

If you've ever gone through the process of hiring a new team member, you know it can be one of the hardest things you have to do in business. How do you know if someone is the right person? How can you make sure you have the best remote employees on your team? 

While there is no one equation to find the perfect fit for an open position (and one might even argue that there is no such thing as a perfect fit) there are some attributes that make an individual a good fit for a remote position. Here are just some adjectives that describe ideal remote employees.

 Traits of the Best Remote Employees

Curious

Since remote workers often have to do a lot of digging to get a solid understanding of work structure and expectations, curiosity is a key trait to look for. Does the candidate ask questions? How do they solve problems? Are they invested in their own learning and growth? What are they learning right now, or plan to learn in the near future?

Communicative

Communication is...

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Remote Work and the Law: Legal Issues that Remote Leaders Must Know

Employing a remote workforce can bring enormous benefits to an organization, like expanding attracting top talent and saving on overhead expenses that usually accompany a location-dependent workforce. But employing remote workers also comes with its own set of legal implications that remote leaders need to consider. Each of these legal issues could be a potential liability for your company. 

Make sure that you work through the proper channels to ensure that each issue is properly and adequately addressed in your:

  • HR policies
  • Employee handbook
  • Hiring process
  • Onboarding process
  • Organizational structure
  • Procedures
  • Additional organizational policies

Legal Issues with Remote Teams

Privacy and Security

With a remote workforce, all communication takes place in a decentralized environment. Privacy and security of your business’ information should be at the top of your list of concerns—just think of all the sensitive information your employees have access to and...

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Remote Management Mistakes: Top Mistakes Leaders Make When Managing Remote Teams

How do you manage remote teams? For the most part, there are many similarities between managing remote teams and general management best practices. However, there are some specific considerations that managers of remote employees should consider. Whether your team is entirely remote, or you only have some remote direct reports, there are some big remote management mistakes you can make that can severely impact the productivity and overall happiness of your team.

 

Top Remote Management Mistakes

Ignoring management needs

If you’re charged with managing a team, you have to be mindful of the skills, behaviors and attitudes that job requires. Identifying what you need to do in order to effectively carry out this responsibility. That means that if you do have a remote team, it’s up to you to identify what the management needs are for that situation. Reading this blog post is a great start — as you read, make note of exactly what you need to work on and make...

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Remote Work Culture: How Remote Teams Can Connect

When you work in an office, opportunities to connect with coworkers happen naturally. They can happen on your way into the office, when you're using the office kitchen, or when you stop by a coworker's space to ask a question. When you work on a remote team, it can seem that you don't have those same types of opportunities. However, you can build a remote work culture — it just takes more intentional planning than you would need if the whole team worked in the same physical space.

The key to creating a culture in which your team feels connected is to establish company-wide expectations and processes that support those connections. When your team understands the importance of connecting, both personally and professionally, they are more likely to initiate those connections on their own.

How to Build a Remote Work Culture

Communication

Communication, as always, is king. Have clear expectations of the channels, content, frequency of company communication. Trust only happens when...

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What to Do When a Remote Team Member Doesn't Do Their Fair Share

Group projects: the bane of every student’s existence because you always knew that at least one person wouldn't do their fair share of the work. 

Fast forward to now: all those who never learned how to pull their own weight in group projects are adults, and some of them are working on your team.

So how do you deal with someone who is not pulling their weight when you can’t actually see what they’re doing?

Reasons Why Someone Isn't Doing Their Fair Share

  • That person is unprepared for the job
  • The expectations are not clear
  • They don’t spend the adequate amount of time or resources in order to complete a task
  • Lack of communication

And as usual, we’ll go by the mantra, “It’s not my fault, but it’s my problem.” Which means that even though this individual’s poor performance may not be because of anything you did, it does mean that it affects you, the team, and the company. It's not good for anyone if everyone isn't...

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