1. Zone-in on being inclusive.
Ensure everyone has the opportunity to speak, share ideas and take their turn. A quick note or phone call acknowledging when one person was treated differently than another will go a long
2. Make yourself available to truly listen.
If your meetings are continuously running short of time; re-evaluate your meeting agenda, cadence and length of time. If you find your mental capacity to be tapped out; reschedule and take a nap instead. If your work from home office is suddenly in chrisis mode; let your team know and take a rein check. Telling the truth and being present for each of your employees will increase trust which is a key ingredient to engagement and high performance.
3. Talk about the things that are moving and shaking outside your employees regular day-to-day.
This will ensure they remain connected to the bigger picture. It will also enable them to find creative ways to drive value and stay ahead of the curve.
4. Force focus time into your day.
First identify the work that requires dedicated thinking time. Second, get your workspace ready to accomplish the task. Third, turn off all email and collaboration tools. Fourth, take yourself for a quick walk to get in the 'zone'. Finally, bring yourself back to the task and get'er done. The trick is to keep all your sources of technology turned off until the task is complete.
5. Get you and your employees a decent sized white board.
Mine was only $50 from the local Dollar Store, markers were $5 and the dry eraser was $2. This simple tool will help to draw employees away from their computer screen and re-invite creativity, strategy and higher-level thinking back into their work day. It’s also a welcome break for the eye-balls.
6. Agree on your virtual team norms.
And make them a part of everyone’s performance goals. Perhaps these seven strategies are a starting point for you and your teammates? Continue to evolve and tailor the norms as the level of engagement starts to shift. When the teams norms are a critical lever for high performance, make them a constant and evolving part of their goal plans.
7. Make feedback one of your daily norms.
This validates to the employee that you are paying attention and that you care. This includes both giving, receiving, acknowledging and following-up on the feedback. See my post on 7 Tips for Providing Feedbac