New Leaders in a Remote World
Nearly 20% of all professional jobs are remote. After attending the world staffing summit this week-- every speaker who brought up remote work feel confident that it is not a trend, but here to stay.
With that and the pandemic, many seasoned tax leaders have signed off and sailed into retirement. I don't blame them. Getting companies through emergency plans/relief tax issues/work-from-home hang-ups during the pandemic was a recipe for burnout. But now that remote is here to stay, we need leaders willing to guide the next generation of tax professionals in the way want to be led. Here are some ingredients for a successful remote leader.
Your rapport is in your ability to be "real"
-Set the stage for connection--ensure inclusivity through work structure
-Be respectful of time: trust the model of quality versus quantity
-Address elephants in the virtual room(early and often)
-Create a culture of allyship for equality diversity and inclusion through training, and regular check-ins
-Be transparent about blind spots, mistakes, and changing opinions. Normalize being unsure and seeking guidance from quieter voices.
-Talk about what is important, focus on progress and effective utilization of systems rather than only results
-Have structure and boundaries with technology communication platforms
Provide Upskill/Reskill Career Options
Millennials and Gen Z are multi-talented, fast and flexible workers. They want to work smarter, not harder. They don't want to be a cog in the wheel, they want to build a better wheel. They are burned out by busy work or work that doesn't align with their core values. Give them clear opportunities to expand their skill set.
They are passionate about efficiency, accuracy, and delivering results. Trust them to do their work and rely on their input when it comes to implementing technology. They were practically born with a Nintendo in their hands, so leverage it. They will also appreciate being held accountable with regular metrics of productivity (provided by the technology they helped you implement). Neat!
Motivate with Meaning: Lead with your Head and Heart
Like a teacher understands, students learn in a number of ways (visual, auditory, kinesthetic etc.) so they deliver lessons in ways that touch on every learning style. Same goes for on-boarding and driving productivity and acumen with your staff. Motivate by individualizing your coaching and communication style. Pay attention to how your communication and efforts increase connection and motivation or decrease it and adjust to your audience.
--Empathize with how work feels for your staff
--Provide why the work is connected to a bigger purpose
--Stay connected to employees
--Define expectations early and often.
--Overcommunicate to bridge the virtual gaps.
--Provide space for culture conversations regularly
--As best you can, give them flexibility
--As best you can trust self-management
Remote Leadership Resources:
On meeting free days:
Suggested books on remote leadership: