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Cracking the Code for Successful Leadership of Remote Teams

The genie’s out of the bottle.


Photo by Guille Álvarez on Unsplash

Unleash Your PotentialBuild your skills and learn from hands-on experience how to align your leadership style to drive productivity and engagement in remote teams.

While the transition to remote work has been difficult for many organizations and teams, some have embraced the opportunity to offer more flexible work arrangements. Now, as we look ahead to the new world of work, most organizations will have to create long-term and sustainable virtual working strategies as more and more people opt to work remotely.

This means companies and leaders must find new ways to maintain employee health, productivity and team spirit, which work in a virtual and hybrid world. With technology developing at a rate faster than ever, replicating office dynamics, when there is no office is within reach for many organizations.

But how do you get the most out of remote teams? How do you create them and how do you build rapport in the virtual world? This was the topic of discussion at a recent UNLEASH webinar, held in partnership with Personio.  

The webinar featured a practical and insightful presentation led by Angelina Gentili, Head of People Ops at Personio who shared useful tips and guidance on unleashing the potential of remote teams. Below are just a few of the themes that were discussed. 

HR can’t be strategic until it excels at operations. 

Everyone knows how important HR is today and the value it brings to the business. The pandemic has already proved it. However, Gentili kickstarted the webinar with a reminder to the audience, that HR will not truly be seen as strategic until it excels at operations. 

“Until the machine goes and runs smoothly, only then will we be seen with a different status internally within the company,” Gentili commented. 

For context, Personio’s mission is to help HR be a strategic partner by excelling at the business operations. This is done with an all-in-one HR software that can be used for small to medium sized companies. By putting all core HR activities into one platform, Personio gives HR Leaders the time they need to focus on what is most important to the business: the people.  

One size does not fit all. 

People have different needs at work and the pandemic has only highlighted the extent of these differences. Whilst some have thrived in the remote world, others have struggled due to a multitude of different personality and contextual factors.  

So Gentili’s first learning that she shared in the webinar is that ‘one size does not fit all’ and to fully embrace remote working, leaders must ensure it is personalized according to the employee and their unique situation. 

“Different personalities need different types of remote working,” Gentili commented. “And people in different life cycles too.”  

“For example, parents need support when schools are closed. Extroverts need a space to recharge and interact with people and introverts needed to be included in social interactions that they are not actively searching for,” she explained. 

Her piece of advice to HR leaders was to take the time to understand your team, their personalities and their situations so that you can then start adjusting accordingly. 

Have a vision and a plan. 

Gentili went on to share her second learning which was to have a vision and a plan that your team can identify with.  

At first this sounds relatively simple and straightforward. However, Gentili highlighted how the challenge comes in creating a vision and a plan that people are actually able to do. 

To combat this challenge, Personio have created workshops that focus on purpose and how team members can contribute towards it. Not only are team members encouraged to participate in these workshops, but they make sure that every person’s opinion is accounted for and then leveraged through technology. 

With enthusiasm, Gentili explained how her teams use Miro, which has given everyone the voice needed to create achievable joint visions and plans.  

There’s no substitute for being together. 

Despite enormous steps being made by companies who are moving towards streamlined remote working models, Gentili reminded us that team meet ups are still very important and there really is no substitute for being together.  

“You need to build and dedicate the time to listen but also time to celebrate, collaborate, and more importantly, get to know each other,” she recommended.  

At Personio, Gentili ensures that her team meet face-to-face once a quarter and they do this through team building events such as wine tasting and dinners with games.  

“Once a quarter you can be super creative and even cheap. You don’t need a big budget to do this – but you must do it,” Gentili added.

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