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Virtual Teams Part 2: A Workable Approach to Managing Remote Staff

Do you have a strategy for managing virtual teams?

The trends, motivations and statistics behind the rise in remote working in our previous blog highlighted why thinking about remote working is an important business consideration. In addition, we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic.

As a manager, you will therefore be faced with the challenges that come with managing telecommuting workers and teams. Finding a starting point to a workable management strategy in this context can be daunting.

Working from home – even some of the time – is not naturally suited to everyone. It requires discipline and organisation. Employees working remotely have to be happy in their own company, able to use their own initiative, prioritise and be fully aware of their abilities and limitations. Having the right personality is a prerogative to remaining motivated and being successful in those circumstances.

In Memory of Mike Wood

734561_553052868057961_1683825995_nIt is with great sadness that we share the news that Mike Wood, the Vice-President of Predictive Advantage, has passed away on Wednesday, 30 March 2016, after a long battle with cancer.

 

Mike joined the business in 2004 when the office in Harrogate opened and was key in establishing this. He was instrumental in building the administrative team and in driving the growth of the business throughout Europe.

Mike fought his illness with an amazing spirit, continuing to be involved in the business and remaining strong and positive throughout his treatment. He was a warm, caring and supportive leader and will be truly missed by everybody.

The office will be closed on Friday 8th April 2016 so the team can attend Mike

Positive and Negative: The Power of Mindset in the Workplace

Have you ever considered the incredible effects of mind-sets on the ways in which our brains operate? Recent research is quite fascinating; in short, we can apparently change the way our brains work on a physical level, simply by altering the things that we think and talk about! On one level, this is amazing, because simply by practising gratitude, we can rewire our brains for positivity.

Here’s How To Take Messy Guesswork Out Of Recruitment And Selection Forever

American hotels have always excelled when it comes to customer service with friendly, helpful employees and a seemingly happy atmosphere. So,
how can one become the best, the most helpful, the friendliest, the most efficient, the most productive and thus the most profitable?

Are You Making These 5 Major People Management Mistakes?

If there’s one thing that all successful business leaders and entrepreneurs know, it’s that making mistakes can be a hugely positive learning experience.

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Why?

Well, a wise man once said that our mistakes guide us towards perfection, as we get opportunities to learn from our mistakes and do things better next time.

The thing is, if you’re a manager or leader responsible for motivating and mobilising a team of employees or executives, you may not actually be able to afford to keep making management mistakes – especially when never-ending staff turnover and disillusioned employees are the result. …

5 Ways That The Unhappy Worker Destroys Your Bottom Line

A month or so ago I wrote about some of the results of keeping your employees happy and motivated.

In this post I want to explore why it’s just as important for you as a boss to do everything in your power to keep your people from slipping into the abyss of workplace disengagement and demotivation.

The fact that the unhappy worker can have a profoundly negative effect on the bottom-line factors in your business – especially when this might be caused by your inability to understand the personalities and potential of your people – makes this an important message.

The unhappy worker…

  1. Wastes time (theirs and yours)

To the unhappy worker procrastination comes easily and the mind wanders gladly. Can you really afford a team of time wasters (and have no choice but to pay the required overtime) when your next deadline is looming?

Procrastination is often the result of having too much to do or not knowing where to start, so think carefully about your employee’s ability to act on information, their learning pace and how quickly they’re able to use their initiative.

You might also want to consider how your employees will respond to pressure. Knowing this could help you set achievable targets, plan realistic deadlines and motivate successful outcomes.

  1. Doesn’t care about customer service (or customers for that matter)

If your employees don’t care about your clients, do your clients really care about your next contract renewal offer?

Some personalities naturally thrive on building relationships working with and for others; others are naturally task focused and introspective.

You might automatically think that socially driven customer-facing employees would suit the role better, but other factors do come into play. Consider things like formality, preference to working with structure, attention to detail and capability to develop expertise in your products or services, especially when hiring your next customer service workers who are required to do the “right thing” for your clients.

  1. Loses focus (and motivation) fast

It’s very easy to lose focus on tasks that you don’t find interesting or which you might be overqualified (or indeed underqualified) to do. Once focus is lost, mistakes can be made and the quality and safety of the end-product can be compromised. With your tech-savvy customers now able to reach huge audiences in seconds via social media, a single complaint caused by a careless mistake can now have serious consequences for your brand.

Could it be the time for you as a manager to look at job roles in terms of their behavioural demands, as well as the skills, experience and training that are required for success?

This might help you shed light on why people react in different ways when tackling the demands of the same job, and contribute towards you getting a better job-fit the next time you’re hiring.

  1. Breeds discontent and mutiny

Dissatisfaction seldom remains isolated; don’t expect your employees to keep their feelings to themselves. A queue of people with grievances waiting at HR’s door is going to do very little for productivity in the workplace.

A recent report from HBR found that among unhappy employees and their managers, both groups shared a mutual distrust of one another. Even the smallest gripe can kick-start a chain reaction of complaints.

Managers can strengthen the trust of their employees through consistency, authenticity, honesty, openness and a visible show of interest in meeting the motivating needs of ALL members of their staff. It’s also worth noting that some personalities, especially introverts, can be naturally suspicious of friendly gestures, so tailor your communication styles according to the recipient and his/her preferences.

  1. Does the bare minimum

Would you work harder for a company that doesn’t value your satisfaction or help you reach your potential? Or would you be looking elsewhere for a company that does…

We’ve already seen that happy workers really will go the extra mile for their boss. If you have proactive members on your team, give them the freedom they’d prefer and let their creativity run – it might well be that they’re being underutilised and you’re holding them back by not knowing how to delegate. Reactive? Brilliant – give them the support, security and information they need and watch them flourish under your leadership…

Your next breakthrough product design might be just around the corner, so keep its creator engaged, motivated and happy and shield them from the tempting grasp of your competitors. If you need a reminder why this is in your best interest, why not read the first 3 excellent paragraphs from this Forbes article!

 Have you come across any of these 5 tell-tale signs of employee unhappiness in your office? Noticing them is a good start! How are you remedying them?

If the problems persist try to look past the actions and observable behaviours of your underperforming staff and ask yourself what has actually motivated the people to behave the way they do.

Spend time getting to really know your staff and their individual motivating drives, personalities and potential…you might just save yourself some hassle, and some money in the long run!

Share your opinions in the comment box below!

Do you think business leaders should take a more proactive role in motivating their employees to feel happy and productive?

Are We Witnessing The Death of the CV for Recruiting Top Talent?

As the economy bites harder, and as the job market experiences the full effects right across the UK and Europe, the competition for vacant positions has inevitably increased dramatically.

This also means that your hiring managers have to trawl through many more CVs to find the finest talent in your industry!

How Safe Is Your Workforce From The Shadow Of Stress?

Workplace stress isn’t easy to define, but we all know what it feels like when it happens.

Fatigue, anxiety, lack of focus and feelings of hopelessness and despair are all common when suffering from work-related stress, not to mention the migraines, stomach problems and physical symptoms which often accompany stress and increased levels of tension at work. …