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10 techniques to remotely facilitate work teams and keep them motivated

April 14, 2020

11 min read

The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.

The home office and other forms of teleworking have highlighted the importance of team leaders: the success of remote management largely depends on them.

10 techniques to remotely facilitate work teams and keep them motivated10 techniques to remotely facilitate work teams and keep them motivated

In addition to the cooperation expected from collaborators, it is their driving ability that is put to the test, since it is not the same to be face to face in the office, as it is to be connected online and keeping the work pace as well as possible.

For this there are facilitation techniques that can be applied to obtain superior results.

The great key is that the leader's focus in these cases will be not only on the results and the tasks to achieve them, but also on the people on his team . In other words, in addition to contemplating organizational dynamics, you need to strive to be even closer to each of the collaborators.

From this point of view, it is not enough to hold a meeting every day and lower orders, but more detailed work, precise follow-up, clear operational agreements and dynamics is necessary to relax the team at certain times, especially when working under pressure or in conditions out of the ordinary.

The motivation factor

The work itself is as relevant as keeping the team's motivation and morale high.

The leader is responsible for doing so, without necessarily putting himself in the position of the team psychologist. Although it is recommended that you assume the role of the “leader coach ” who will carry the team forward, stimulating to achieve the expected results, driving you through the difficulties that may arise, and helping to make pro-positive generative changes so that everyone is strengthened. the experience. In this leadership model, everyone wins because they always learn and evolve.

There are organizations that do not pay attention to this aspect: they are interested in the final result, and it is understandable.

My suggestion is that the motivation of the team is based on individual and group achievement, and that it is projected by enhancing the self-leadership tools of each collaborator, and highlighting how that performance impacts everyone, and as a consequence, in what needs to be achieved.

Motivation takes two forms: intrinsic and extrinsic. The first depends exclusively on the willingness to cooperate and on the energy and spirit of improvement of each person. The second, from external factors, and here comes the role of the leader coach in all its magnitude: he who accompanies, guides, guides, informs, shares, transmits, is solid in his convictions and strong in decision-making.

A person who inspires confidence not only from his role, but from who he is with his personal and professional consistency.

A person who generates emotional incentives for the team to move, in addition to seeking the best salary practices at the business level for the benefit of the team.

Influential leadership

My teacher John Maxwell and those of us on his team trained, among other things, the ability to influence leaders.

Influence is the impact that all your actions have on the other, in this case your team, based on thoughts and ideas that allow you to unfold the enormous potential of each person.

If the leader does not trust in the potential of himself, leading himself and based on a deep self-knowledge, he will be able to take charge of a group of people and make them work; the image is that he would be more of a lion tamer in a circus about to become extinct – and, fortunately, circuses are no longer with animals – than a close leader who inspires and generates adherence.

The leader does not need to generate followers, but people to follow: the influential leader is the one capable of generating other leaders , bringing out the best in each talent and helping it to converge in a participatory, collaborative and horizontal stream, where everyone they feel part of the common achievement.

In turn, this type of leadership has a social impact, and leaves its mark and legacy.

10 techniques to facilitate remote work teams

1.- Evaluate your daily emotional state

At various times of the day, and fundamentally at the beginning and end of the work day, assess your internal state. You can invite your collaborators to do the same. Transfer your experiences: they value it especially.

Here are some questions that can guide you: What emotions do you feel? What problems dominate your mind? What is your satisfaction versus worry index? What actions can you take to balance yourself and help what happens to pass from better way? Do you add more fuel to the fire or do you provide solutions permanently?

2.- Check in / Check Out technique

This tool will allow you to have a thermostat about how the team members are, and you can apply it at the beginning of a work meeting, and even in individual conversations. It is about spending a minute for each person to comment on how they feel and what they are experiencing. You can give them the option to express what they want freely, both from their personal life and work planes.

The technique will be done at the beginning, and then at the end of each instance, to observe how the collaborator is before and after. You can change the slogan from time to time, and here your creative potential comes into play, checking in geared towards something more specific; For example: What experience from yesterday could you improve today? What has been the biggest challenge this week and how did you solve it? In what way do you think you have positively influenced your team?

3.- Evaluate the emotional state of each collaborator

I mentioned it at the beginning and I reiterate that it is essential that you connect with people beyond roles. It is important to emotionally rescue people who need it. In most cases the only and best thing you can do is put yourself in an assertive listening position: just listen, pay close attention to what they express and their body language, tone of voice and emotions. Without judgment or interpretation; no advice. Listen neutrally and fully present.

For example, the check-in technique will give you valuable information on who is most empowered that day, and who may need the most support from you. So you can deploy a special strategy for those who require it, for example, with personalized video calls, 1-to-1 round-trip feedback instances, and feed-forward (the feedback about the future that you imagine for that person from their talents and skills).

4.- Make ” afters ” during the working day: recreational breaks

The idea is that each hour and a half of work establish an active break mechanism, just as each collaborator needs to do when working remotely. They will interrupt the tasks and will spend half an hour resting, to become connected.

The “after” will be during the working day; It may be once a week, for example, where the creative organization will be delegated to a sub-team of collaborators. The intention is that it is a moment to share colloquially. For example, each having a favorite drink from their remote location, and sharing things that have nothing to do with work. There may be accompanying music. The duration could be half an hour of relaxation and connection from another place.

The schedule can be interspersed during the day, for example, during the lunch break.

5.- Propose a weekly or monthly challenge

A special project involving different areas of your team, including external sectors, can be stimulating to take a leap of innovation in some aspect that you think may be stuck.

The idea is that you openly convene those who want to participate; ideally, they should not be chosen by the leader, but nominated spontaneously. Then, you will provide the methodology, the schedule, the necessary tools to carry out the task, and the way in which you will join helping and supervising the development. At the end, the result will be exposed.

The important thing about this facilitation is the process, not so much the end result; Ideally, if you can add a representative stimulus to the participants it works much better.

6.- Learning breakfasts or lunches

In this case, the facilitation dynamic is to train the team in certain useful skills. They can either convene an external speaker, or they can be the same members who prepare a presentation on a specific topic and deliver it to their coworkers. Even the leader can participate in these teams.

I recommend that it be held biweekly or monthly, so as not to overload the agenda.

7.- Give freedom of movement

Something much appreciated by collaborators is freedom of action. When working remotely, it would be important for you to stimulate autonomy, lateral thinking and problem solving, which will also serve for the self-leadership of each person.

8.- Expand the decision-making powers of your team.

At the same time, since not everyone is together in the office, it leaves freedom for people to decide within the frameworks that you know you can do.

One time, in my company that I led for 20 years, I did this tangible every day asking people to come back with 3 solutions for each problem they brought. Automatically I lowered the level of inquiries to myself as responsible by more than 85%, which allowed me to focus on relevant aspects of the business.

You have to know that throughout this process there will be people who will make mistakes, and who are part of learning.

9.- Work with a “ buddy ” or support buddy

One technique that works is for a buddy to be chosen at random who will be the support person during remote working time – if it is temporary – or for the duration of a specific project. The ” buddy ” will be support, support, inspiration, motivation and care of the other, and vice versa. There are virtuous situations, especially if people do not know each other as much, or have not frequented each other, and even when they may have had some relationship problem in the past: it will help to polish that aspect and they will be placed in a short time in mode. collaborative.

10.- Trivia and virtual interaction

The idea is to generate virtual games, trivia, work process infographics and any other initiative that allows you to maintain social interaction through play, and which, in turn, helps the team dynamics. There are many resources available online to adopt and adapt to your company.

As we see, facilitation processes are not limited to just holding meetings, following up on reports, and making sure the work is done in a timely manner. The role of the leader who manages remote teams goes much further and requires tools, patience and, above all, humanity.

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