Five ways to be an effective digital leader

July 13, 2020
Effective digital leadership is essential; now more than ever. We explain how you can demonstrate exceptional management, from afar.

Being a manager often means you’re away from the office. Whether you’re attending meetings across the country or networking at a conference, successful leadership isn’t confined within the workplace.

The arrival of COVID-19 has meant effective digital leadership has never been more important. As working from home becomes the new normal, managers are searching for innovative ways to keep their staff engaged from a distance.

As digital workplace experts, we know how important it is to stay one step ahead of the curve. That’s why we’re sharing 5 top tips for effective remote management:

1) Invest in the right software

Only you know which software is right for your team. G Suite, Microsoft 365, Teams, Slack, Zoom, and Workplace from Facebook are all viable solutions to support remote work – but whichever software you choose should reflect your company culture.

For example, if you have a big team, it makes sense to opt for software that enables larger groups of people to attend virtual meetings. Or, if you have a tendency to hold lengthy meetings, choose a service that doesn’t impose time limits.

Take some time to compare the pros and cons of each option and ask your staff if they have a preference. It’s also important to remember that there often isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. To ensure a complete digital transformation, there will be a few software systems to consider: such as project management tools, video conferencing software, and HR platforms.

2) Create a digital routine

It’s important to create a digital routine – and stick to it. Just like you’d have daily or weekly team meetings in the office, make sure you keep up with your schedule. Not only will this instil a sense of normality amongst your employees, but it will boost morale levels too.

A routine will add structure to employees lives and make the transition to remote work feel more natural. Along with maintaining your work routines, like one-to-one catch ups and stand-up meetings, it’s also important to turn your attention to fun rituals. If you usually have Friday drinks or a games night, continuing these routines digitally can help your team build relationships from a distance.

3) Be visible at all times

As part of our Decade of Courage Manifesto, we believe that leaders must become adept at demonstrating digital presence.

Where physical presence is no longer sustainable, it’s vital that you connect with the team at all times – wherever you are. That means being present in all digital channels and being transparent about your daily availability.

For example, you could share your work calendar with your team, so everyone knows when you can be reached. Checking in with your team on all digital platforms will reinforce your presence and ensure your leadership is visible at all times.

Face-to-face contact and audio are essential ways to connect with your team. While it’s easy to shoot off a message over Slack or send an email, it can sometimes lack sincerity and reduce the importance of your message. Being a visible leader means being open and approachable – and hiding behind a screen can sometimes weaken relationships.

4) Improve digital literacy

Improving digital literacy within your company will help you effectively manage your team from afar. Don’t just assume every worker can immediately adjust to remote work – there are often technical blockers standing in the way.

Investing time into your company’s digital literacy will ensure a much smoother transition. For example, if you’ve recently purchased a project management tool, you could dedicate a training day to help staff get to grips with the software. Or why not consider a digital learning course to boost understanding across the company?

5) Seek out opportunities

While this new way of work has come as a shock to many industries, it’s important to discover the positive aspects of remote work. This can be a chance to redefine the way we interact with each other. As the barrier between professional and personal lives begins to blur, many workers are enjoying closer working relationships.

The emerging importance of digital collaboration and tech also paves the way for many opportunities. As face-to-face contact is currently advised against, embracing new ways of communication can lead to a brighter way of work.

For example, live chats, live streams with Q&As, shared audios, or videos can all promote a stronger connection with your team and encourage creativity.

To discover more opportunities that lie ahead, read our Decade of Courage Manifesto. Download your copy for free now.

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Categorised in: Digital literacy, Digital workplace, Future of work, Remote working during COVID-19

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