You’ve told them so many times, but…
Okay, even communicating to teams in the office can be a challenge, but when remote, it can be harder still. With feedback loops often taking longer, there’s also more opportunity for things to go off the rails. But aiming for more control over what your team members are doing is totally the wrong direction to be looking in. So what to do?
It all comes back to purpose. And before you say, “Yeah, yeah, I’ve seen Sinek’s talk, tell me something new,” there’s a critical differentiator that team leaders need to be aware of here. (If you haven't seen Sinek's talk, you probably should. Here it is).
Sure, the purpose of the organisation is key, but for the team, right now, they also need to know what the purpose of the team is today, this week, this month, this quarter, this year. And if your OKR's aren't clear for the quarter, there's work to do. Yes, some of the overall direction may evolve as we adapt to the ever-changing environment in which we live and work, but if you don’t have a shared view of purpose in this way, you’ll never have optimal team alignment (whether based in an office or spread over the globe).
This is why purpose is at the core of Distributability, our proven model for leveraging the benefits of remote, hybrid and dispersed teams. It draws on our 34 years’ experience of working remotely, leading, managing and facilitating dispersed teams, and has recently been put to good use with getting COVID-19 testing hot sites up and running for the NHS.
Remember, just telling your team what the team purpose is today through to end of quarter with a phone call, email, memo and a meeting won’t create alignment across the team. It’s not enough by a long chalk.
People need repetition and engagement to retain this sort of information. There’s so much going on in our lives that just one conversation, email and memo can easily be overtaken by another priority, another looming problem to divert, dealing with home schooling and so on. If you’ve ever thought, “But I told them…” you’ll be very well aware of this.
So, what to do to create alignment here? Here are three powerful, tried and tested approaches:
If you’d like to know more on how Distributability can help you get the best from your remote, hybrid and distributed teams, do get in touch.