Inspiring creativity and motivating remote workers are some of the toughest job responsibilities for a remote team leader. I am sure you can relate if you have to lead employees from different regions virtually.
WHAT IS A REMOTE TEAM?
A remote team is also known as a virtual team. It is a group of employees/workers who are working together to achieve the same goal but from different geographic locations.
The team leader and participants communicate via the latest technological tools to share information and stay updated. These participants are coming from various cultural and ethical backgrounds.
4 PRACTICES TO ENHANCE THE CREATIVITY OF YOUR REMOTE TEAM
Inspiring creativity in your remote team is not an easy thing to do. Following are the 4 most acknowledged remote practices that will inspire each member of a remote team to be more creative:
1) Introduce a safe culture
I am sure most of my readers would question what a safe culture is. A safe culture at work is not only limited to a hazard-free workplace, but it also means that employees are working in a stress-free zone. Culture safety is important only if a remote leader wants his workers to be more productive.
In Google’s Aristotle Project, management noticed that the safety of workers is the single most crucial element for productivity in remote teams. The researchers came to the conclusion that employees who feel safe speaking their minds are more creative than those who are afraid to speak up!
A recent research paper highlighted the impacts of stress and anxiety on the creativity of staff in multiple organizations – the feelings of threat results in below-average cognitive performance. The feeling of threat includes shame, abuse, and anxiety of failure.
Employees are humans, and a team leader should accept the fact that mistakes can happen. Therefore, even when employees make mistakes, it is important to handle it in a way that does not instill fear in the employee. If a manager supports cultural safety, he is supporting the creativity of his workers too.
An antidote for threat is to trust the remote workers. Challenge them and at the same time encourage them to think out of the box to let them be more creative. Remote work is the best in giving its team a chance to be more creative.
2) Communicate more frequently
We all know that effective communication is important for the success of any organization. It not only keeps the remote staff informed but also keeps their morale high, making them more engaged and more dedicated.
Being a remote team leader, you could arrange virtual meetings on a daily or weekly basis. Be direct with your remote workers, and don’t be shy about making a video call. There are a plethora of communication tools that are considered best for virtual meetings.
These are Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, Skype, and many others. Remote team leaders are advised to connect to each remote worker. These tools manage the gap between the managers and remote workers, keeping them more informed and better connected.
This is how teams collaborate over tasks and projects, sharing files, asking queries, and giving feedback. Did you know that many of the virtual tools allow the participants to record the meetings for further assistance?
Consider these virtual communication tools as your best friends if you’re a remote team leader. Keep the remote team aligned to bring out their creativity in the best possible way.
3) Select appropriate design frameworks
Recent studies reveal that structure along with space is considered important to inspire the creativity of a remote team. Design frameworks like thinking hats and sprints to encourage the staff to think in the right way.
For instance, a leader may start with the Green Hat framework. The Green Hat is an open-ended mindset that has zero wrong ideas. He will ask his workers for solutions, saying, “How should we solve the problem?” Everyone pours in their ideas, and finally, one can be selected for a better outcome.
If a remote team manager wants more focused solutions, he might select Blue Hat. The Blue Hat Framework is all about processes. What are the specific steps the remote team shall take?
Organizations use a 3-Day Sprint Kit from Google as another alternative for idea generation for design sprints. The selection of any of the design mentioned above framework depends on the structure and nature of an organization.
4) Encourage unplanned virtual meetings
Do you know what the most hated thing about a virtual team is? The answer is zero spontaneous meetings in the office hall or the corridor. Remote workers complain that zero spontaneous meetings or a light chit-chat with a manager or colleagues result in minimal creativity.
This is because the remote workers feel more neglected; this situation calls for more and more virtual meetings instead of face-to-face meetings.
Consider that if an entrepreneur wants to start a digital business or expand an existing business, the management would be assigned the duty of arranging regular virtual meetings every week to ensure correctness and to keep workers informed.
Managing a remote team comes with many challenges, and inspiring creativity is one of them. It is not that easy to inspire creativity in your remote team. If you are a remote team leader, try the practices mentioned above to make your employees more creative and productive.