Leadership: little girl walks the dog - leadership qualities - managementberatung | coaching
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Leadership | Leading employees at a distance

Long leash - leading at a distance

From Sabine Walter, Head of network management consulting | coaching

Mobiles Arbeiten ist aus unserer Arbeitswelt nicht mehr wegzudenken. Um als Arbeitgeber für Mitarbeiter attraktiv zu sein, ist die Flexibilität Arbeits- und Privatleben besser zu vereinbaren, ein Muss. Doch gibt es Unternehmen, die nach anfänglicher Großzügigkeit im Bezug auf Arbeitszeit und Arbeitsort das mobile Arbeiten wieder einschränken. Ein Grund dafür ist die Angst vieler Führungskräfte vor Kontrollverlust. Wir geben in diesem Artikel Tipps, wie Sie auch auf Distanz so führen, das das ergebnis- und zielorientierte Arbeiten erhalten bleibt.

Managing employees at a distance

Success factors for mobile working

This illustrates that mobile working is not just a matter of equipping employees with mobile phones and laptops. Besides the Data protection, infrastructural and labour law aspects mobile working requires above all a change in the culture of trust and leadership.

A study by the Institute of German Business in Cologne also proves that managers in particular can make a decisive contribution to creating family-friendly working conditions. And, according to the study, managers can also relieve their employees of the worry of suffering disadvantages through too much home office.

What specifically can leaders do?

Give confidence

Many managers' fear of losing control shows that they have no or too little trust in their employees. The idea that attendance equals motivation equals productivity is a fallacy.

If employees use mobile working to increase their free time account, something is fundamentally wrong. The following questions will help you to assess the situation in your team:

  • Are my employees deployed according to their strengths and talents?
  • Do they see a sense in their activity?
  • Do they identify with the task?
  • Do you burn for what you do?
  • Are the goals that my employees have clearly defined? Were they able to participate in defining the goals?
  • Do we have a team climate that is characterised by trust, willingness to take responsibility and commitment?
  • Do I have a good relationship of trust with my staff?

If your answer to many of these questions is "no" or "hardly at all", there must be a different kind of leadership before mobile working can work without fear of losing control.

Create clear framework conditions

The author of the IW study, Andrea Hammermann, recommends clear agreements to make mobile working work. These include Rules on accessibility and the Clear communication of "which company guidelines apply to mobile working". Company framework regulations provide orientation as to who is allowed to work on the move and under what conditions, and create transparency and commitment".

Result-oriented leadership - working independently

Another success factor of mobile and independent working is that the Goals of the department, team and employee are clearly and, if possible, measurably defined.

It is also important that employees have a decisive influence on their goals and are fully behind them.

Regular communication, 1-on-1 and in the team

Regular communication creates transparency. Transparency helps to build trust. For this reason, it is particularly important with mobile working that communication platforms such as a jour fixe or regular 1-on-1s are established and take place.

  • How can we maintain trust in the team even if we don't all see each other every day?
  • How do we ensure communication within the team?
  • How do we maintain knowledge sharing within the team?
  • How do I get a regular update from my staff on target achievement?

You should answer these questions at least for yourself and in the team in order to ensure good communication among each other even when working on the move.

Conclusion: The introduction of mobile working requires targeted preparation

Mobile working allows everyone to better balance work and private life. This form of work is a must for all companies that want to be attractive as employers. However, there are a few things that need to be taken into account in preparation. Besides the Data protection, infrastructural and labour law aspects works Leadership at a distance and mobile working then good, if:

  • managers trust their employees,
  • Targets and results are clearly defined and regularly reviewed
  • Fixed team times are defined for communication and knowledge exchange
  • and employees work in an environment that promotes intrinsic motivation

Only when employees put their hearts and minds into their work will they give their all - whether in the office, at home or on the road.

Regardless of what else companies come up with to be an attractive employer - laptop, mobile phone, sports and massage offers & Co. will never replace trust, appreciation and meaningful work. Employers should invest in these things if they want to stay ahead in the competition for talent.

Also interesting

Developing high performance teams

Was unterscheidet ein Team von einer Arbeitsgruppe, und was macht ein echtes Hochleistungsteam aus? Um diese Fragen geht es in diesem Artikel. Ferner hilft Ihnen unser Team Quick-Check will help you to take stock of your own situation and receive impulses for your team development.

Artikel: Hochleistungsteams

Begegnungskultur in Unternehmen

We humans are and remain social beings - even in a digital world. As social beings, belonging is one of our basic needs. New forms of work and the use of digital communication tools mean that we spend less and less time in the office. That is why it is all the more important that we use the time we spend together in the office for genuine encounters with our colleagues. Creating the framework for this is also the task of managers.

Artikel: Begenungskultur

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We send out our newsletter about once a month, providing tips and information on the topics of leadership and organisational development. You can cancel the subscription and unsubscribe at any time. We use the E-Mail address you provide here exclusively for sending the newsletter and do not pass it on to third parties.

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