How to Create a Committed Remote Team

How to create a committed remote team
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This article is a part of the series Re-Inventing Leadership: 9 Things Virtual Leaders must focus on.

After remote work began last spring, leaders faced a new insecurity around the c-word, (commitment.) Is my team just at home napping? Are they going to stay committed at home with all of these distractions? How are they going to balance their commitments? 

How can I help build commitment on this remote team?

In fact, building commitment looks different in the work-from-home environment versus the in-office environment. Your team is now in a different work setting, and so they need to take on a newer and higher level of commitment for them to succeed in this environment. They have to be proactive in commitment behaviors such as creating an optimal at-home work environment and routine, and none of this comes easy. So let’s talk about three things leaders can do to help build commitment on their teams.

Step One: What Commitment Looks Like

First, leaders need to create commitment on their remote team, by getting clear on what commitment looks like.

In the area of commitment, the greatest conversation you can have as a team, is about what commitment “looks like.” By writing down and discussing behaviors, your team can bounce ideas off each other to help them understand what behaviors they are doing and what new behaviors they can step into to further build their commitment. This also helps your team identify any changes in what commitment means in the work-from-home environment versus the office.

  • What does a healthy commitment look like? What actions do they take?
  • Not being overcommitted looks like what?

Tip – Create An Avatar:

To illustrate, create an avatar of the perfectly committed team member. Describe this avatar so clearly, that an outside observer could watch your team and identify committed, over-committed, and under committed.

Step Two: Start With YOU

After you’ve created your commitment avatar, to create a committed remote team, remember that commitment starts with you.

You have reasons for your own commitment, so write those reasons down. When things get hard, and you find yourself having a hard time that day, pull your reasons out. In fact, writing down your own commitments creates an internal level of energy that you can role model for your team. Consequently, reminding yourself about your commitments builds resilience. So share those reasons with your team on why you are at the level of commitment that you are at.

Step Three: Have Your Team Share Their Commitment

Third, to create a committed remote team leaders should have their team share their commitments with each other.

Why are you committed?

So one of the best practices remote leaders can do is to have every team member write down and share their commitments. It reconnects that person as they share it with their team, and it inspires the rest of the team. In summary, have conversations regularly with your team (at least once a month) about their commitments.

Three Things For A Committed Team

Lastly, to create a committed team, you need three things.

  • A focus on Why (Here’s why we’re doing this)
  • Energy (Let people feel your energy, your excitement for your team)
  • Action Points (Here are the next steps)

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