A remote workforce has proven to be challenging to a lot of companies who have traditionally run operations from a centralized location. Aside from the technical issues (ie:security and connectivity) productivity, engagement and mental health become more difficult to manage. Today we take a dive into how we can utilize policies, tools and data to create a more engaged remote workforce.

Our guest today: Shiran Yaroslavsky, Co-Founder & CEO of Cassiopeia Tech

A startup that empowers managers that lead fully or partially remote teams to maximize workplace experience. Our solution delivers actionable insights to boost team collaboration, belonging, and mental health by analyzing communications patterns (not content) within and among teams. Shiran is an expert in all things related to data driven products and people analytics and was featured in 2019 Forbes 30 Under30 list.

In this episode we cover

  • The problems of managing a remote workforce
  • Providing direction on how to fix it 

What are the remote work challenges are companies facing today?

  • 77% Managers feel it is harder for them  to manage their team remotely  
  • Don't have visibility, water cooler talk 
  • Creating a sense of belonging becomes more difficult (more than third were affected)
    • Needs not being met.
    •  Need more empathy (fear, uncertainty) (36% of employees would like their managers to be more empathetic to their challenges at home to improve their work experience.).
    • Lead with an open approach
    •  Be more sensitive to employees’ needs and how we interact. 

Why is this important?

  • Managers need to constantly asses the team pulse
  • Remote teams are the future (GitLab report. 86% of respondents believe remote is the future)
  • New skills and tools that help to adapt to the new environment
  • Challenge with surveys
  • People are fearing for their job

Rick’s Input

  • Leaders must adapt, or parish
  • Changes operational efficiency and the need for more hands on management
  • Cuts the need for layers of management 

What needs to happen for a company to be successful in managing a remote workforce?

There are 3 main domains companies should adjust in order to be successful in managing remote teams:

  • Establish Remote Work policies & culture that are suitable for remote work. There are 3 things we need to pay attention to. 

    • Rules - We need to establish new rules for gaining clarity
      Will we pay people for overtime if they work off-hours? How do we manage security and passwords? 
    • Norms - When do we email, text, or message people? Are cameras always on for online meetings? How do we run and manage meetings?
    • Design our broader company DNA - 
  • How do we communicate when we aren’t satisfied with something? How can we stay connected while working remotely?
    Establishing the right culture will help us to foster trust
  • Training for managers
    • My interview with Amy Cappellanti-Wolf. Today the new leader is more about empathy. It’s still about driving for results but in a more collaborative way. Much more listening and a lot more guiding rather than directing.
      The new leader also needs to be more flexible and innovative to adapt to the new challenges as the world is changing very fast.  
    • Training can help to gain these new skills.
  • Tools needed
  • Working remotely is not just working from the office only with Zoom. Working remotely creates new challenges for leaders. According to our data - 77% of managers indicate it’s harder for them to manage their team remotely.  There is a workplace experience gap that technology can help in closing. 
    • Team Insights tools.
      It is more challenging to use Surveys for feedback tools (employees are busy and insecure while as a manager you need fast real-time insights to act on).
  • Communication shifted to online - people analytics can empower remote managers.
    • Examples from Cassiopeia - We analyze communication patterns to provide actionable insights to improve collaboration, belonging and mental health. 
    • For example - create a healthy workday balance. Experience of new employees
    • Communication platforms (zoom, Slack etc)
    • Collaboration tools - to share documents, thoughts, goals.

Rick’s Nuggets

  • Your policies need to start with your interview process and carry through to onboarding and tenure. Not just when the person is already working for you
  • Implement the same management tools in the hiring process. It provides a real life picture of how you work. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Be Aware of the workplace experience gap created by the shift to remote work 
  • Design the right policies and company culture to allow your company to prosper while working remotely. 
  • Use the right tools to boost your teams’ collaboration, communication, and employee experience.
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