Remote Working – Does Out of Sight Mean Out of Mind?

Image shows Antoinette Oglethorpe discussing the challenges of working remotely

This week I’ve been continuing my review of 360 degree feedback with a leadership team as they start of their coaching programmes. What struck me was how valuable the feedback was in helping leaders recognise the challenges of working remotely and identifying ways of addressing those challenges.

My client is a global organisation with a complex management structure.  Most leaders have two reporting lines – a direct reporting line into the global function; and an indirect reporting line into the country or geography that they support.

What that means is their direct manager is often in a different location (and time zone) to the leader and their team.  And there lies the challenge.

Working remotely – the Challenges

Sometimes, the 360 degree feedback showed close alignment between the leaders self-perception and that of their direct reports and colleagues.  But their manager’s view was different and the scores were lower.

So what are the direct reports and colleagues seeing but the manager isn’t seeing?

Well, everything.  Literally!

Why Balanced Feedback is the Key to Engaging Remote Staff

The manager isn’t there to see anything at all.  So their view is limited to the occasions they meet face-to-face and what the leader communicates by email, phone calls etc.

And the reality is the leader doesn’t bother communicating their achievements, their progress and what’s going well.  Instead, they focus on problems, challenges and what they need help with.

So their manager’s view is unbalanced.

Creating a Positive Impact on Key Stakeholders

For leaders to manage their careers and develop effectively in an organisation, they need to create a positive impact on their key stakeholders.  If some of those stakeholders are in a different location, they need to make sure they communicate and present a balanced view, promoting their achievements as well as their challenges.  [Tweet “If leaders work remotely, they need to share their achievements as well as their challenges”]

What advice would you give to those who are trying to impress from a distance?

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