How to lead remote teams you’ve never met in person

p 1 how to lead teams youve never met in person

As a world enterprise know-how government, I’ve spent the previous few many years logging many miles forwards and backwards throughout the globe. I did so to construct the boldness of prospects and shoppers, to forge trusting relationships with colleagues, and to lead many teams and organizations by complicated and unexpected challenges. To create familiarity and construct belief, we usually hung out in the identical bodily house to pay attention, be taught, set up and cement a basis for productive relationships. Collectively the logged miles enabled me to introduce myself, assess conditions, and discover widespread floor to advance the agenda in entrance of us. 

5 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, I used to be named CEO of Trendy Rent. Not solely was my whole recruiting and hiring course of performed remotely, however eight months into my new function, I nonetheless haven’t stood in the identical house as a single one among our board members, buyers, executives, prospects, shoppers or staff. If assembly somebody requires having shaken palms or being in the identical bodily house, I’ve not met a single person related to the corporate since beginning. 

Lengthy earlier than remote working was widespread apply, I turned a champion of the work-from-anywhere strategy, constructing packages and budgets with remote work as a foundational precept. There are large alternatives to safe area experience, a various workforce and operational equilibrium by leveraging remote work. Since Trendy Rent is a science-based digital hiring platform, everybody appears snug with a non-standard CEO hiring strategy. Whereas it’s not my intention to work remotely completely, our firm will stay remote for the foreseeable future till our international public well being disaster is nicely behind us.


Not touring to numerous workplaces, consumer websites or business conferences has not stopped me from actually getting to know our teams and colleagues—and vice versa. Although it requires a little bit of self-discipline and group, it’s potential to successfully lead teams and a corporation remotely. As an government who’s snug with the non-traditional introduction and skilled it firsthand, listed below are my finest practices for getting began from a remote work location inside a brand new group: 

Full a 30/60/90 plan

This plan ought to define your targets and expectations for your self and your group through the first 30, 60 and 90 days in your new function. The strongest approaches make sure you attain out to key stakeholders between the announcement of your arrival and your precise begin date. Share this plan with the manager hiring chief for validation of your strategy and early targets earlier than you step into your management function. Be ready to flex your define and targets as your organizational understanding expands, particularly in the early days.

Schedule (digital) introductions

Use the chance to pay attention, be taught and introduce your self in quite a lot of settings. One-on-ones, skip-level conferences and small teams will provide you with completely different views. Limiting group conferences to not more than six or seven folks will permit for extra interactive exchanges and offer you a greater likelihood to have interaction everybody in the dialogue—even those that are quieter—so their suggestions may be heard. 

Since you don’t have physique language in fairly the identical method as a clue as you’ll in an in-person assembly, place a robust emphasis on observing participation. Use these conferences to inquire who else you must discuss to—influencers and specialists throughout the group, in addition to those that can present the legacy organizational perspective. With out the proverbial water cooler, this can provide help to meet extra people and teams and sources of key influencers early on.

Set up a daily cadence of conferences

To keep away from being the brand new government for too lengthy, it’s good to get right into a rhythm rapidly for recurring check-ins. Retaining these conferences on the calendar—even if you assume there are not any urgent agenda objects—permits you to construct relationships early on. Actually, I’ve discovered that the one-on-one conferences with fewer agenda objects typically find yourself being the most efficient. If potential, keep away from shifting these conferences on the final minute, as it could not ship a very good message of somebody’s significance in your schedule. With none journey, it’s simpler to keep a extra predictable every day schedule.

 Maintain your digital camera on

As a frontrunner, when you might have your digital camera on, you ship a message of transparency and openness. It invitations others to do the identical. If others will not be following go well with, it’s your alternative to state your desire to assist construct extra openness in your working relationships. Ensure to introduce your self to others by outlining your fashion, your preferences, and the way you’re employed. This may permit you to set expectations and construct stronger understanding and connections amongst your teams.


Deal with conscious, energetic listening

Be current and engaged in your digital conferences.  This exhibits curiosity and dedication to your staff and the group and units a very good instance for others. Deal with actively listening and asking thought-provoking questions to invite a range of group voices into the dialog. 

Give early suggestions

Your new group shall be very in your impressions. Use this a possibility to set the tone to your management fashion, your values, and your observations, notably the place you see alternatives to have an early influence. Be educated sufficient to present good steering the place you might have it, however give others company to do their jobs.

Be accessible 

Take part in your group’s formal and casual communication channels so that you may be extra approachable at quite a lot of occasions and methods. Being accessible on brief discover will assist make you be extra approachable.

Eight months into my management function, I’ve established a daily cadence of interactions, stay absolutely current and interact inside quite a lot of methods as overtly and transparently as potential. These habits have helped me get to know the Trendy Rent orbit. Not being in the identical bodily house has challenged us to construct belief, understanding and transparency, whereas not letting or not it’s an excuse for the sort of interactions everybody ought to have. By the point we do truly sit round a standard desk, we shall be nicely forward of what we might have completed in person. 

Karin Borchert is  CEO of Modern Hire, an all-in-one enterprise hiring platform that permits organizations to repeatedly enhance hiring outcomes by extra customized, data-driven experiences for candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers.