Industry Insights

Tips for creating visibility, opportunity and engagement with remote teams

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You may have spent the past two months or more on a treadmill at the gym, focused on tackling your personal resolutions for 2019, but did you set any goals for work this year? Maybe you're interested in finding ways to empower your team more, taking time to read a new management book, practicing how to communicate more openly, sharing your company culture with a remote teams, being more visible to your teams and your bosses, or effectively training a high-turnover workforce. There are several ways to level-up your work game, but with so many options and interests, it can be hard to know where to start. Our suggestion is to take the first step - Be visible.  

Being more visible at work means having more opportunities at work. Visibility allows you to showcase your ability for your leaders and teammates. It tracks that, if your leaders can’t see you, how will they register you exist - especially when that absolutely-MADE-for-your-skillsets opportunity comes along?

We have 6 tips for how to create more visibility with your leaders and your teams: 

  1. Ask for assignments with more responsibility. Give yourself an opportunity to showcase your abilities and prove that you're ready for the next step on your career ladder.
  2. Volunteer! Now we aren't necessarily talking about volunteering at your local food bank (which is also an awesome thing to do), but volunteer to represent your department at company meetings. Become a spokesperson. Also, volunteer for projects and planning meetings. This will also give you visibility to other work areas in a cross-functional way that can showcase your abilities outside of your work group.
  3. Get to know your boss. I have a former manager who always stopped by his boss’s office on his way out.  The end of the workday can be a great time to catch your boss when they have time. Fill them in on what’s happening. Tell them about your successes. Toot your own horn, but in a non-irritating way.  Don’t go ego-maniac on him or her. There is a saying for this, too: "Successful people manage upwards."
  4. Use your special set of skills. (Did you read that like Liam Neeson?) Even if they aren’t part of your current position, find a way to use them and keep them relevant. Share your knowledge. Offer to help or give advice (when solicited) to a teammate. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is also a way to keep those skills fresh and give you visibility as a subject matter expert.
  5. Coach by walking around. Now, this is a tip from one of the most successful companies in the world. (A company which, as it happens, lives just a few blocks away from us.) The idea of CBWA is that you schedule time each week to walk around and get to know the people around you personally and professionally. Make it an appointment on your calendar each week to stop by other's desks and check in with them. See how they're doing, ask if there's anything you can help with... or just ask if they have any fun plans this weekend. You'll be amazed at the results.
  6. Go to seminars and share the knowledge. Expand your skills and let others know what you learned. Help level-up your whole team when you find those pearls of wisdom. By sharing, it's like the saying goes, "when the tide comes in, all boats float." 

"Okay," you ask, "but what about those remote teams?" How do you get more visibility with people in the field - or people who simply aren't in the same building as you? The 6 steps above are actually transferable skills that can be used to help increase your visibility with a remote workforce. It's a worthwhile effort that lets remote workers know you are available, that they are a part of a bigger team, and they are crucial to the company overall.

So what might that look like? Here are 6 ways to practice being more visible with your offsite teams:

  1. If you are at corporate headquarters, ask for your remote team for assignments with more responsibility. Then empower your team to work on them during one of your regular meetings.
  2. Volunteer your team to represent the department. Then enable one of your remote team members to be able to accomplish this. Set up a video conference link to let them present info to everyone as a representative of your team at the next department meeting. Or you can include them in being a part of an internal planning committee.
  3. Just as you should get to know your boss, don’t let the flow end there. Get to know your remote team. Schedule one-on-one meetings on a regular basis either on the phone, video conference or in person.
  4. Get to know their additional skill sets and passion projects. Some companies have a database (almost like a social media platform sometimes) to do this. Encourage teams to use this and set deadlines and expectations for how often they should be interacting with it.
  5. Coaching by walking around still applies here too, even with remote workforces. Call, visit, make them feel important. Know their successes, what drives them, personally and professionally. Someone just bought a new house or mastered Fortnight. You should know and care.
  6. Sign your remote team members up for seminars and have them share what they learned. With the remote team, headquarter team and department. It lets them know they matter.

There are tools to help you do this, whether you have a large remote team or smaller satellite office. You’d be amazed at what the retail execution and field workforce management solutions at Movista can do. You aren’t alone. We’re here to help.

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