Remotely managing your team

Thursday 2nd April 2020

Ria Varnom, an experienced coach, trainer and friend of Waldrons shares her tips and insights on managing your team remotely:

It’s the time for team leaders and managers to make sure they connect on the daily basis with their clients and customers…. If they want to keep them

  • Agree a Team Catch Up – time with your staff for a brief but daily catch up time, preferably early on in the day.  Use opportunities to see each other face to face with Zoom, Microsoft team, WhatsApp or FaceTime – whatever works for your purposes.  If you use Zoom you can record the session, saves you making note in the meeting.

Note to self: watching Zoom back, on reflection, how well did I communicate and listen?  Did I push my agenda through? How can I improve?

  • Make this a time where each team members connect and share is a little of how they are coping with working from home, and make sure you LISTEN, really listen. That’s  all most people want in truth.

Note to self: Ears before mouth. Less is sometimes more.

  • Add a moment of mirth, such as everyone holds their cuppa to the camera, see who has what type of mug or even cup and saucer.  Their cup of choice will be the first agenda item and what it contains the second.  See it as an icebreaker.

Note to self – get the unicorn cup the team gave you for Christmas out of the cupboard and ready to show off in the team catch up. LOL!   

  •  Down to your priority, how are they doing?

The problem is if you ask a question like “how’s it going” or “what have you been up to”, you will get vague or fake answers, positivity and not necessarily the real responses you are hoping for. So I suggest you set an email agenda for the meeting with questions for everyone to contribute to. This will provide valuable structure for your staff and avoid miscommunication, saving your precious time to watch online videos and memes about Covid 19.

Note to self: useful questions to ascertain valuable responses.

           Run the team  through your daily/weekly goals in an interesting way –


● What’s going well since our last meeting?

● How are you currently operating that works for you and your contacts?

● What are your first step/next step or final step?

● What realistic resources do you need to support you in this?

● What is not going so well? Explain the circumstances.

● What would you like to do differently? After each member answers the above, recap their responses in brief. I invite you to ask these questions to each person: What do you think the team could offer to support you? …….and myself? What do you require of me?

Note to self: how often do I ask this question?

Notice the responses, practice asking this question so it feels comfortable, regular, with me. How often do we check in to enquire how your team are getting on with the job, or even their life?

It takes seconds to ask, minutes to listen and the impact is timeless.

Finally, I believe there is a gift in every conflict if we look for it. Perhaps  Covid 19 is providing you the opportunity to manage better or maybe engage differently.

You will notice an increase in commitment, productivity and responsiveness from staff and colleagues as you engage and enquire. 

Come out of this a better manager and more fluent communicator

Note to self: You can do this, a meeting at a time.  Now go and find that mug

Ria is experienced in delivering ‘people services and solutions ‘ in many business environments spanning her career. A proficient confidant to decision makes,  or reviving the spirits of frazzled executives; Ria draws on her coaching talent to hone  raw potential in people as they advance in the company.  She excels in supporting HR  to turn around poor performers and build buy-in. Ria is adept at creating flourishing organisations through bespoke  coaching, training resulting in successful long term development.   

Contact.     Tel:  07900 497381

Please note that Waldrons has no fee sharing or other fee referral agreement in place with Ria Varnom.

Remember Data Protection requirements when recording meetings