How to keep distributed teams inspired
So you are the HO and rest are FO? The Head office neglect isn't a new crib amongst remote teams. For ages, distributed Organizations have been dealing with this identity crisis amongst their workforce. Ignore it at your own risk.
If you are yet to get there, time is kind on you, make use of it and handle it better. Here's a quick ready reckoner that can come handy as you grow from a Platoon Commander to handling Brigades or Divs in their civil equivalents.
Verbal will exhaust you, take writing lessons
- There is only so much that verbal communication works, you better start writing your mind.
- Writing has many formats, is more varied than talking and allows you more thinking space.
- Proofreading easier than rehearsals, you improve faster, you enjoy it more and you don't need audience live.
- Shelf life of written material is longer and passing it around is simpler. Pulling it all off in verbal is only achieved well by few.
Simple avenues to begin writing for
- If you use an HR platform like one from plugHR, you have "message from the leader" as a great starting point. You can use it for daily kickoff, or weekly war cry or monthly townhall or quarterly promise or annual celebratory. Each will have its tone that suites the frequency. But forget the quarks, get going first.
- Your email signature is also a great place for peddling your brightness to drive team inspiration. Keep a theme for a week and you have a personal ad space created for you, 52 slots each with 7 repeat shows, with probably hundreds of internal eyeballs per day. How cool is that?
- Do not pass the opportunity to write welcome mail to the incoming and farewell mail to the outgoing. If you insist, HR will do it, but then you missed your slots, and opportunity to inspire.
- Everyone has a founding day. Write on your's. This can be a longer piece, remember early days of struggle, all night works & pizzas, remind team of the first order, first goof up, whatever first. We bet, you'll fall in love with your own venture all over again, and you'll inspire team no ends.
- We can go on and on, but this 101, so do this four and tell us how did it go.
Ask leaders in your team to write
- Writing SOPs is passe, ask them to create caselets, best practices, infographics, value books, use cases, FAQs & FFSs (Frequently found situations)
- Keep content creation as a compulsory part of manager's role, you'll retain knowledge even if managers move.
- Lot of professionals will find writing a good indulgence and creative departure from routine.
Bite what you can chew, but bite nevertheless
- Keep it simple initially, start without announcing much, let staff figure it out.
- Look for natural adopters, who start writing or responding to your writing, these will lead the change.
- If things slip, don't give up. Beauty of writing is that you can start anytime, slip enough, yet stay the course.
Last but not the least, read others
- Read other entrepreneurs and figure the style that you like. Imitate without plagiarizing, give credits to the source in your writings.
- Assure you team that you have high tolerance for below average writing, just like you they'll improve too.
- Last but not the least, use humor more, threat less, distress never. Go write today.
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