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Leadership Redefined: Transformative Strategies for Modern Team Management

Today’s modern offices operate completely differently from in years past. Unlike years ago, when punching into a 9-to-5 job was standard practice, businesses are much different now, and so is the modern working employee.

Now, many businesses have either explored or are regularly applying the idea of allowing fully remote or hybrid workforces. Along with this new working environment are the expectations of many employees – especially younger generations – when it comes to how businesses and their leaders interact with their staff.

This new and much more dynamic business environment requires leadership teams to rethink their strategies when it comes to managing their teams.

How the Modern Workforce is Changing

Twenty years ago, when people thought about a working office, they would often picture rows of cubicles and busy boardrooms. However, for several years now, and especially following the global pandemic, the way the modern workforce is laid out and managed is completely different.

Remote and Hybrid Setups

Most employees today use company laptops instead of being tethered to a specific workstation. This allows many staff members to work in and out of the office, working on hybrid schedules and reducing the need for dedicated office space. 

Highly Diverse Teams

Allowing more employees to work from home has done more than just allow for flexible scheduling. It has also enabled companies to hire employees outside of their own region while tapping into a wide range of professional experiences. 

This has helped companies bring into their organization fresh industry perspectives and various skill sets that can be used.

“Always-On” Working Cultures

With so many employees having the option to work out of their homes, this has created (for good or for worse) an “always-on” working culture in many organizations. This means the traditional understanding of “core working hours” has been completely redefined. 

Now, because of the distributed nature of many organizations, projects are able to be completed much faster and more efficiently.

Common Challenges Leadership Teams Face

While there are many advantages that the new way of burning businesses can bring, company leaders often experience some difficulties adapting to this new setting. Below are some of the common challenges leadership teams now face in modern working environments:

Keeping Teams Cohesive in Remote Settings

Finding ways to keep your teams on the same page and actively working towards the same goals isn’t always easy. Add to this the fact that many teams now operate on competing schedules and in remote environments, and leaders may have their hands full.

Another issue that can quickly arise is the development of “working silos,” where individual staff members or even entire departments begin closing themselves from others in the organization. While not everyone intends for this to happen, it’s very easy to simply keep your head down and focus on what’s the highest priority to “you.”

If left unchecked, leadership teams may quickly start to realize that deadlines start to get missed or that projects fall out of alignment with their original purpose. 

Working With Diverse Workstyles and Expectations

Having a diverse workforce can be one of the primary ways businesses see steady growth and better team creativity. However, with more diverse groups of people coming together, company leaders should also expect a certain amount of friction, such as personality conflicts or varying opinions about accountability.

Miscommunications or feelings of resentment can be commonplace in any workplace. However, when operating an office environment, where some employees have the ability to work remotely while other teams need to be in a physical office, it can quickly create a hostile and toxic environment.

Affording Flexibility Without Sacrificing Structure

Giving your employees more flexibility in their roles when given the opportunity to work out of the office can be a great morale booster. However, it can many times be difficult for company leaders to find the right balance between more autonomy and enough structure.

It doesn’t take much to lose track of all the projects a team is working on when they’re not all coming to work in the same building. For managers, this can create complications when making sure the company’s performance needs are being met each day.

Effective Strategies for Modern Team Management 

Leading modern teams requires more than just making sure everyone shows up to work every day. There are a number of important factors at play, and a business’s success depends on company leaders actively working toward improving their management approach.

Below are some effective strategies you can apply to help your teams succeed:

Improving Team Communication

No team can operate effectively without great communication. For managers, this means placing the right amount of value on team meetings and one-on-one sit-downs (in-person or virtual). It’s important to look for as many avenues as possible to help improve transparency across all groups since not everyone will be on the same page at all times.

But rather than always being the one to initiate discussions, it’s important to set clear standards regarding how your employees should regularly check in or provide updates on what they’re working on. When operating remote teams, using task management solutions is a great way to help you achieve this.

Helping Employees Feel Empowered

One of the best ways to keep your employees productive and motivated even when you’re not around is by helping them feel empowered. When an employee is confident in their abilities and operating with clear direction, it’s not necessary to micromanage everything they do.

In order to get to this point, however, managers need to learn how to properly delegate. While this might seem like an easy thing to do, for many managers, the idea of giving up control over certain tasks can be hard to accept. 

However, in order for your teams to continuously grow, it’s important to allow them to take certain risks on their own. You might be surprised at the amount of work that can be achieved when employees don’t feel like they’re constantly under a microscope.

Valuing Diverse Perspectives

For companies that have been around for some time, they will no doubt have a number of pre-established procedures in place. However, while this can be an important part of ensuring certain standards are being met, this rigid structure can also limit the ability to make certain processes more efficient.

Leadership teams should welcome feedback from their employees when it comes to improving their operations. While not all feedback might need to be implemented, employees who come from different industries or competing organizations might have some great ideas that can help your business innovate.

Taking Accountability

“Accountability” is often considered a nasty word for some employees. Even though accountability is an important part of assigning responsibilities within the organizations, it is often falsely assumed that business leaders just want to have someone to blame if something goes wrong.

Helping employees see the value of accountability is an important part of building a strong team foundation. The best way leaders can start to work towards a more positive attitude around taking on more responsibility is by holding themselves accountable when necessary.

No one likes to work under a “do as I say and not as I do” regime. When you say you’re going to do something – whether it’s managing certain project expectations or simply following through on certain plans – it shows employees that it’s important to hold yourself accountable.

Defining Clear Goals and Expectations

It’s important to set goals for your team so that they stay on track and ensure that their work aligns with company goals. Establishing goals and expectations for your team can be a great way to help them stay more connected with their work.

When employees blindly take on new partial projects, not knowing how they contribute toward larger business objects, it’s unlikely they’ll be overly passionate about completing them. On the other hand, if an employee’s performance is directly tied to achieving certain milestones, they’ll be more likely to stay on top of the “right” priorities.

Embracing Change as a Catalyst for Growth

One of the most difficult things that all companies face is having to be flexible to change. Very few people naturally accept change, and this feeling extends to company executives as well. However, change can often be a good thing for businesses when it’s viewed in the right light.

As a company leader, your goal should be to regularly advocate for continuous learning and adaptation with your teams. All types of change – whether company-wide or isolated to individual teams – are opportunities to improve.

But in order for employees to be more accepting of changes that come down the pipeline, you need to have the right attitude yourself. By begin enthusiastic about new company directives or changes in market trends that impact your teams, you’ll encourage them to do the same.

Steering Your Team Toward Success

Modern workplaces are quickly shifting how they’re run, and leadership teams are an important component of driving their teams forward. By following the steps mentioned, you can make sure that regardless of how your teams are structured, you’re putting your best forward and helping your employees stay motivated and engaged.

Author Bio: Cameron Magee, the owner of avad3 Event Production, is a passionate and dedicated professional who began his journey in event production as a curious 12-year-old at his childhood church. Today, he leads a team of hard-working production professionals, having built avad3 from his college dorm room into a national production company, committed to both client success and the well-being of his team.

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