Since the start of the pandemic and the mass pivot to virtual ways of conducting business, many managers have found it challenging to connect and lead remotely. On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome Stuart Fedderson, public speaking coach and the Founder of The Fedderson Formula, who shares his strategies for successfully leading and managing remote clients and employees. Stuart has given over 400 Speeches, was the recipient of the Best Speaker Award with Toastmasters, and has over 11,000 followers on TikTok.
According to HR recruiting agency Undercover Recruiter, 52% of clients and remote employees are feeling isolated and disengaged in the virtual environment post-COVID-19. Fedderson explains the four big challenges facing remote managers today are:
- Lack of human connection: Human beings have an innate psychological need to connect with other human beings. The virtual world has helped fill that basic psychological need. However, a lack of human interaction is leading to a lot of isolation with a lot of the remote clients and employees in our world today.
- Staff disengaging during virtual meetings: Virtual meetings can be boring to say the least and many employees use that time to multitask and work on other projects.
- Untapped staff potential: In the in-person environment, managers could more easily notice the communication potential of their staff. However, in the virtual world, potential can go unnoticed.
- Lack of team unity: In-person, you can connect human to human, but in the virtual world those connections have decreased substantially.
It’s not all bad news though. Fedderson says there are four things that managers and directors can apply today to combat this.
- More frequent human touchpoints: The number one rule with these virtual human touchpoints is you don’t talk about work”You talk about life. You talk about how their family is. You talk about how their dog is. You talk about how the house is coming along or what it is their kids do.
- Start each virtual meeting with an icebreaker: Try a five-minute game like a virtual scavenger hunt. It gets the endorphins and the serotonin going, which therefore increases engagement levels during the virtual meeting.
- Set a ground-rule to have webcams turned on: 80% of communication is nonverbal. Turn those webcams on and engagement levels will increase.
- Be more deliberate in giving your employees, staff, and clients praise and compliments: Make sure you are being as equal as you can with your praise because in the virtual world, we don’t get that as much of it. Virtual managers who are more deliberate in providing that praise will see long-term increases in staff productivity and client engagement.
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