How remote and hybrid working changed the role of teams and challenge leadership

How remote and hybrid working changed the role of teams and challenge leadership

Teamwork relies on interdependence, as without it, a group of individuals sharing the same boss cannot be considered a team. However, dependency is not possible without trust.

Trust is the key component that binds the team together, just like glue. Its significance is even more apparent in remote work scenarios where the physical presence of team members cannot be observed.
Companies are looking for a new way of talent acquisition, seeking for people who not just skilled, but also share their values. Let's look into the new approach and why it becomes a major stream.

In an office setting, it is possible to see what everyone is doing, but remote teams can only operate effectively if team members trust each other to do the right thing, even without physical oversight.

Observing high-performing teams can help us understand the origin of trust: shared values, or values alignment, to be precise. In other words, we tend to trust people who are similar to us, who share our objectives and methods of achieving them. When we have the same values as others, we can predict their behavior even in situations where there is no direct observation.

Many companies prioritize skills over values during their recruitment process. While this may seem reasonable to some extent, as competency is crucial, leaders may hire a candidate with the right skills and experience for a challenging role. However, such skilled new hires can be detrimental to the team's harmony if they are disruptive, deceitful, or manipulative. Despite being hired for their skills, they may ultimately get terminated due to a lack of alignment with the company's values, which also need to be clear and explained. We described this in details in another article which we recommend you to read: That's why hiring right people is essential.

Ideally, a team should consist of individuals with both the necessary skills and values. However, in some cases, it may be challenging to find such candidates and the right approach of attracting and acquiring talents to your organization will definitely help.

In such scenarios, the usual order of priorities should be reversed. Instead of prioritizing skills, the focus should be on hiring individuals whose values align with the company's from the very beginning. This approach is particularly effective for remote teams, as new members cannot observe the values of the physical workplace. Moreover, training new skills is more straightforward than attempting to convert someone to the team's perspective.

To hire based on values, you must first be able to articulate your own values as an organization. When things go wrong, a few core values should stand out as essential. Here are a few suggestions to help you think about your team's values.

One essential value is positive regard, which entails believing that colleagues are professionals who act in the team's best interest. When team members adopt this perspective, they assume that misunderstandings cause problems, making them easier to solve without getting involved in political blame games.

Another crucial value is kindness. Working remotely can be isolating and increase work-related stress since there is no one around to signal when it's time to stop. Teams that prioritize kindness will prioritize building strong social and professional support structures to help colleagues navigate these challenges. Read one more thing: Simplicity in communication.

Suppose the team's boss cannot or will not delegate tasks. In that case, if a significant issue arises, they take care of it themselves, believing they are leading from the front. However, for the team, this behavior can signal a lack of trust.

Effective delegation is crucial for the motivation and morale of your team. While it may seem like you're delegating yourself out of a job, in reality, you're shedding a role you shouldn't be playing. Professionals don't require overpaid supervisors; they need leaders. By delegating effectively, you're freeing yourself to focus on leading and providing value to your team.
Leadership Talent Acquisition