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The Urgent Need for Remote Leadership Training

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April 2, 2024

The Urgent Need for Remote Leadership Training

Remote working has become more than just a trend—it’s a fundamental shift in how we approach work. However, as organisations adapt to this new reality, a critical roadblock has emerged: a lack of leadership preparedness for remote and hybrid teams.

💡 68% of HR Leaders declared that their leaders had not had any training on skills that would help them adapt to leading remote/hybrid team 

– People Efficient Research Report

Our research aimed to delve into the frustrations harboured by HR leaders in remote teams and their correlation with leadership practices within companies. What emerged was a sobering reality: the absence of trust between leaders and their teams is creating environments that stifle productivity and innovation.

Leadership challenges in remote work

Many processes have failed to adapt to remote working, resulting in frustration from both employees and leaders. 

For instance, onboarding processes have faltered, with new starters feeling ignored as leaders grapple with the transition from in-person shadowing to remote orientation.

“The company thinks it’s easier to make everyone go back to the office than invest in training for leaders. But the leadership problems were already there when we were in the office. People were disengaged because of poor leadership and unnecessary processes.”

– People Efficient Research Respondent

The absence of trust between leaders and their teams is creating environments that stifle productivity and innovation. When leaders fail to trust their employees, they may resort to micromanaging, which can erode morale, reduce creativity, and lead to disengagement. 

This cycle of mistrust and poor leadership behaviours can have a cascading effect on the organisation, hindering growth and ultimately reducing overall productivity.

Impact on business goals

The perceived deficit in leadership skills is not merely a matter of inconvenience—it directly impacts business objectives. 

Our Roundtable participants noted a lack of direction, support and autonomy which hinders the organisation’s ability to achieve its goals. Collaboration suffers, innovation stagnates and morale declines as employees feel adrift without clear leadership guidance.

💡77% of respondents agreed that their leaders simply don’t have the tools in their toolbox to lead effectively in a remote or hybrid environment.

– People Efficient Research Report

Shift the focus from monitoring activities to measuring outcomes. Empower employees to own their work, set clear goals, and track progress collaboratively. This approach allows for remote and flexible work models to thrive without compromising accountability or productivity.

The way forward

Addressing the leadership gap in remote work is not just an option – it’s a necessity.  Organisations must equip their leaders with the necessary tools and understanding to navigate this new landscape effectively. 

By investing in leadership training tailored to remote and hybrid work environments, companies can unlock the full potential of remote work, transforming it from a hindrance to a driving force of success.

“We haven’t equipped them well enough to be remote motivational leaders. The managers are overworked themselves which impacts how much time they devote to their teams and teamwork.”

– People Efficient Research Respondent

The path forward lies in not just returning to “how things were,” but reimagining workplaces for the future:

  • Prioritise flexibility – Hybrid or remote work models can offer the best of both worlds, preserving talent access and inclusion while still fostering collaboration and team spirit.
  • Re-think performance metrics – Shift the focus from physical presence to output and results, empowering employees to work effectively regardless of location.
  • Nurture inclusive cultures – Double down on EDI initiatives, promoting awareness, combating bias, and ensuring safe spaces for all employees, whether remote or in-office.
  • Use data-driven decisions – Regularly assess the impact of return-to-office policies on talent metrics, productivity, and EDI indicators to adapt and course-correct as needed

Getting started

Dive into the full research report by downloading it for free now. 

In the report you’ll find:

  • Exclusive remote working stats
  • Direct quotes from participants
  • Solutions to remote work problems

Download the report for free.

The findings from this research have not only enriched our understanding but have directly influenced the evolution of our ‘Build EMPOWERING Leaders of Remote Teams‘ courses.

By aligning our courses with the real-world challenges identified through this research, we aim to equip leaders with the skills, strategies, and insights necessary to navigate and excel in the complex terrain of remote team leadership.

Take the first step towards creating a culture of transparency is by investing in your leaders. With People Efficient’s new Building Empowering Leaders of Remote Teams courses your leaders will perfect their ability to manage and lead, so that you can help your organisation adapt to a remote working structure which takes into account both the uniqueness of each employee, and the health of the business.

We don’t open the doors often, as the courses are all sold out, but when we do, we only offer spaces to those on the waiting list (get on the waiting list here). To find out more, schedule a chat with our Agile HR expert, Kate Maddison-Greenwell here.