What Great Remote Managers Do Differently, HBR. I’m going to quote at length. Read the article. It reinforces everything we say at Teal Unicorn:
They wanted their managers to be present, hands-on, and operationally vigilant without being intrusive. In other words, employees don’t want their managers to micromanage them; they want their managers to micro-understand their work.
Micro-understanding is about trusting, but making sure there are no unanticipated bumps
the role of a manager at its core remains the same: to motivate employees and organize resources to drive performance excellence [this is TU’s exact definition of a manager]
employees began to appreciate the role of the manager more while working from home full-time in 2020. Having a manager was helpful, provided the managers shifted from managing time, activity, or physical presence to managing results and outcomes.
They expect their managers to devote more time and effort to removing interpersonal and work barriers, coordinating among many stakeholders, as well as coaching and orchestrating their performance [At TU, we think coaching is a specialist skill that may or may not come from their manager. Good managers recognise when they aren’t good coaches and get one in.]
In a virtual setting, good managers act as enablers, and not as enforcers.
A present leader generates better organizational outcomes and increased employee engagement in a virtual environment. Presence here entails being approachable, visible, mindful, and having frequent individual and team check-ins, as well as being a valuable resource to employees in accomplishing their tasks.
Micromanagement is an employee obstacle; micro-understanding is an employee resource.