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#WFH: Do You Own Your Work?

Organizations need to encourage this type of behavior, to allow the employee to take ownership of their work, their schedule and their performance. They need to empower the employee and encourage them to succeed. They need to support engagement and productivity through clearly communicated expectations, well defined performance goals and mutually agreed upon objectives. And then, most importantly, they need to let the employee go. The biggest challenge to success in the virtual environment is leadership. Leading virtually means leading differently. Leaders in the virtual workplace should listen between the lines and communicate clearly and intuitively. They need to have and to communicate clear expectations for performance, account-ability and measurement.

Goals, deadlines and accountabilities create the roadmap for success. These need to be de-fined, communicated and reinforced. Leadership will also want to be transparent. Deceitful practices and hidden agendas do not do well in the virtual environment. This is an environment where trust is paramount and lack of trust can sabotage even the best of intentions. Trust is difficult to gain and easy to lose. No virtual workplace can succeed without trust in strong leaders.
Leaders in the virtual workplace need enhanced capabilities to manage independent and autonomous individuals. The old methods do not work. They need advanced communication skills, intuitive listening skills, trust building, and inspiration-al skills, and above all strong project management and accountability. They need to be able to deal with ambiguity and change and to reach and connect in a way that supports both the virtual worker and the business’s objectives. The virtual leader needs to be focused on and deliver results. Value in the virtual workplace is all about delivering the goods. This ability comes by aligning connections. It is the job of virtual leadership to set up enough touchpoints and the right touchpoints to get this done.

The virtual world is all about connections and connecting. Leaders in the virtual environment need to be effective communicators. They need to build relationships in an environment that is fast paced, remote and where distractions abound. To build a relationship, you have to touch someone. Not necessarily physically but certainly emotionally and cognitively. Relationships are built on touchpoints. Touchpoint is a term used to describe the interface between two things. Companies interface with customers and employees though many different channels: distribution, communication, service, public relations, investor relations and human resources. Virtual leadership is about creating and supporting touchpoints. Touchpoint leadership is a multi-dimensional strategic approach that focuses on optimizing performance.

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