You’d be excused if you were still scrambling around working out how to effectively manage your virtual and remote teams to get the most powerful result.

Many leaders and managers were thrust into this environment within a very short space of time and for a lot, it’s been trial and error.

The great news is that if your remote team is set-up and managed in the right way, research shows that they can actually out-perform an in-house team.  The key point here is that its unreasonable (and irresponsible!) to assume that you can just disperse your group of talented people and hope for the best!

A few years back, remote teams were quite foreign and even considered strange but as internet connections have strengthened and software for video conferencing has improved in use and functionality, this style of working is now quite typical.

As this norm increases (even BEFORE COVID roughly 32% of workers in Australia were regularly working from home – as stated on the abs.gov.au site) more and more Companies are seeing the benefits and forming remote working teams. As this ability to work from all different locations, collaborating on projects and initiatives provides flexibility, it also requires leaders to support their people in a much different capacity to the norm.

Whether your team is 100% virtual, partially virtual or overlapping in hours or days of work, it’s likely your working environment and relationships have been affected.  Communicating what was once simple, now requires more effort and thought.

Luckily, understanding Extended DISC can help you to understand your teams needs and wants.

If you are familiar with Extended DISC profiles for your in-house teams, then you know how helpful it is to be able to support and encourage your people in the way they need. But what about for remote teams? Are these profiles as important seeing as the majority of tasks are performed alone?

Yes. They are critical – that is, if your goal is to create a team of self-leaders, set them up for success and to set you all up to reap the rewards.

A DISC profile clearly shows you the natural, preferred style of your individual team member (or, if you have a team profile, you will also understand the team preference overall, how each member works with and bounces off each other and where the gaps are that must be filled).

When you understand your teams DISC profiles you’re able to tailor EVERYTHING to meet their needs – from projects and tasks to workstations, working partners and required support.  The profiles give an insight in to your people’s skill sets and their natural behaviours – identifiers such as their strengths, stretches, how they perceive others, are perceived, what makes them tick, how they like to be motivated, inspired and challenged (if at all!).

The knowledge gained from a DISC profile can be the differentiating support tool that takes your team from ‘here’ to next level. Significant factors like knowing which of your team members can handle the isolation aspects and how much support and contact they need and expect from you to complete their role, will enable you to know where to focus (and how much!).  Knowing what to offer your team is essential if you want a successful remote program.

Tips to effectively identify and support the DISC Profiles:

  • D Styles are your assertive high achievers, visionary and natural leaders. They are likely to stay on task and get things done. D Style workers want to be heard and thrive on competition. Ensure your D Style people have the space to share their achievements and opinions. 
  • I Styles are your charismatic relationship focused workers. They typically have high Emotional Intelligence but may get easily distracted, even scatter brained under pressure. They do like to be around people and are the most likely to struggle with working remotely. Ensure you keep in touch with your I style people with messaging apps such as Slack (just don’t be surprised by the amount of chatter coming through these channels) and help to keep them focused and on-track.
  • Remote work is most suited to your S Style workers, especially if they are working at home with friends or family. Typically, they are your reliable workers who saty on task and follow instructions. They want to be comfortable but do not like instability. Ensure you offer them enough support to cope with the change in working environments. 
  • Your C Style workers are your analytical, precise, logical team members. Ensure you provide them with very detailed emails, so they know the tasks they need to accomplish and how to perform them. Check-in regularly with your C Style people so they can ask questions and discuss their concerns. 

If you’re interested in discovering more about your teams individual or group preferences, please get in touch.

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