3 Simple Ways to Lead Effectively in a Work-From-Home World

Karissa Huyong-Manankil

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A great workplace is defined by its company culture, not its size. It is where everyone feels respected, is treated fairly, trusts their leaders, loves working with their colleagues and is proud of the work they do. This is one of the many things I have learned from the recent webinar hosted by the Philippine Retailers Association, where Antoniette Mendoza-Talosig, the Managing Partner of Great Place to Work® Philippines and Lead Consultant of Great Place to Work® Singapore, talked about “How to Elevate Your Employer Brand to Attract and Retain Talents” 

In this webinar, I was also enlightened that company leaders play a crucial role in nurturing these foundations of a great workplace. After all, how they conduct themselves as leaders impacts the level of trust their employees have in them and in the organization they work for.

But since the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to establish work-from-home arrangements, managing a team virtually effectively has become a challenge for most leaders.  Hence in this blog, I will share with you the best practices of Great Place to Work® Certified Companies on how they have been effectively leading remotely. These key take-aways might help you bridge the gap between you and your employees as you connect virtually.

Consider these three simple ways you can do to effectively lead even from a distance

Inspire Your People

It seems like a tall order to become an inspiring leader. But you can show this simply by being a leader who listens.

You can start by having online one-on-one sessions and weekly huddles with your employees. Use these avenues to listen to their opinions and consult them on decisions that will affect them directly.

Connect your employees’ work to a bigger purpose. This is especially important among individuals who want to find not just another job but meaning in their work.

You can be inspiring too by being a leader who cares. Synchrony Global Services, for example, kept their workforce intact despite the pandemic’s impact on the global economy. When employees know that the organization has their best interests in mind, inspiring them to return the favor through hard work will be much easier.

“[Synchrony Global Services] strived and allowed every single one of its employees, myself included, to retain their jobs and enabled them to keep providing for their families.”

Show That You Care

In these difficult times, your employees are looking for a leader who cares about them as a person and not just as an employee.

More than just being a leader who listens, it is also essential that you provide them with the resources they need to succeed at work and give them the respect they deserve in and out of the workplace.

In the case of DHL Express at the start of the pandemic, their leaders personally called their employees to see how they were doing. This simple act of making a phone call shows that it does not take a lot to show you care.

“Our leaders express their love and concern by making sure that we are equipped physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Celebrate with Your Employees

No matter how challenging things get, it is always vital for your team to celebrate both small and big wins. This can boost everyone’s morale, which in turn impacts their teamwork and improves job satisfaction.

Small things go a long way when it comes to celebrating your wins. You can, for example, acknowledge their accomplishments during your team huddles and one-on-one meetings. Thanking your employees for their contributions will also remind them that both their individual and collective efforts matter.

At Canva Philippines, the company not only provided employees with tools and resources to stay productive, but also used these tools to conduct regular engagement activities. By striking the balance between fun and work, Canva’s leaders managed to keep everyone’s morale and job satisfaction high even when doing remote work.

“[Canva] gave us laptops, blankets and working tools. We didn’t run out of engagement activities, so it was really fun. I didn’t feel that I wasn’t with them at all.”

And the good news is that you do not have to be a big brand to show great leadership in work-from-home arrangements.

Dow Chemical Philippines, a Great Place to Work-Certified™ company, has about 50 employees in the country. Despite that, 98% of their employees say that their leaders embody the best characteristics of the company.

This goes to show that taking care of your employees in both great and small ways is more important than the size of your organization.

“[Dow Chemical Philippines] is a great company to work for. Working with people who are supportive and understanding fosters personal connections and growth. With this kind of favorable working environment and benevolent people, our common goal is achievable.”

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Effective Leadership is a Win-win for Everyone

Whichever leadership strategy you choose, everything boils down to putting your people first. When you do this, it will come naturally for your people to prioritize the welfare of your organization. This is the kind of dynamic any organization wants—a workplace where there is mutual respect, high morale and where mutual trust thrives.

Having employees with a positive workplace experience will be a huge plus if your organization has invested heavily in creating a high-trust workplace culture. Their feedback will be a validation of the quality of your employer branding.

Your employees’ positive experience will also have a spillover effect on how you attract and retain top talent.

If candidates recognize you as a workplace with great leadership, they are more likely to choose you over your competitors. Your current employees will stay longer with your organization too, helping you avoid common issues with high employee turnover rates.

To learn more on how to attract and retain your top talents watch the full “How to Elevate Your Employer Brand to Attract and Retain Talents” webinar hosted by Philippine Retailers Association.

Let Us Help Elevate Your Employer Brand

Want your organization to stand out from the rest of the competition? Let our team Great Place to Work® Philippines help you create an employer brand that attracts and retains top talent and build a high-trust workplace culture, and get a chance to join our list of Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies.

Karissa Huyong-Manankil

Author

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces™ in Asia by surveying over 1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting over 4.7 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2021 or early 2022.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place to Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2022 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 130,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees

Why do you say in one place your national list scoring is based on 85%/15% and in another place that it is 75%/25%?

We are explaining two different things:
1.  The criteria we evaluate

  •  85% concerned with Trust and Maximizing Human Potential and
  • 15% concerned with everything else

2.  Where the data comes from

  • 100% Trust Index for organizations with less than 100 employees
  • 75% based on the Trust Index survey analytics and 25% based on responses to the Culture Audit for organizations with more than 100 employees.
For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees