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Practice Management > Building Your Business > Leadership

3 Ways to Be a Great Remote Manager

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What You Need to Know

  • Roughly 40% of advisor firms plan to remain virtual beyond the pandemic.
  • Managing people in a virtual environment means leaders must alter their style.
  • Building trust is always important, but even more so when a firm is working virtually.

About 40% of advisor firms will remain virtual even beyond the pandemic, according to research done by our consulting firm. Given this development, many firm owners are asking us how they can be a great manager in the new virtual reality.

While there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” answer, it’s critical for advisory firm owners to understand how to manage their people effectively if they want to grow their businesses.

Even with technology advances and new realities tied to working from home, financial advice is still a people-oriented industry. As a result, if you want to grow, you must take special care of the people you lead.

Contrary to popular belief, being a good manager isn’t about having a specific personality type. Instead, it’s about consistent actions.

Here are the actions you need to take to be a great manager, retain your staff and grow your business, even when operating virtually.

Build Trust

The best managers focus on developing trust with their employees. The hard thing about trust, though, is oftentimes it is experienced through feelings. Therefore, how do you create a feeling of trust?

While it may feel counterintuitive, you build trust by focusing on yourself, not everyone else.

Amateur managers will look outward at their team and say, “They aren’t doing what I want them to do.” But mature managers will look at themselves and their own actions. They do this to fully understand what example is being set for their teams.

Whether you are interacting with employees or clients, you’ll build more trust, and your team will feel more trust, when you show — rather than tell — them how to act.

Act Consistently

Consistency begins with setting an example. Your job as a manager becomes incredibly difficult when what you’re doing is not the same as what you’re expecting.

When an employee sees you acting in a different way than what you expect of them, it breaks their trust. It shows them that there are no clear expectations for doing the right thing and making the right choices.

When there is no consistency, it is impossible to manage. The way to fix this inconsistency problem is to change your behavior first.

Map Out the Process

Outside of trust and consistency, most all other management problems are a function of broken processes.

Think about this example. If you build a machine to make T-shirts, that machine has to follow a predefined number of steps to make the shirts correctly. If it follows all the steps, we can trust the machine to do its job.

In your firm, client experience is the machine. When it runs properly, people don’t have a hard time trusting or communicating with you, because they know the steps necessary to deliver great client service.

When people know where they fit into the steps in a process, they gain confidence in what they do. They can know with certainty that they’re doing the “right” thing. They can then voice concerns and communicate with you more easily because they have something objective to reference.

If you want to become a better manager, mapping out the process will help you understand what you are managing. A process gives you objectivity, so you can run your business without relying on feelings.

When that change occurs, everyone benefits.