Effective Leadership in a virtual world

Develop a transformational leadership approach - This creates valuable and positive change in team members. It is carried out by motivating members of the group to achieve beyond what they could otherwise do. Transformational leaders have a vision that inspires and motivates followers to achieve important goals.

A transformational approach encourages big picture thinking, collaboration and a goal-oriented approach. Many senior leaders in a global organisation will already have experience of managing disparate teams, and therefore we would encourage them to support and coach less experienced leaders to move them towards a more transformational approach.

In a remote working environment, all managers, at all levels of the organisation, can benefit from a quick assessment of their leadership style. To start with it’s important to get the basics right:

  • Is your team communicating effectively?

  • Are they organised in the most efficient way?

  • Do staff feel supported?

  • Has work been allocated fairly and appropriately?

  • Do members of your team feel challenged?

  • Does the current technology enable your team to perform their job effectively?

  • Is there a strong culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing?

Promote independence and decision-making skills - this is vital for remote workers. Leaders should encourage their remote teams to take initiative and adopt a more self-steering approach. Without initiative, workers can’t empower themselves to engage and own their various tasks. Leaders must encourage their staff to take ownership and become accountable.

Effective communication - leaders need to understand the new world of remote working and adapt the way they communicate with their team. Leaders should set aside time to connect with their teams daily and be aware of each team member's personal circumstance.

For example, virtual coffees, lunch and learns and introducing your family to your teams in a virtual capacity.

Ramping up levels of communication is essential to promote inclusiveness and evaluate emotions whilst working in a virtual environment. We recommend varying the means of communication to strike a good balance between group interaction and personal one-to-one dialogue.

Purpose - The whole team needs to know what target they’re trying to hit, why it matters, and how their personal contributions help. Understanding this is a key motivational driver.

Build trust and rapport with every team member. Trust is essential to an effective team as it builds a sense of safety. Leaders can build trust by aligning words with action. Rapport comes from getting to know them as a complete person which is extremely important when teams are working remotely. Foster relationships through creative interactions and gaining a deeper understanding of your team members. This will have a hugely positive impact on employee well-being and performance.

It’s a leader’s job to make sure they constantly check and challenge the working environment to ensure team member can perform at their optimal level.


Lysis and DCM are on a global mission to support organisations and teams who are working remotely. Remote working now plays a significant part in how we conduct our business. It is critical for organisations to adapt to the new virtual world. Let’s use the world’s biggest working-from-home experiment to drive positive change within your organisation and create dynamic self-steering and self-governing teams of the future.