Being a good people manager is hard work. Most managers think they are excellent listeners, good managers and have their own special style that motivates their employees to produce excellent results. Instead, every year company survey results show that some managers are seen as effective and supportive and others are not that good. How do we motivate them? Is motivation based on awards or heart-to-heart talks or small every-day things we may not even notice that we do? And what if the employees are in a different city or half-way across Europe? The job of a manager becomes much harder.

We’ve noticed that the survey results of some great remote managers are even higher than of great local managers. To find-out what do they do and to learn from them, we ran a Remote Management project at Lenovo EMEA. We asked the teams what their remote managers do well. We surveyed managers and asked them what specific techniques work for them. And we measured some statistics about how both sides perceive the interaction.

Let’s be honest. Although there is a multitude of theories and systems on how to become a good manager, most of it is not rocket science. It’s a question of paying attention, listening, trying to understand, clearly setting and working with goals and being systematic in your approach. But the constant question is: “how do the good managers do these things?” Come to my keynote at 17.00 on Day 1 to hear the techniques that make better remote managers. You’ll hear some statistics that may surprise you and get you inspired with simple techniques you can start doing tomorrow. Or, find out that you manage remotely on par with the best remote managers out there! And if you are thinking of running a program in your company for improving remote management – I’m happy to share our Lenovo materials and findings.

As for motivating – I don’t believe it is the manager’s job to motivate their team members. Any psychologically-balanced and healthy person can and does motivate themselves. The key is not to de-motivate them. It is very easy for a manager to de-motivate their team – and not even notice it! We can easily de-motivate them in the way we act towards our employee on the first day when they join our team, in the way we communicate to them their targets, discuss career goals, and manage them when they become high performers. Come join my session at 12.30 on Day 1 to learn how to best De-Motivate our teams And what to pay attention to if we don’t want to do it!

About the author: 

Maxim Strashun is a Senior HR Partner at Lenovo – he supports the Services organization in EMEA. Previously, he was the Head of Talent Development for Lenovo EMEA. He specialized in development of current management, senior management, and pre-executive team and creating the future management pipeline. Maxim is Canadian. He moved to the Czech Republic sixteen years ago and worked as a management trainer, teambuilding instructor and management coach. Nine years ago he moved to Slovakia to manage training and talent development for Lenovo in EMEA. He has trained in Europe, Asia, Latin and North America and lectured on management skills, developing future managers and engaging employees at universities and at HR conferences in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Spain, UK and Belgium. He loves to share ideas and programs, what worked for him and what he’d suggest to avoid – best learning happens during discussions.