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Collective Success

From Remote to Remarkable: Leadership in the Age of Distributed Teams

The following is an excerpt from Dr. KimLoan Tran's Training Industry article about effective leadership in a flexible work environment. Learn how Allstate has been leaning into flexible work by investing in upskilling our leaders.

People in a conference room having a video meeting with other coworkers..

Help change the way your managers lead in a flexible work environment.

May 17, 2024

Technology is evolving at lighting speed. The workplace is in flux, too. These converging forces have led to an exciting state of change that calls for a new leadership approach.

How did we get here?

Remote and hybrid work exposed the limitations of traditional top-down leadership. There's data to back that up: 75% of remote workers want more flexibility, yet only 15% of managers are comfortable leading in a hybrid environment. Distributed teams now span across locations and work arrangements, intensifying the demand for flexibility. When flexibility rules the workplace, old approaches just don't apply. Leaders now have to skillfully manage time zone differences, conflict resolution and equitable growth opportunities for all, no matter where they work.

Upskilling leaders has tangible benefits that underscore its vital role in driving organizational success and sustainability:

  • Boost in engagement: Which increases productivity and lowers turnover. Managers influence a whopping 70% of the variance in engagement levels.
  • Improved company performance: When leaders sharpen the skills that drive team motivation and efficiency, companies perform better than those without development programs. But there's more. Valuing diversity and adaptability doubles the likelihood of meeting performance goals, and it spurs innovation and higher revenues.
  • Effective succession planning: Creating a ready pool of talent for key roles ensures organizational resilience and sustained performance.
  • Strong culture and reputation: When leaders champion company values, it helps them attract and retain talent. And reinforces a strong employer brand.

In short, if you want a thriving business that fosters innovation beyond boundaries, here's my recommendation:

Change the way your managers lead.

Let's look at the example of Allstate. We have 55,000 employees all over the world. In a distributed workplace like that, leaders are key to transforming the culture. This flexible distributed work model has contributed to:

  • A 23% increase in candidates.
  • Two times more applications for roles with flex work options.
  • Roughly 50% of open positions are filled internally, supporting growth and opportunities.
  • Increase in engagement, with 84% of employees endorsing Allstate as a great place to work. That's well above the global percentage of employees, who are only 23% engaged.

We're shifting to a culture of growth by investing in leadership upskilling. Offering practical tools and support. Empowering leaders at all levels to effectively lead, connect and engage teams globally. Personalized learning, live coaching, and peer feedback help leaders develop and apply their skills.

Want to read more?

Read the entire article at to understand what critical skills leaders should focus on.

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