Are you prepared to effectively manage your remote team? The idea of managing talented remote employees from different locations without having to worry about much of the infrastructure cost is appealing. However, not everything is honey on flakes. For instance, how to coordinate the team, what tools to use, how to communicate, and how to manage a project that involves several people?
So, is it really that complicated to manage a remote team? In this article, we will break down the strategies that managers/ employers can use to manage remote team effectively.
Establish a proper mode of communication
Having a proper mode of communication is a key element for a company to maintain a productive team. And, without the benefit of daily face-to-face interactions, effective communication strategy becomes even more important with a remote team. It is important that the manager build a good relation and established trust with the team. Along with that, a team that support and each other and have a mutual understanding is crucial. Using management tools, chat tools for instant communication are important. Create an online group for off-topic conversations are also helpful in building a team that trust and support each other.
Define Your Expectations Clearly
Since working remotely is less structured than working locally, it is essential to define your expectations as precisely as possible. The first in-depth discussion would ideally take place when the employee is hired. Thereafter, it would be good to schedule an interview once a month, or even once a week, depending upon your schedule.
All the members of your team must know the short and medium-term objectives. In particular, they must know:
- What they have to do during the week and what projects they are working on
- How many hours they have to work and possibly how much work they have to do
- When and how they can reach you
- What level of availability you expect from them
Invest time to build trust
While managing remote employees, it’s very easy to just connect the call and talk about the task that needs to be done and get back to work within minutes. This makes sense when you’re on a tight deadline or just conducting a quick stand up meeting. As a leader, if that’s all you do, then you are really lacking the leadership skills that are very important for team management.
A leader must build rapport with every team member who is working remotely. This rapport helps the employees to trust you as a leader, and they can share their side of problems without the fear of retaliating. More-often without trust, problems usually go unaddressed and impact bottom line profits. Hence, the leaders should strengthen trust with their employees not only by discussing work-related things but also getting to know the employees as a person. For example, you should know where your employee belongs to, about their family members, hobbies, and passion. All these things will help you to build a more engaged and committed workforce.
Monitor the progress of your employees
To effectively manage your team remotely, it goes without saying that you must monitor their activities, both individually and as a team. To do this, you can:
- Create a dedicated tab in your collaborative conversation platform where your employees will update the tasks they have completed.
- Set a timeline within which they need to submit the work.
- Ask the employees to send you a daily report. Even better, you can automate this process by using a tool like IDoneThis or Freedcamp.
Whichever formula you use, it is essential that your employees must take responsibility for measuring their progress. Moreover, it is for this reason that they are hired: to work in freedom and independence. It will also allow you to focus on other more important things. Of course, that doesn’t stop you from making comments and giving advice.
Working remotely today is no longer synonymous with a smaller job or one that requires less of you, on the contrary. This kind of work helps the organization to expand its business reducing costs, accessing the best talent and contributing to a healthy change in the work paradigm.
However, when it comes to managing a remote work team, several challenges that are not common end up appearing and you need to find solutions to all these problems. Now, that you have found certain tips to overcome the challenges and achieve your goal. It’s time to put your plans into action.