Mobile Management 101: To Do Before Delegating to Remote Team Members
You already know how difficult it is to manage a team when you see everyone daily and you can stop by their desks to discuss performance improvements. Now imagine doing the same thing with a team you’ve never met and who are located around the globe. If you don’t have experience managing remote workers, you may feel like you’re in over your head. Here’s how you can navigate the technologies, team building and communications in a mobile office so you can begin delegating to your team.
The role of mobile manager requires you to look out for company interests by securing systems and focusing on key performance indicators. However, it also means your job is to get all these distractions out of your teams way so they can focus on delivering great work. Every remote worker is going to need a computer and they’ll likely be using a smartphone as well. At the same time, there are some trade-offs when company-supplied hardware is replaced with employee-owned components. Depending on the projects you’re working on, there may even be some high security implications with government contracts and industry regulations. ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) policies may seem like an easy solution at first, but they get much more complicated when you need strict controls. It is imperative you set up BYOD policies and a strong mobile device management strategy. BlackBerry MDM has evolved to support a range of Android and iOS devices. When a mobile manager does their job right, the team should find their jobs easier and productivity will rise, and mobile device management programs help that happen.
While only 10 percent of your problems will surround technology, 90 percent of your problems will be people problems, according to a white paper by Global Knowledge. Once you have the device security situation handled, you need to really step it up and help your team work together. You’ve got the right people on your team and you’ve defined your purpose, now you need to build strong team dynamics. This can be particularly difficult if none of the team members have ever met each other. The most important thing to do is to talk with the team and ask what is working and what needs improvement. You should also ensure you are providing feedback and awarding performance praise with every team member.
One of the most common elements of offline management is the team meeting. While these are possible in the online world, they are much more difficult when team members are in different time zones. Nobody likes waking up at 6 a.m. to attend an afternoon meeting that someone in another time zone scheduled. Instead, it’s better to use message boards, intranet blogs, email and other forms of asynchronous communication whenever possible. However, a face-to-face video conference can be a great way to promote team bonding when planned and executed properly. Here are some basic guidelines for any team meeting:
- Consider the various time zones represented within the team. If someone needs to be online at a ridiculous hour, it should be the person scheduling the meeting.
- Keep the meeting short and to the point. Don’t waste the team’s time discussing something in a video conference that could be hashed out via email.
- Create and share the agenda. Be sure there is a logical order to the meeting and that you don’t stray too far off topic.
- Make sure everyone is clear about the takeaways of the meeting. No one should ever leave with unanswered questions.