Tips for Managing High Performing Remote Team Members
Working with your team in an office setting makes management slightly easier, as you can physically access your team members, solve minor issues, and discuss projects on the go. However, when you are working with remote teams, communication becomes more difficult and managing the team can seem impossible.
With your teams scattered across the country or world, the logistics of team management get harder. So, how do you get your remote team to accomplish set objectives and maintain motivation? Here are some of our top tips.
Clarify Goals and Expectations
It is your job as the manager to create context and paint the big picture for your remote team. Each team member has to understand the goals you have set, and their roles in achieving these goals. Communicate clearly what objectives you have set for the business and the expectations from each employee.
This is also a good time to focus on outcomes, rather than in-seat hours. With a remote team, it can be easy to feel like you have no control until you are supervising workers face-to-face, hour-to-hour. But with a remote team, the best way is to communicate expectations and hold employees accountable for the work they do — not the number of hours they clock in.
Jennifer Roland Cadiente, Recruiting Analyst at Recruitment.com explains, “Another key element is the breaking down of barriers of the traditional workday.” Cadiente continues, “Allowing employees to select days they are available for after-hours emergencies, flex time, and other mitigating factors can help prevent overwork and burnout.”
You should also be mindful of the hours and time differences and account for these when setting expectations of your remote team. For example, take time differences into account when planning virtual meetings.
Provide the Right Equipment
Once your employees understand the objectives and their roles in them, the next step is to provide the right equipment and tools for each remote employee. Just as you would provide the hardware and software in an office work environment, your remote team needs the right tools and equipment to perform at their peak levels.
When seeking to provide the right tools and equipment, communicate with your employees to determine their needs and equipment they may already have. Some of the office equipment you should provide includes:
- Computer accessories, such as a functional mouse and keyboard
- Ergonomic desk and chair
- Internet router
Take care when choosing software and tech support for your remote team. Secure tools and software will protect your business from cyber security threats. Also consider adjusting your dress code to allow for more casual clothing. Studies show that employees are 61% more productive when they are comfortable and relaxed.
Delegate the Right Way
Delegating work in a remote environment requires the right strategies to ensure tasks are done on time. Here are a few tips when delegating to your remote team:
- Determine the work that must be completed, as well as the scope, expected outcomes, and deadlines
- Identify people whose skills, knowledge, and expertise are aligned to complete the task
- Assign tasks to the right team members
- Clearly communicate the scope, expected outcomes, and deadlines for each deliverable
- Encourage feedback and questions
Use Multiple Communication Channels
Effective communication is a critical element for the success of remote teams. Therefore, remote team managers must find the right communication channels for different situations. For example, an email lends itself to formal and structured communication, while video conferencing tools are ideal for meetings. Chat is more effective and efficient for real-time interaction.
In addition to using multiple communication channels, good communication skills are critical in facilitating effective communication. Here are some tips to improve your communication skills:
- Show empathy for all employees
- Provide opportunities for human interactions
- Provide chances for social interactions, where employees talk about non-work stuff
Use Project Management Tools
When managing your remote team, staying on top of tasks, responsibilities, and deadlines can be impossible without an established project management strategy. Project management tools help in regulating processes and enhancing coordination in remote teams.
These tools have features and functionalities that allow you to coordinate tasks and stay on the same page with your remote team. Some of the features that come with project management tools include features like project planning, communication and collaboration, and reporting and analytics.
With remote work becoming a norm for most industries, managers must find alternative ways to build and manage highly effective remote teams. But transitioning from managing an on-site team can be intimidating. If you are struggling with managing a remote team, these tips will help you get started.