Tips on How to Effectively Manage a Remote Team
With all the massive alterations taking place in our lifestyles and the current situation of the world, the digital environment is playing a major role in shaping our communication and our businesses.
Virtual teams and digital entrepreneurs are the need of the hour. If you think about it, the imperative these days is to keep the business productivity constant and the flow of profits steady, all from the confines of one’s home.
As challenging as it sounds, however, certain rules can help you attain maximum productivity from your virtual team if you practice them diligently.
Let’s discuss the top 6 rules you must follow:
1. Hiring and Training are Key
Success depends on preparation. In order to prepare employees for your remote workforce culture, you need to hire the right people and train them well.
Hey, not all of us make for good remote employees, so look for qualities that will be a good fit for remote work. Some qualities to look for in candidates include proactivity, independence, responsibility, and trustworthiness, - seek out and implement those values into your company’s key core values and watch the team take off remotely!
If a candidate has past experience as a remote employee and good references from their past employer, then that’s a great sign.
The onboarding process in your company should reflect that of a remote workforce culture. For example, clearly define your company’s expectations and implement video communication and digital and interactive onboarding tools in the entire process.2. Build an Effective Communication System
With a virtual team possibly spread across different zones, communication may be a challenge. It is imperative to establish your expectations and rules clearly from the get-go so that your staff understands and is committed to following them.
To ensure this case, set up a foolproof system of communication between all the members of your virtual team. At this point, you must consider video conferencing tools such as Skype, Teams or Zoom. Also, establish another communication channel to create screen sharing, file sharing, and instant messaging so that it becomes as seamless as possible.3. Transparency is Imperative
You can verify the wellness of your remote team by observing its connectedness. To promote transparency within your virtual staff, you must work along the following lines:
- Your team must understand and work in alignment with the mission, purpose, and culture of your business.
- Video conferences are a priority, and you must have them regularly.
- Stay constantly in contact with each team member.
- Encourage active interaction and feedback. Your team members must communicate whether they have understood their assignments and should be honest and forthcoming at all times.
As the leader of the team, you should organize as many training sessions virtually as you can. You want your remote workers to perform at their best; hence, you must first make sure to coach them in the way you want them to perform. One way to do this is to give each of your remote team members your exclusive time and attention.
Here are a few simple practices to begin. Chat about:
- Success and the mistakes (the company’s, theirs and yours)
- Strategies and tactics you want to implement for improved efficiency
- The skills you wish the worker to develop further.
If you pay your remote team on the number of hours they work, then you must have clear monitoring and reporting methods regarding their working hours. In a physical office, you have a proper system of attendance and can look at the tasks completed at the day’s end. But when your team works virtually, it may be more difficult to guide and support with regards to time worked, focus, etc.
Another method is employing tools that record the attendance of each person. When they time in and out of the virtual system, they can offer accountability in terms of time management, in addition to task completion and project progress, etc. at the end of each working day.
A good method to do this is implementing an End of Day Report or EOD. In an EOD report, employers send a report clearly stating what tasks they completed for the day, and what is still pending (working on).
Also, you can use tools such as TimeDoctor, an online tool that does time tracking with screenshots, monitoring of website and app use, integrations and more!6. Observe Results, Not Activity
Your team must clearly understand that you want results, not mere activity. They must realize the huge difference between being productive and just being busy. It is necessary for everyone to understand the fabled “face time” is not what the company needs, neither in person nor remotely. What everyone seeks is productivity.
Set deadlines and targets so that each of your team members knows they have to produce substantial work with results within a given time frame. Encourage results and reward them, but also discourage and be prepared to point out and discuss unnecessary actions that don’t lead to profitable results.
Goals and objectives can be modified or changed as you discover new insights about your industry, but it is imperative to set clear goals before starting a project. The goals you set must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely (SMART)
A remote team does not mean that the business must settle for mediocrity, mainly because the leaders or business owners are not physically present to supervise the productivity of each member.
You can effectively increase the efficiency of your team with just the right skills and knowledge. After all, it is totally dependent on how well you communicate with your team to keep the results steady and the profit constant. Therefore, with these simple rules, you can not only improve your own virtual leadership skills but also increase the productivity of your remote employees.
Next: Growing your Remote Workforce