What is one best practice for managing remote teams?
To help you manage remote teams, we asked CEOs and people managers this question for their best insights. From giving responsibility and purpose to looking into mentorship programs, there are several recommendations that may help you manage remote teams in the future.
Here are twelve best practices for managing remote teams:
- Give Responsibility and Purpose
- Drive Higher Engagement Through Regular Communication
- Provide Consistent Feedback and Recognition
- Offer the Right Tools and Equipment
- Collect Feedback and Act On It
- Allow For Flexibility in Working Hours
- Establish Expectations in the Virtual Office
- Increase One-to-One Communication
- Have Informal Interactions
- Create a Flexible Management Plan
- Have a Clear and Detailed SOPs
- Look into Mentorship Programs
Give Responsibility and Purpose
You can manage a remote team by giving responsibility and purpose to each and every employee. When somebody feels like more than a small cog in a machine and like the success of the business is linked to their direct input, they’ll be intrinsically motivated and want to do their absolute best. When you can attach this responsibility to direct rewards such as profit shares and bonuses, your remote employees will know that the better they do, the more they’ll make and more comfortable their lives will be in return. Just like as an entrepreneur you’re motivated by your responsibility to your team and to the quality of life you want, so are your employees.
Antreas Koutis, Financer
Drive Higher Engagement Through Regular Communication
While you want to ensure all employees are productive throughout the workday, obsessing over it is never a good call. Constantly pushing team members to perform may only train them to the point where their productivity level is high while the quality of work is suffering. Quality and productivity should always go hand in hand. And in a remote work model, communicating with your team requires different strategies than on-site interaction. Through regular video Zoom chats and Slack messages, your remote team will better understand the level of performance and accountability expected from them. They’ll also learn how much value their work brings to the company. Giving the team a sense of unified purpose is a more dynamic way to boost productivity and raise the likelihood of your organization reaching its short- and long-term goals.
Chris Gadek, AdQuick
Provide Consistent Feedback and Recognition
Employee feedback and appreciation are key factors in keeping your workforce engaged and motivated. And given the nature of remote work itself, constant feedback is even more crucial as it helps bridge the gap rather than letting isolation drive teams apart.
Leaders should remind themselves that recognition and appreciation give their team members a greater sense of purpose, incentivizing them to do their best. Without it, team members could fall into a slump or feel as if the management simply doesn’t value what they bring to the table
Harry Morton, Lower Street
Offer the Right Tools and Equipment
If you expect your teams to stay focused and at the very top of their game, you need to equip them for success. This includes providing access to ergonomic office furniture and investing in the right tools and applications to improve their workflow. Remember that you can’t expect to see the results that you would at a physical workplace if you don’t recreate that experience for them at the comfort of their homes.
Riley Beam, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.
Collect Feedback and Act On It
There’s no better place to start than by simply asking your employees what they really need in order to feel supported. Each team member will have their own unique concerns which highlight areas for the management to work on. More importantly, employers will be able to pick out the most common problems faced by their teams and implement better strategies to fix these issues. The key lies in being proactive, simply collecting feedback isn’t enough.
Demi Yilmaz, Colonist.io
Allow For Flexibility in Working Hours
Working from home is becoming more popular in people’s lives to gain flexibility with their working hours. It is essential to include flexibility in working hours when managing remote teams; however, collaboration is not required. They require a variety of flexible schedule options and flexible schedules that can change based on their need for flexibility in their lives at any given time. For example, an employee may want a flexible work schedule, not every day but on days when their children have doctor’s appointments, when classrooms have parental helper opportunities, or annual medical appointments. Virtual tools can also help the team stay connected while chatting and resolving any upcoming issues.
Axel Hernborg, Tripplo.com
Establish Expectations in the Virtual Office
Establishing expectations, especially in the virtual workspace, is crucial in a remote environment. Work-life balance can be difficult when working virtually as there are no boundaries between home and the office. Employees can find themselves working unrealistic hours to complete projects, which creates burnout and decreases productivity. It’s crucial to set proper working boundaries and regular check-ins, and only sign on after hours for emergencies.
Dino Ha, Kaja Cosmetics
Increase One-to-One Communication
Even when remote team members work in close tandem, a certain distance grows between them due to the lack of physical proximity. Over time, this distance manifests itself in different ways. Some of the repercussions include a lack of commitment, giving in to monotony, a dip in camaraderie and loyalty, procrastination, or insubordination. To avoid these and other potential drawbacks, managers must go the extra mile and communicate more often to keep their individual relationships with their team members active and exciting. On the other hand, managers should also encourage team members to increase one-to-one communication between themselves.
Azmaira Maker, Ph.D., Aspiring Families
Have Informal Interactions
A common teleworking challenge is that teams don’t interact with other teams. We’re making a conscious effort to create a company culture online by having informal virtual watercooler meetups every two weeks. That way, employees can engage with others and feel like part of a larger team. This helps us grow a culture of trust and camaraderie as a company.
Anne-Marie Faiola, Bramble Berry
Create a Flexible Management Plan
Be gentle with regulations and treat employees with trust when it comes to managing their work-life balance. Working from home sounds incredibly freeing at face value, but it can swiftly become an imposition. In a way, our homes are being invaded by work, building resentment each time job duties intrude into our comforts, lowering job-satisfaction, and impacting overall performance. Adding regulation can potentially increase tension, embroil a team in micromanagement, and further disrupt productivity. The truth is that working from home doesn’t present singular problems, but an unending cascade of many small ones, making it hard for managers to create workable policies for every employee.
Maintain open lines of communication and work with your team to create a uniquely flexible management plan that is custom-made for your abilities, limitations, and goals. Exercise compassion because while we may be separated in physical space, our workplace is always a team.
Brandon Adcock, Nugenix
Have a Clear and Detailed SOPs
Communication and setting expectations are absolutely essential to avoid problems with employees working remotely. Having very clear and detailed SOPs (Systems and Processes) that are well documented will make the work process go smoothly. It is best to let them know what is expected of them and how you will judge the success or failure of their work. It is important to give remote employees the resources they need to successfully carry out their work. I have also learned that it works much better to give remote workers measurable responsibilities and allow them to accomplish those tasks in a timely manner. Being available to answer their questions is also key.
Alex Shute, FaithGiant
Look into Mentorship Programs
Companies should look into mentorship programs to adequately train employees from the first day. Some new hires may feel out of place and unsettled in a remote to hybrid work environment. This is especially true for entry-level workers as this may be their first job out of college. A remote employee that can show them the ropes of the company’s mission, values, and method of working will not only help them get acclimated, but make them feel like a part of the team. Daily Zoom calls, as well as weekly team meetings as communication tools will be extremely beneficial in the beginning stages, and can then transition to every other week or monthly get togethers. Everyone should feel included in the workplace – how businesses go about training their staff will determine their success and work ethic in and out of the office.
Lillie Sun, Three Ships Beauty
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