Many businesses are building and embracing remote teams. Not only does it give you more scope over who you can hire, but it also gives you the freedom to build a team that suits your needs. And without the traditional overheads involved with growing your business, it’s a more cost-effective solution as well.
As Zapier mentioned in this recent article, many companies are now 100% remote team orientated. COVID-19 has also dictated that more and more businesses are employing remote team members.
Managing a remote team isn’t without challenges
But managing a remote team doesn’t come without challenges. Working remotely can lead to lapses in communication, declines in engagement and productivity, and a team that may feel isolated and alone.
However, if you’re looking to minimise those risks, you need to learn how to manage your remote team effectively. This involves a change in traditional team management techniques and learning to embrace new technologies and forms of collaboration and connection.
How to effectively manage a remote team
So if you’re looking for tips on how to manage your remote team effectively, here’s some to get you started.
Hold regular team meetings
Ideally, you want to start each day with a team check-in – but if you can’t manage daily, opt for at least a weekly one. Video conferencing is best, as seeing your colleagues can help you feel part of the team.
These team meetings are an ideal chance to see and connect with each other. They also enable you to get feedback on projects and ascertain if your team members need any help or additional resources.
Keep your team connected
On top of your regular team meetings, you also want to encourage team connection. Slack, Microsoft Teams and even Voxer are all ways your team can collaborate and communicate with each other. This helps minimise the risk of anyone feeling isolated and lonely.
But remember, it’s not just about work talk. You want your team to get to know each other and build a rapport with each other. That can only be achieved if they get chatting – think of it akin to the coffee break chats in an office environment!
Have one-to-ones with team members
It’s also a good idea to have reviews and/or one-to-ones with each team member. This gives you time to build a rapport with each of them and share feedback and growth tips for them. Use this time to check how they’re getting on working remotely and deal with any challenges they’re facing. But it’s also a chance to talk about their individual development as a team player and an individual – it shows you care about them, not just your business.
If you’re holding one-to-ones with team members, you’ll find it easier to manage the expectations of your entire team. You need to clarify the scope of your team, any deadlines they may have, as well as the tasks you’re assigning and the part they play in your bigger picture.
As with an in-house team, you need to ensure your team members work to your standards and values. Just make sure you’re managing your remote team’s expectations from an optimistic viewpoint, to help keep motivation and positivity high.
Focus on achieved outcomes
Unlike an in-house team, each team member is more likely to plan and manage their own time, methods and strategy, to reach the results you want.
And that’s the key here. It isn’t about showing up for set core hours or working to your methodology and ideals. It’s more about reaching the outcomes you want. So learn to focus on achieving those outcomes, not the activities that are taken to reach them.
Working remotely means dealing with unique circumstances and working environments. This requires you to show flexibility and understanding in regards to distractions, workplaces and timetables. Show you trust your team to manage their working schedules. Let them know you’re there for help if they need it; otherwise, you’re trusting them to do the job you’re paying them to do.
Become a mentor to your team members
Treat each team member like an employee, not a freelancer. Show you know and care about them. Help encourage their development – their goals and aspirations, talents and strengths. Become a mentor to them and help them grow as an individual and a team member.
You may not be the best person to manage your remote team
As a visionary and creative, you’re great at coming up with the plans, passion and drive for your business – to inspire others. But as discussed in this recent blog post, if you want to get the most out of your remote team, it may be better to hire an integrator (such as a Director of Operations) to manage it for you.
A DOO acts as the bridge between you and your team. They implement the systems, processes and strategies you and your team need, to reach the goals and grow your business. They ensure you have the right team members on your remote team, your team is running efficiently, and everyone is playing to their strengths and reaching their full potential.
If you’d like to learn more about working with me as your Director of Operations, book a call and let’s have a chat. You’ll find my contact information here.