The digital environment has quickly shaped the way people and businesses work and communicate. Digital entrepreneurs and virtual teams are becoming a trend, while finding and hiring employees through the online medium has become the norm.
What does every company and business want? Profits. Most of the times, profits are the result of the team’s productivity, which is generated by effective strategizing, communication, and work. The collective results of your team are highly influenced by your ability to lead and manage your people.
Therefore, learning how to discipline and organize the actions of your subordinates is a critical key to both your performance as a manager and the company’s overall results. When it comes to remote teams, obtaining productive results is a bit different compared to the traditional 9 to 5 work schedule.
In today’s post, I’m sharing 8 useful rules to manage your team remotely.
1. Hire the Right Team Members
The first step to developing a successful remote team is the rigorous selection of the team members. Before you hire a remote employee, you’ll need to carefully assess his knowledge, skills, and attitude towards work.
Generally, you should be looking for individuals who can adapt and thrive while working remotely. Focus and motivation, for example, are key traits for remote workers. Validating these traits is always hard, though you can look for related aptitudes that can tell a thing or two about whether an employee is good for your remote team:
2. Establish an Effective Communication System
When your team is distributed across the entire world and the time zones are different, communication becomes a challenge. For that reason, you’ll need to impose your expectations and rules, and your team members should always commit to respecting them.
First off, you need to decide how you and your members are going to communicate with each other. Is it going to be e-mail? Phone? An internal communication software?
The first thing you should decide is the video conferencing system you’ll use. Many companies use Skype, though there are plenty of other solutions.
Second, look for a communication channel that allows for instant messaging, screen sharing, and file sharing. Again, Skype is a good solution, though you can find many alternatives.
Once you’ve established the software, help your team get used to it by letting them know how exactly you’ll communicate, organize tasks, and work. You’ll need to create certain rules. For example, how often should your teammates report their results? What are the communication protocols? How frequently will you have meetings? Should your employees announce when they’re away for a few hours?
Simply put, you must figure out how everyone’s going to communicate and work, you must plan everything out, and you must get all the necessary tools. Once you’ve done that, your team is ready to follow!
3. Aim for Transparency
A sense of connectedness is absolutely necessary for any remote team’s wellbeing. To ensure that transparency is always present, take into consideration the following tips:
Prioritize video conferences. Face-to-face interaction is always more effective than instant messaging.
Help your teammates understand and align with the culture, mission, and purpose of your company.
Always share news, client collaboration information, and customer feedback with your team.
Encourage your members to speak out their minds, to ask again if they haven’t understood assignments, and to be transparent and honest at all times.
4. Establish Clear Expectations
Remote workers are used to having a flexible schedule. However, just like all employees, they’ll respond to the established expectations. As a manager, you must decide the rules that everyone must obey, and you should be firm about the punishments. For example, missing the deadline could be an unacceptable action that can lead to real consequences.
If your team is aware of the consequences of their failures, they won’t have any excuses not to perform as expected.
5. Don’t Ditch the Regular Meetings
Holding regular meetings with your remote team might be quite challenging, especially because everyone’s in a different time zone. It’s difficult, but not impossible.
Regular meetings are the best way to familiarize yourself with your team member’s knowledge, skills, mindset, and attitude. At the same time, your members can interact with each other on a regular basis, so strong relationships can be formed.
6. Schedule Private Coaching Sessions
As the manager of a remote team, you should frequently organize private coaching sessions. Take your team members one by one and have a valuable conversation about:
The performance of the employee
The committed mistakes
The skills that must be further developed for a higher productivity
The tactics and strategies that can be implemented for a higher efficiency
7. Focus on Results, Not on Activity
Let your team understand that you’re looking for results, not for activity. There’s a big difference between being productive and busy, and all of your remote workers should clearly understand and respect that. Encourage results through rewards and discourage irrelevant actions that lead to no concrete results.
8. Encourage Proactivity, Creativity, and Innovation
Your employees should think and act on their own whenever they feel inspired. Innovation and productivity are two of the essential traits of any remote worker, as they can often positively influence the overall results of the team.
A bright mind should always be appreciated and encouraged to stay creative and proactive. Establish certain rules but allow your employees to be flexible and to make various decisions on their own.
Improving your remote team’s efficiency is a matter of knowledge and skill. As the leader or manager of a team of professionals, it’s your responsibility to keep the results steady and consistent. Therefore, keep improving yourself, help your employees do the same, and start creating high expectations while delivering juicy rewards for great performances. Take our tips and tricks into close consideration and let your team thrive!
Cathy Baylis is a freelance content writer at Assignment Masters specializing in personal growth, career development, leadership, and education. She loves sharing her interests with readers, and she has something to say, for sure. Writing is not only her hobby but profession at the same time.