10 Ways to Better Manage Your Remote Team
Working remotely is no longer a fad. The transformation of many work setups to remote work was in full swing long before Covid-19 struck. The pandemic added fuel to this change in workplace setup. The growth in remote work is due to many important benefits, such as happier employees, increased productivity, and reduced operations cost.
But working remotely is far from easy. Managers must be equipped with strategies to deal with the limitations of remote work. Today, we have a few tips from George Pitchkhadze – CMO of Keyzar Jewelry, a jewelry company focused on engagement rings – who manages over 15 full-time and FTE employees remotely.
10 Tips to Better Manage Remote Teams
There are many valuable strategies you can use to get the most out of your remote teams.
1. Prioritize your hiring process
Great hiring practices are the key to every successful organization, and it’s just as important when hiring remote workers.
Building a remote team requires tact and a keen eye for detail. Your hiring process must be laser-focused on addressing your current gaps. In the process, you must avoid any biases that may drive you to hire a remote worker for the wrong reasons.
Make sure that you have a detailed job description, a resume evaluation form, and a thorough interview process. Since you’ll be hiring virtual employees, recruiters will have to take on an interviewing and screening process that is more comprehensive than usual to ensure you choose the right talent for your needs.
2. Set clear expectations
Make sure you have a clear picture of the scope of work, role, responsibilities, and expectations you have for your employees. Then, get these points documented in a work agreement.
This will greatly reduce the chances of miscommunication and ensure that everyone understands what’s expected from them.
3. Use technology to your advantage
Around 77% of remote workers admit that they are more productive when they work from home. However, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to help them increase their productivity.
Technology is one of the biggest benefits of working remotely, so make the most of it. Simple tools like Google Docs, Trello, and Slack can be miraculous for remote collaboration. You and your employees can save a lot of time and money with these tools.
4. Establish clear communication guidelines
As a leader, you’ll be communicating with your remote team on a regular basis. Let them know how you like to receive information and what communication channel works best for you. In the same way, make sure channels for employee-to-employee communication are also established.
Since most remote team members cannot physically drop by your office or even see your facial expressions, make all your points very clear in your communication.
5. Ask for input
Be open to your team members’ suggestions and feedback and treat these as opportunities to grow and learn.
To make a remote system work smoothly, you shouldn’t be reluctant to ask your team members for feedback or suggestions. This is how you’ll be able to take your organization to new heights.
6. Deal with conflict immediately
Conflict happens in every workplace. But in a remote environment, it’s even more important to put into practice some effective conflict resolution techniques. Don’t let conflicts simmer, as it will dramatically affect the team’s morale and productivity.
The absence of face-to-face interaction to defuse conflict usually leads to extended disagreements and more complicated interactions. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, establish a conflict resolution plan right from the beginning.
7. Invest in your employees
Team members working remotely are usually not around you physically, so it’s only logical that you’ll need to invest in them more than you would for office-based team members. At Keyzar, employees get what they need – from steep discounts on the company’s product to the keyboards, computers, and even shoes they need.
Education and training opportunities should be considered as part of the compensation package to attract and retain top talent. A well-trained crew is more productive and also more likely to stay with your organization.
If your budget doesn’t allow you to provide training, you can invest your time instead. Schedule meetings regularly to discuss the progress and growth of your employees.
8. Respect your employees’ limits
While flexibility is one of the biggest benefits of working remotely, it can lead to burnout. You must respect your team members’ limits and adjust your expectations accordingly.
Do not force your team members to work outside of the standard hours. It’s not just a matter of work quality suffering. It’s also a matter of respecting your team members’ limits and giving them the time for self-care.
9. Help workers feel connected
One of the biggest challenges of managing a remote team is building a sense of belonging among staff.
To do this, foster an inclusive and supportive culture. Invite team members to company lunches, company outings, and company events.
A connection can also be established through team-building exercises, recognizing big accomplishments, and celebrating milestones.
By doing these simple things, you can build a culture where every member feels included. When workers feel included, their loyalty and productivity increase.
10. Don’t be afraid to make changes
Approximately 16% of companies around the globe are fully remote. The most successful remote companies understand that change is inevitable, as is trial and error.
As a leader, you need to keep an open mind and be flexible. Remember that the best way to manage a remote team is to be agile and learn to adapt to new conditions.
Your remote work setup may work well for some time, but there will come a time when it will be necessary to tweak the team structure, add new members, or change some tools. The same goes for new project requirements from your clients.
The Key to Managing Your Remote Team Is to Learn to Adapt
There is not a universal perfect way to manage a remote team. There is only a perfect way that works best for you and your team.
By understanding the challenges and by implementing the valuable strategies above, you’ll be better able to get the most out of your remote teams.