How to Effectively Manage a Remote Team.
Leading a team can be challenging, especially if every member is not physically in the same space. In the past two years, the world has embraced remote work like never before, hence traditional management strategies are being modified to ensure effectiveness and maximum productivity. The fact is that leading and managing remote teams is different for each company.
The type of company or business you are leading will determine the approach to use for your remote team.
Managing remote teams is less about strict procedures and all about setting up each member of the team for success. There a number of challenges in managing a remote team — how to ensure everyone embraces the company’s culture and understand expectations; the digital tools to manage communication, motivation without micromanaging the team members, etc.
Today, we are looking at 5 ways to effectively manage a remote team.
Be clear about expectations
In managing your team, you need to start with setting clear expectations. Yes, everyone has individual responsibilities based on their role, but the entire team needs a set of guidelines that will ensure everyone is on the same page.
Another important point is to highlight your values. Values help team members to act right as they have better understanding of how their roles impact the big picture.
Hire people who manage themselves
A major characteristics of a remote worker is their ability to manage themselves. You don’t want to be saddled with extra responsibilities of micromanaging your team. It is important to check all the boxes in relation to the individual’s ability to manage themselves. A weak link can negatively affect the entire team.
In essence, highlight the important traits that are non-negotiables for your company, and develop a way to let your candidate show you who they are.
Leverage tools to automate management tasks
Automating management tasks saves lives literally. Managing a remote team is easier when you use few effective tools and use them well. Ultimately, you want to be productive and efficient without overwhelming your team members with tools.
There are great management apps to communicate, manage your tasks and collaborate with team members on the internet. An example is Slack or Notion. The goal is to minimize repetitive tasks such that these tasks are handled by tools, which is why it’s important to document the purpose of each remote tool and explain how to use them. It also makes the hiring process easy for everyone as it will be easy for a new member to catch on.
This is applicable to collaboration and communication tools. These tools facilitate social interaction and keep records of all conversations. You will have more time to focus on the bigger picture and help team members when there is a potential challenge in the workflow.
Set clear communication guidelines
The most critical aspect of making remote communication work is that everyone must be willing to share the information online in written form, so you’ll have a recorded history of how everything happened and why.
Understanding that everyone cannot be on the communication channel at all times, you need to plan tasks ahead of time, to make sure there’s enough time to complete tasks.
Establish processes to manage projects and productivity
Remote work generally requires each team member to manage their own projects. To ensure productivity, it is important to create a structure and process that every team member follows.
The best way to get the most from each person on the team is to state a goal, give freedom to work in their own style, appreciate team members and make everyone feel cared for.
The best way to manage remote employees is to trust them. Assign responsibilities and hold them accountable at the end.
It is helpful to keep your focus on results, not daily activities.
In managing remote workers/employees, you want to get it right from the onset. This translates to hiring the right people — trustworthy and reliable people that value freedom.
The key to success here is effectively and clearly communicating in advance what you expect from your team and giving them the freedom to execute.
What’s your biggest challenge in managing remote teams?
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