A remote team can be a great asset to your company. With employees in different time zones, you can have someone working on your project 24/7. However, managing a remote team comes with its own challenges. Here are three tips to help you manage your remote team effectively.
Set Clear Expectations
The first step to managing your remote team effectively is to set clear expectations. Your employees should know what is expected of them in terms of work hours, deadlines, and deliverables. If there is confusion about what is expected, it will lead to frustration on both sides.
For example, if you expect your employees to be available during specific hours, communicate that clearly. You should also let them know if there are any flexibility options available. Otherwise, they may feel like they have to be available 24/7, which is not sustainable. You will also find it challenging to manage if you have different expectations for different employees.
Establish Clear Communication Channels
Communication is key when managing a remote team. You need to establish clear communication channels so your team can stay in touch with each other and with you. Several tools can help with this, such as Slack, Zoom, and Google Hangouts.
Learn to communicate effectively by being clear, concise, and direct in your messages. This will help to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication. Communicating online can be challenging, so you should consider getting some help. This is especially true if there is a clear generational or cultural gap. Practice collaborating with your remote team members by attending virtual collaboration training. It can help set some guidelines for effective communication and help you learn the different ways to collaborate effectively.
You could also host facilitators training for your remote team members, so they can learn how to facilitate effective meetings. The facilitators training will help them maintain focus on the agenda and keep discussions on track.
Trust Your Team
One of the most important things you can do when managing a remote team is to trust your team. If you micromanage every aspect of the project, you will only end up frustrating your employees.
Here’s how you can avoid micromanaging:
Give employees the freedom to work independently
You might be surprised to learn that some of the most successful companies in the world have one thing in common: they give their employees a lot of freedom. That’s right, these companies allow them to work independently instead of micromanaging every aspect of their employees’ work. When employees are trusted to complete their work without constant supervision, they often feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for their projects. This can lead to higher quality work and better results overall. Additionally, employees who are allowed to work independently often have more creativity and latitude in problem-solving. As a result, they may be able to come up with more innovative solutions than those who are constantly being monitored.
Only check in when necessary
As mentioned earlier, it is important to establish trust with your employees. Part of this involves giving them the freedom to complete their tasks without constant supervision. Checking in too often can be viewed as micromanaging, making your employees feel like you don’t trust their abilities. It’s important to balance providing guidance and giving employees the space to do their jobs. Periodic check-ins are essential for ensuring that tasks are on track but avoid turning these into long-winded meetings.
Avoid call-out culture
When managing a remote team, avoiding a call-out culture is important. This is when managers or team leaders publicly “call out” employees for making mistakes. This type of environment can be toxic and lead to a decrease in morale. If you need to correct an employee, do so privately. This will help to avoid embarrassing or discouraging the employee. Likewise, avoid publicly praising employees for a job well done. While it’s important to give credit where it’s due, public recognition can make other employees feel left out or undervalued. Instead, try to focus on private praise or positive reinforcement.
Delegate without being overbearing
One of the most difficult things about managing a remote team is knowing when to delegate and when to take a hands-off approach. On the one hand, you don’t want to micromanage your team or be overbearing. On the other hand, you need to ensure that tasks are completed and deadlines are met. The key is to find a balance between the two. Try to delegate tasks in a way that is clear and concise. Make sure your team members understand what is expected of them and provide them with any resources they might need. Additionally, try to avoid delegating too many tasks at once. This can overwhelm employees and lead to poor work quality.
Managing a remote team comes with its own challenges, but it can be a great asset to your company. If you set clear expectations, establish clear communication channels, and trust your team, you will be well on your way to success.