7 Tips for Managing Remote Staff Successfully
Managing a remote team comes with its own set of unique challenges.
Some of these problems are a lack of proper technology, minimal or no physical interaction, and the struggle of striking a great work-life balance. If these issues are not addressed, the consequence is a demotivated, unproductive, and unaccountable team.
To help with this issue, we have put together 7 tips that can act as guidelines to effectively supervise your remote teams.
1. Make Expectations Known
You need to clearly express remote work expectations to your team. By doing this, your team members are aware of what they will be held accountable for. These expectations should be recorded and made available to everyone; what should be included are the workers’ schedules, times of availability, workload, work quality, etc. Make sure to discuss expectations with your team members to ensure everyone is on the same page.
2. Focus on Communication
Poor communication is one of the biggest hindrances to a highly motivated and accountable remote team. Therefore, you need to ensure your team members have access to the best communication tools and platforms, and know how to use them!
Furthermore, you should utilize video-focused communication channels as much as possible. Also, make a point to schedule regular one-on-one meetings with staff members to talk with them about their goals, work progress and any other matter on their minds. Strong communication prevents team members from being confused on who to direct questions and issues to, allowing them to address situations promptly allows them to be more productive. Not only that, you, the manager, can check in on the employee’s growth.
3. Encourage Employees to Have a Routine
A work from home routine is great because it adds structure to the employees’ lives.
Of course, the manager cannot and should not micromanage every aspect of the employee’s lives; however, you can encourage them to have a routine. You can even learn from the employees how the company can help them establish a sustainable routine, and use the feedback to do so as much as possible.
4. Document Work
Tasks, especially major projects, should be documented. This makes it easier for everyone to know who is answerable for a task. To make things simpler, the larger projects should be broken down into smaller tasks. The records of projects should include each smaller task, who is/are responsible for the duty, and what is expected of the workers concerning the task. Moreover, the workers responsible for an assigned task should update their progress as regularly as needed. The documentation of duties should be available to every member of that specific team; this way, team members can keep one another accountable.
5. Set Goals and Acknowledge Achievements
Clear goals = greater success.
You can keep employees motivated by having the team and individual members set goals on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis, as is necessary. The goals should be realistic but challenging enough to push the employees beyond their comfort zone and keep them excited about their duties. Besides that, the goals should be broken down into smaller objectives, as the latter are less daunting and will encourage staff to keep going. Furthermore, it is important to acknowledge when aims are achieved, as doing so makes the employees feel appreciated and encourages them to work harder and be more motivated for the next job. Acknowledging accomplishments can be as simple as thanking workers during team meetings.
6. Foster Community
People find it harder to do great work when they do not feel like they belong. You can do something about this by getting to know your staff members on a personal level, while still maintaining professionalism. Do not just ask them about deadlines and projects, but also have conversations about their aspirations and hobbies. Also, you should allow them to know you and their fellow employees on a personal level as well. This means opening up to them, and creating opportunities for remote workers to bond outside work. Besides that, you need to be wary of micromanaging your employee’s life. Yes, it is important to keep track of their work progress, but you should give them enough space to do the work they were hired for. Micromanaging your employee’s life and duties shows that you have little faith in them and this can discourage any staff member. Additionally, the employee knows his or her remote work environment and schedule better than you do, so it is pointless to micromanage him or her in the first place. When you foster community among the team, you make the work environment more inviting and your team views you as an approachable manager. As a result, staff members perform better because they like you and the people they collaborate with. In addition, employees are more likely to seek help when needed.
7. Provide Access to The Right Tools
Without the proper equipment, team members will not only be demotivated, they will likely not produce good quality work. You can prevent this situation by first ensuring your team members have access to quality internet connection and proper functioning laptops or computers. Next, depending on your team’s needs and structure, the proper communication tools should be identified and made available. Employees may also need a project management platform which keeps tasks and ideas organized and makes it easier to collaborate on projects. Here at RemotePass, we use notion to oversee projects, and slack for communication. Besides the basics mentioned, you should take the time to ask your team members what equipment and tools are needed to improve work productivity.
Although, as a manager, you should implement these tips, it is crucial that you do so with the proper attitude. Do not manage a team with the belief that you always know best, and oversee your team in a loving, non-judgmental way.
Afterall, without your team’s cooperation, you are not really a manager, talk less of a good one.
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