To remain competitive, today’s businesses must embrace remote work trends and hire top talent from different countries. However, this new reality puts managers in front of a Herculean challenge. Aside from project management and keeping projects on time, they must manage and keep their teams happy. So, managing a remote team can be quite a task since the job entails nurturing, guiding, and supporting team members who are physically not in the same place while reaching outstanding results.
With that in mind, this article offers a quick round of tips to help managers successfully manage their remote teams and keep employees happier.
#1 Build a Scalable Employee Onboarding Process
For your new hires to be integrated into your organization, you must implement activities that allow them to acclimate to their role and learn about the organization and its structure, culture, vision, and values. Simply put, you need to provide a sound onboarding process. And when it comes to onboarding remote employees, comprehensiveness and length are of crucial importance.
For this reason, your company’s onboarding process must be carefully planned and scalable to engage employees, build connections between them and their managers, and teams, and create workers committed to the company’s success.
#2 Invest in an Objective and Key Results Tool
Achieving outstanding results and company growth is only possible if employees are well informed, synchronized, and aware of their company’s strategies and objectives. And in remote work, this is only possible with the use of OKR (Objective & Key Results) software.
For example, a simple OKR tool in a high-performing SaaS company creates a robust system where everyone aligns in the same direction to focus on crafting and implementing the most important goals. More specifically, it facilitates collaboration, task execution, meeting management, and employee engagement to accomplish the desired outcomes.
#3 Set Clear Expectations Early On
Providing guidelines, establishing boundaries, and reviewing the basics are among the most critical actions managers can take when setting out a project that a remote team should implement. As a manager, it is vital to ensure that everybody knows what is expected early on.
For instance, set clear expectations for work hours, communication systems, when team members are expected to respond to communication, key project objectives and deadlines, or when they should attend virtual meetings. More importantly, keep workers up-to-date on policy and staffing changes and company successes.
#4 Secure Productivity by Creating Structures
It is easy to detach when employees work in different locations, which is why remote workplaces depend on predictability and structures. For this reason, to secure productivity, managers must create team rhythm.
For example, if employees work in different time zones, establish a rotating timetable and meeting format to ensure easier planning and efficiency. Also, provide a clear company organigram so employees can know what different people are doing within the company and where they fit in the process.
#5 Encourage and Embrace Diversity
Coming across cultural obstacles when managing a remote team is no surprise since most remote teams are composed of employees coming from different parts of the world. As a result, misunderstandings and conflicts that can divide the team frequently require a lot of patience, flexibility, and resilience from managers.
In addition, when working with people from different cultures who bring diverse values and perspectives, managers must embrace cultural diversity, be open to receiving feedback, and promote a mindset of respecting and celebrating differences among team members.
#6 Maintain Open Communication
Your remote team members may not always know where you are at a given time, so you need to be transparent about how you will keep an open line of communication. For instance, reserve certain times of the day and inform your team that they can book short sessions with you during that period. In addition, plan one-on-one calls weekly or biweekly so you can follow up with team members and monitor productivity.
More importantly, consider creating a communication strategy to ensure everyone is clear about how communication will happen within the remote team.
#7 Treat Everyone Fairly and Equally but Recognize Excellence
In a remote and diverse team, it is vital to treat everyone equally and fairly. It builds trust, improves team morale, deepens loyalty, and stimulates productivity—essential aspects of a happy remote workplace. However, as a manager, you should still be able to recognize excellence.
So, be deliberate about mentioning and celebrating individual successes during team meetings and in your one-to-one video sessions or calls with your employees. More importantly, be explicit about what they have done well to give others details about the expected standard and motivate them.
The Bottom Line
As remote work is the future, understanding the challenges it brings and responding to them by implementing different tried-and-true tactics is key to successful team management. So, follow our 7-step guide for managing remote employees and enhance your company’s performance and productivity in no time.