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General How to effectively manage your remote team.

How to manage a remote team

We’re living in the wonderful presence of the technological era. Many things have changed over the past decade, including our work environment. With widely spread access to mobile devices and high-speed internet, working inside a typical office has evolved. The ability for employees to work remotely is a result of such. Being a manager, you might be wondering how exactly can I manage a remote team, I never see in person.

Building a cohesive team with no one in physical contact is not that difficult if you follow these 4 simple guidelines. You will be competent in connecting and staying connected throughout the development of the business. Traditional management techniques must be adapted to meet these changes.

Heres 4 guidelines to make your job easier. So read through to find out how you can be a better manager for both your team and business.

01. Building a network of trust

How to manage a remote team
 Pixabay 

Trus is key to managing a remote team. This doesn’t limit only to the trust you build between you and the workers but also the trust workers build among each other. It’s important to feel security among each other in order for this to work. This is a team effort spread across globally, so it’s important for you, as the manager to assure this.

Heres a few tips for you to ensure trust among your team and how to overcome problems that arise from it.

01. well documented procedures

It’s really important for you to have a well-documented procedure for your team members to follow. You cannot expect a solid base of performance from your team members if the requirement of that procedure hasn’t been defined. Since the individuals of your team may not interact with each other that frequently, the chances of wandering off in the wrong direction is high compared to a co-located team.

02.common goal and individual goals

It’s important for each worker in your team to understand the common goal of their efforts. Since work is spread out all over the map, they must have a clear idea where it’s leading to in the end. As the manager, you have to make sure there’s adequate work at hand and the individual’s work and deliverables are clearly stated. This provided work members with actionable goals to meet, reducing ambiguity and setting common ground. All of these will lead to increasing group trust.

03. Treat everyone equally

As the manager, you already know the importance of treating your team members equally. But when it comes to remote working, this has to double in size. Everyone should receive the same rules and procedures and should be held to the same standard. If one of your members realize, you’ve been more lenient with one member over the others, chances are they’ll get annoyed and unhappy. Your credibility will be on the line.

It’s your duty to provide clear rules and procedures upfront for everyone to follow. This provides a level playing field for all to work and excel in. Everyone should receive equal time, equal mind space and equal opportunity.

04. Team input when standardizing processes or setting goals

It’s critical for you to get the input from your whole team when setting up goals. They have a better idea of what has to get done and what the best way to do it. Sometimes they can see links that you cannot since they are the ones who engage with the task daily. So always set aside an input time period for your team members to engage with. Having your team members engaged with building the process means they will be invested in it and it’s a success.

team when setting up goals. They have a better idea of what has to get done and what the best way to do it. Sometimes they can see links that you cannot since they are the ones who engage with the task daily. So always set aside an input time period for your team members to engage with. Having your team members engaged with building the process means they will be invested in it and it’s a success.

05. Share information openly

It’s important to develop clarity in communication within the business. No one should get special consideration without the other team members knowing. It will become common knowledge at some point. So it’s critical for you to share with the entire group what’s happening.

If someone is getting permission to work part-time due to a personal matter, you may let the team know. Now you don’t always have to tell them the particular reason if it is a sensitive matter, but the team should know that one of the members will only be available part-time. They will know what they have to work with. This creates a stronger bond between the team members as well as between you and the team.

06. Rewarding and recognition

Treating everyone is critical, but some will always excel at what they do and you need to acknowledge that. It’s important to reward individual team members as well as the entire when they achieve set goals. This will be of motivation for other members to work harder. The tricky part is doing it in a manner that’s an overall success.

You have to be extremely consistent when rewarding a team member because you have to reward everyone who meets the same criteria. An email stating the victory should be sent to the entire team, so they can celebrate the victory as one. In doing so your team will work harder together and not bring anyone down thinking its favoritism.

02. Removing roadblock

Working remotely means the individuals in your team will be available to different levels of facilities. They will also be from different parts of the world with many cultures. So it’s important to understand the different roadblocks that stand between you and your team members, in order to overcome them for the smooth running of the business. Here are some important things to keep in mind.

Infrastructure
How to manage remote team
Pixabay 

You have to keep in mind that all your team members are not exposed to the same infrastructure. Before hiring team members remotely, as the manager, you must decide the necessity.

For example, you can decide beforehand if all the members that are hired should have their own computer. If not, will the company provide the same computer for all the employees? The Internet packages that should be provided for working, since all the members should have a very high-speed connection. Or will you pay the cost for their already existing connection? How often will you update their systems? These kinds of things are very important when it comes to getting things the necessary work is done in the proper manner.

cross-cultural awareness.

It’s important to understand that your team members are from different parts of the world. This means they may have different holidays, time differences, cultural events and so on. So you have to be very considerate and respectful of what it comes to decision making.

When conducting meetings, consider the multiple time zones the members are living in. Be considerate, don’t make the same member wake up 3:00 in the morning for a meeting each time. There’s a great website called timeanddate.com that gives you information for this to work. If not find your own recourse, but try to stay up to date. The world is a big place, but through connecting and communicating you can make it a small.

How to manage remote team
Unsplash
A balance between in-house workers and remote workers

You have to understand that both in-house workers and remote workers have to have the same opportunities, the same benefits, and the same respect. It’s not fair for remote workers to feel as though their years of experience don’t count when compared to an in-house worker. The best way to avoid local and remote friction is equality in communication.

In-person team interaction

It’s in our nature to crave human interactions, so how exactly does this comply in remote working? You see, the members of your team might be very well bonded and cohesive, but the human nature of working in an environment with other employees might still be there. As the manager, you must look for opportunities to bring them together, even if it’s for a group meeting.

I understand how costly it can be to bring in all your remote workers to the hosting country, but if you have the budget for it, this could have a massive impact on your employees. Facing their colleagues face to face will create bonds for a lifetime and change the whole attitude of that person. If that can’t be done, you can always organize meetings where more remote workers are living and have them get together and discuss a certain project or conduct a meeting.

03. Sustaining team connections

As the manager, you will do everything you can to ensure that your team members have everything they need to get the job done. As a manager, you have many important responsibilities such as monitoring overall team performance, scheduling the workload and making sure everything comes together as planned. At times you might have to roll up your sleeve and dig into the work to get it done. But being a remote manager you will have more responsibilities.

Be the information hub

You will have to be the information hub that connects the geographically disconnected team members. The corporation will likely send the information through you to your remote workers. It’s great if the corporate contacts the team directly to keep them updated and informed but the manager holds a pivotal role for the team as the intermediary for a lot of activities.

lines of communication always open

As a remote manager, you need to keep your communication lines open. This means you will have to have regular meetings both as a group and individually. It’s critical for these meetings to be held because this is the only way your team members will have a chance to communicate with you. It’s important you dedicate to keeping up with the scheduled meetings and making it a priority among the members. Only cancel if you absolutely have to, regular cancellation of meetings will automatically create a bad impression in your team members.

Team building through meetings

A strong remote team is more likely to perform extremely well. The problem is with remote working the ability to conduct team-building exercises is small, so you have to be mindful of using whatever resources you have. That’s why I encourage you to have regular meetings. Even if you don’t have adequate business information to talk about, every meeting is an opportunity for you to build team connections. As the manager, you should encourage team members to speak up in meetings. Allow a rotation so that everyone gets a chance to speak, even the shy ones. This will build team spirit as they will be able to connect with all the team members and build a web of connections.

Create platforms for group efforts

Try looking for opportunities where you assign team members to work together. Or assign a project leader and let them manage a project. This will create direct communication among team members building a better connection. This also gives a clear idea of the different talents and specializations different team members have. Allowing space for other teammates to reach them if they come to a problem in that specialized area. A team that has an understanding of the talents and expertise of one another, will have better overall coordination.

04. Managing workloads

Being a remote worker you will have to choose the right methods when assigning, discussing, and completing work. Due to the team members being scattered all over the globe, it’s important for you to understand how to manage the workload effectively.

01. Set clear goals and priorities

The goals and priorities of the business must be crystal clear to your team. They should understand who is in charge of what and what work is required to be completed. Always communicate projects and workload with each member of the team. even if it’s simply highlighting the key things in an email. When you do this it prevents the rising of subsets who will try to work independently. It’s important for your team to feel like one even if they are working on different tasks.

02. Provide feedback

Learn to give both negative and positive feedback to your team. Regardless if its a team effort or individual work, it should be addressed. You must choose the best method for this to be communicated. a simple text if not the proper way to give someone feedback on something they worked so hard to achieve. A video call or a normal call is the best way. You must indicate why you think they did a good job. It’s important for your workers to know that you understood their work.

Even though you might dread it, negative feedback must be given too. Heres an easy method to follow.

  1. Describe the particular issue you have
  2. Ask for their perspective an take on it, listen carefully to what they have to say
  3. Ask for a suggestion from them to overcome the situation
  4. Decide on an action together
  5. Follow up with an email stating what you have decided together.
03. Communicate changes effectively

The reality is not everything goes as planned. Projects might get dropped whereas some projects might become hypercritical. New remote team members might join an old one that might leave. In situations such as this, it’s important to stay calm. You must communicate these changes to your team as soon as possible. A good way to go about it is by sending up an email summarizing the changes that have happened followed by a meeting. If any individuals on the team have special concerns that they need to talk about, make time for them. 

04. Use tools to maximize efforts.

It’s important to use some form of project tracking tool to prevent time wastage and duplication of work. You might have heard of using a Kanban board. If you have no clue as to what it is, it’s a board that visually depicts work at various stages of a process using cards to represent work items and columns to represent each stage of the process. Cards are moved from left to right to show progress and to help coordinate teams performing the work. It’s a great method to give a visual representation of the work being done. There are various apps that represent the same information digitally such as planner tools in Microsoft Office, Trello, and asana.

We have discussed the 4 main guidelines you as a remote manager have to follow in how to manage a remote team including the challenges and how to overcome the. I hope this helped you in some sort of way to help build an amazing working team. If you have any suggestions. let me know down below and if you want to hire a remote employee click here. Up next find out Top 6 Features of a good digital marketing agency(Opens in a new browser tab)

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