Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, some companies were working with remote teams. But during and after it, more and more businesses transitioned to either entirely remote or hybrid teams.
Managing a team like this can be fun, but it can also be difficult if done incorrectly. Hence, here are the ten effective management practices for managers and leaders to use for leading a remote team to success.
#1 Remove Barriers Between You and Your Team
First of all, you need to aim to remove barriers between you and your team. By doing this, you will feel closer to them which is much harder to achieve when you aren’t working together in an office. Here are three things you can do to remove barriers:
- Ensure Constant Communication: Always make sure that employees can reach you, particularly during working hours. You don’t have to be in a continuous video call for this, but rather have a messaging platform where you can all send instant texts to each other.
- Be Visible and Approachable: Try to appear friendly and approachable. It doesn’t mean that you should be showing an excessive amount of politeness and friendliness but rather that your image needs to be that of an open person.
- Prioritize One-on-One Time: Even though you will have many group meetings, you shouldn’t forget about one-on-one meetings. In fact, it might be best to prioritize them, especially if you are working with a relatively small team and have enough time for everyone.
#2 Address the Most Common Challenges
Before you start thinking about specific individual problems that your employees are struggling with or situation problems that arise with new projects, you need to address the most common challenges remote teams encounter:
- Loneliness and Isolation: Make sure that your employees don’t feel lonely and isolated, especially if some of them live alone. Create breaks throughout the workday when employees can chat and bond.
- Feeling Left Out and Not Heard: Be open to different opinions and ideas to make everyone feel included and heard. You don’t want your employees to feel like they are ignored or even hated.
- Burnout and Being Overworked: Consider the different physical and mental conditions of your employees and ensure that they aren’t overworked. Burnout is real, so it’s best to prevent it rather than try to deal with it when it actually happens.
#3 Document Your Processes and Policies
One of the best ways to ensure that everything runs smoothly in your remote team is to document all your processes and policies. By doing this, you create a solid structure for the way your team is organized – everyone will be doing their part and following specific steps planned for different situations.
That being said, you should know when enough is enough. You can’t control every single thing your employees do. Moreover, even if there is a set of rules that they should follow in a specific situation, sometimes it may be better to take a different course of action.
#4 Delegate and Outsource Tasks
As a manager or leader, it can be tempting to micro-manage everything and even take on more tasks than you can realistically complete. Don’t do this to yourself and your team. You need to trust your teammates and be able to delegate tasks to them.
In addition to that, consider outsourcing some of the tasks. Outsourcing can be useful to prevent overworking your employees and reduce expenses among other things. For example, you can hire a professional writer from the writing services reviews site Best Writers Online who can take care of content creation for your marketing. This way, you and your team can focus on more important tasks.
#5 Use Helpful Tools (Physical and Digital)
Another way to help you reduce the workload for yourself and your team is by using different helpful tools. These include both physical equipment and digital apps and programs. Here are just some examples of these:
- Coffee Machines – If every employee has a coffee machine at home, they don’t have to spend too much time making their drinks during breaks.
- Headsets – Using headsets can make communication easier for projects where continuous voice communication is required.
- Grammar Checkers – A grammar checking tool like Grammarly is essential for checking documents, emails, and content.
- Messaging Apps – For instant communication, you can use a professional messaging tool like Slack.
#6 Set Clear and Realistic Goals and Expectations
It may seem obvious that you need to be clear and realistic with your goals and expectations, but it is actually quite common for managers and leaders to fail at this simple task. In a way, how you set goals and which goals you set could determine the level of your success.
Try to use the SMART approach for setting goals – make them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Communicate them clearly to your team and make sure that everyone is on the same page.
#7 Create a Routine for Regular Meetings
Meetings are perhaps even more important for remote teams than they are for regular ones which is why it’s a good idea to create a routine for them. If you have a schedule for all your meetings that is prepared beforehand, you can prepare for them more efficiently. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Create a Schedule for Recurring Meetings: Think about the types of meetings that you hold regularly. These are usually meetings for ongoing projects, roundup meetings at the end of the month, etc.
- Make Meetings Short but Effective: Don’t make your meetings too long. You want to keep them short and to the point. Focus on the topic, discuss all the details, and solve problems efficiently.
- Meet with Individuals and Groups: As mentioned earlier, having both group and one-on-one meetings is important. Consider the circumstances and decide which type of meeting is more appropriate.
#8 Prioritize the Onboarding and Training Process
When onboarding and training new employees, you can already integrate them into your remote team in a way that will make them fit in instantly. Here are some things you can do:
- Document the Entire Process: Just like with all your regular processes, it’s worth having a specific guide for your hiring, onboarding, and training processes. You can hire an experienced writer from the custom writing reviews site Writing Judge who can help you document them.
- Involve Employees in Hiring: When choosing new hires, ask for the opinions of your current employees. They need to have a say and help you choose ideal candidates to join your team.
- Discuss Learning Preferences: Different people learn differently, so it’s definitely worth discussing learning preferences with all the new hires you will be onboarding and training.
- Consider Career Progression: Almost every employee on your team will want to have progress throughout their career, so you need to consider that when hiring new employees.
#9 Celebrate Successes and Achievements
To promote the spirit of teamwork in your remote team, it is very important that you celebrate successes and achievements. After all, your employees need to feel like they have done something great – and you need to acknowledge their input in your team’s collective success.
#10 Promote Diversity, Inclusion, and Empathy
Last but not least, always strive to promote diversity, inclusion, and empathy in your team. Do it yourself and encourage your employees to follow your example. You need to be understanding of their hardships while also creating opportunities for them to show their expertise and skills.
All in all, managing a remote team effectively is definitely possible no matter how big your team is. Use the tips in this article to help you set up your own strategy and start managing and leading your remote team to success.
About author: Lafond Wanda is a professional content writer, copywriter, content strategist, and communications consultant. She started young with her writing career from being a high school writer to a university editor, and now she is a writer in professional writing platforms— her years of expertise have honed her skills to create compelling and results-driven content every single time.