So you’ve made the transition to hiring remote team members. You found the talent best fit for the job and you are excited about their contribution to the latest project. But now what, you may ask?
How do I manage my remote team effectively? How do I equip them to be engaged and motivated to work with one another?
Below I am going to share my top tips on how to manage a remote team.
Managing Different Time Zones/Schedules
When working with a remote team, it is likely team members will work on different schedules. Actually, it is a guarantee. Time zones are the biggest factor here. While some members are starting their workday, others maybe are in the middle or wrapping up their day. The key here is to be mindful of project expectations, deadlines, schedules and be organized. One tool we recommend using is Calendly. Here you can schedule meetings with team members and see their availability to follow up on any daily task.
2. Communication On a Daily Basis is a Must
Strong communication is the tip of all tips! As a manager, you must keep track of everyone on your team. Ways you can do that is by daily check-ins, emails, team events, video chats, constructive feedback on the projects worked so far and discuss new ideas. With this, not only does it help you to know where everyone is at, but you could then take this information and send it out to the entire team.
A quick email with everyone’s progress on their portion of the project, announcements, targets can help encourage the team to see where the project is as a whole!
Oh, and not every conversation has to point to business. Get personal! You can simply have casual conversations with your team members, like asking how their weekend was, what’s going on in their lives and celebrate the milestones of life with your team members.
Another aspect of communication is everyone communicates differently! Learning your team members communication style will only help you motivate and communicate with them more effectively. The book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace applies the same principles of The 5 Love Languages to the workplace! As a manager, your job is to keep the project moving and set your employees up for success to help drive the vision. This book shares how managers can effectively communicate with their team by showing encouragement and appreciation. Resulting in stronger work relationships!
3. Build Team Chemistry
Make it a priority to develop team chemistry and a strong team culture! With these two components, it makes work a bit more satisfying. Bringing team players together to discuss new projects, new solutions, strategies and brainstorm ideas to help create a stronger culture. It brings the spirit of collaboration and excitement together.
Team-building exercises or icebreakers are a great tool to build comradery both professionally and socially. Since your team is remote, you can have everyone list facts about themselves or just talk about what they like and dislike. The goal is for everyone on the team to get to know each other. Encourage transparency, lead by example and get creative! This will help build positive chemistry and trust throughout the team, resulting in achieving project goals.
4. Setup Face to Face Meetups
Now, because you are managing a remote team most communication is going to be done from behind a screen. It is important to remember the people you are working with typically work in isolation for whatever reason they can’t be on site. Scheduling face to face meetings once a quarter is a great way to bring your team together to encourage, reward, set goals for the next quarter, build relationships and get them all on the same page! Nothing can replace the value in-person meetings bring to the table.
5. Trust and believe in your team
And finally, you hired the rockstars you felt were best equipped and a culture fit for the job. Now you have to believe and trust they can do the job and measure with KPI’s. When team members feel their manager release trust they are more likely to feel empowered to hit the ground running. The last thing a person who works remotely wants is an overbearing, micromanager. Most talent who work remotely have done it a time or two before, so trust them to get their job done.
Thank you for reading! Hope you found this article valuable. What resources have you found helpful for managing a remote team? Share below!