The introduction of remote working has vastly revolutionized the modern workplace, presenting several opportunities for flexibility and diversification. Along with the many advantages you may reap from such change, however, there are also unique challenges that you will face while managing a team that is working remotely. It may be more difficult to maintain strong and open communication lines, foster collaborative relationships, and promote a positive culture from a distance, but such is not impossible with the proper strategy.
Though managing a remote workforce may be slightly different from the traditional approach, you ultimately want to achieve the same goals. Whether you recently just hired your first remote employee or have been operating with a remote set-up for some time, there are ways to keep your team engaged. Below, you will find some of the ways in which you can effectively manage your employees and keep them motivated.
Evidently, there can be communication issues when working remotely. However, what is often overlooked is the fact that communication also includes non-verbal cues, such as body language, voice, and tone, which can affect feelings and attitudes. To avoid misunderstandings, start by making sure your team has the right tools: stable internet connection, messaging applications, and other essential software.
Encourage employees to chat with their colleagues to build good relationships, and make sure to check in on them from time to time to avoid making them feel left out. Furthermore, do not stick to messaging applications and use video calls and virtual meetings to discuss important matters to convey your emotions.
Focus on Collective Goals
Micromanaging a remote team may not be an effective way to meet goals, especially since distractions can be inevitable for many remote workers. Thus, rather than emphasizing seat time or activity, focus more on overall goals. See to it that your employees are meeting collective performance goals so that you can still meet your business objectives without having to focus too much on individual activity.
Make Time to Bond
While it is more challenging to build rapport with your employees when you do not run into them in an office, it is still possible. Try to take some time to make small talk and get to know your employees–just as you would in a traditional setting. Learn about their interests, how they find their work, as well as their personal goals to show that you care and to motivate them. Similarly, dedicate some online interactions for non-work matters such as celebrating company milestones or recognizing the achievements of some employees. This way, you can also foster good relations with your team.
Trust Your Team
Once you have defined responsibilities and given your team the tools to work with, the final thing you can do is trust them. While it is true that you will need to take the extra step to support and manage them remotely, a big part of the process is trusting your people to do the work. After all, flexibility is one of the reasons why some people choose to do remote work instead of on-site work.
Do you need help finding remote staff? Contact me today to discuss your needs.