While remote working is not a new concept, there are a significant number of companies now trying to implement it for the first time. Managers will play a critical role in helping their employees transition well.
Leading a remote team may seem daunting if you have never taken on this task before, however, it is important for you to know that you are not alone. Here are some tried-and-true strategies from us along with global employees solutions company, Workplace Options for managing a remote team successfully!
1. Equip your team members
Make sure you employees are equipped with the right tools they need to do their job remotely and understand how those tools work. If you have staff that have never worked from home before, they may not understand how to connect to the company network. Never assume everyone has had practice navigating a video call. Have the necessary training and tutorials in place for them to pick things up and this will benefit you in long-term.
2. Define your expectations
Consider the following,
Work Schedule—Are there set hours? If so, what are they? If the schedule is flexible, are there specific times the employee needs to be available for calls or meetings?
Communication—How frequently do you expect an employee to check in with you? Which method of communication should be used for what situations?
Processes—Are there any changes in processes now that the employee is remote? For example, what is the protocol for making decisions if a team member is not available?
3. Prepare for failure
Realistically, not everything is going to go smoothly. As the entire world is navigating through unchartered territories, let your employees know that you expect there to be a learning curve during this time of transition. Mistakes will happen.
4. Communication is key
In the 2020 State of Remote Work Report by Buffer, lack of communication and collaboration were identified by the employees surveyed as their biggest struggle with working remotely. Managers need to communicate clearly and frequently.
5. Build connections
Build strong connections with your team. Let them know that you care about their personal wellbeing and remind them of any resources the company has made available to assist them.
Be transparent and let employees know as soon as it is appropriate of any changes that are taking place that might impact their job responsibilities. Also, commit to sharing constructive feedback and communicate your openness to receiving feedback.
6. Debrief often
Having debrief meetings identify what seems to be working well and where alternative solutions are needed. As everyone acclimates to their new reality,
these debriefing sessions can be phased out.
7. Celebrate the wins
Lastly, if something works, celebrate it. Take the time to publicly thank team members for jobs well done. Despite these uncertain times, there is great
potential for your team to grow.