Management & Communication – How to Lead Remote Teams Successfully

Management & Communication - How to Lead Remote Teams Successfully

Nowadays, remote jobs and teams are gaining popularity throughout the world. Employees want remote jobs and employers want remote teams. Both have their reasons. Employees would like more flexible hours while employers would like to reduce office expenses.

But, managing a remote team isn’t easy. Traditional managing methods will not work as the teams are not physically present. For example, if a project is getting delayed, managers will have a hard time finding the exact reasons behind the delay.

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the ways through which managers can communicate and lead remote teams.

Company Policies

Every company has its own policies and managers need to make sure that remote teams are aware of these policies. Explain these policies in a clear and concise manner so that confusion and misconceptions are avoided. Remember to include them in a handbook or guide.

Also, managers should make sure that every employee has read and signed a document agreeing to the company policies. Take immediate disciplinary action if an employee fails to follow said guidelines.

Set Deadlines

Employees working in remote teams can develop a careless attitude towards work. Some might still perform excellently but many will only do enough work so that they are not out of a job. One way to avoid this attitude is by assigning tasks with due dates and constant reminders.

Once employees realize that they are being held accountable for their work, there’s a high chance that they’ll complete their tasks on time. Make sure all team members can see what others are being assigned so that everyone can see the bigger picture and understand their contributions towards the overall project.

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Track Internet Usage

Monitor the time that employees spend on unproductive websites. Remote employees don’t face many distractions at workplaces, but there are many distractions at home. These days, it’s pretty easy to get sidetracked by an interesting movie on Netflix or spend hours on random YouTube videos.

Use monitoring tools to see which websites employees are using during work hours. This way, employers can subtract remote employee hours spent on procrastination from total logged hours and figure out how much time was used productively.

Open All Communication Channels

Managers need to have open communication with their remote workers. Most remote employees worry about employee visibility. They think that the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is at play. Communicate with your employees on a regular basis and assure them that they can also reach you if a problem arises.

Track Employee Desk Activity

Confirm whether employees are at their desks or not. We all know that employees can face many distractions at home. Their kids or spouse could distract them. Chances are that these types of distractions could waste hours.

If the remote worker forgets to turn off the online timer, it will continue to run and incorrectly record time. To resolve this issue, use tools to monitor employee keyboard and mouse activity. This lets employers know how much idle time their workers have spent.

Be transparent

Use employee monitoring software to obtain reports and extract important insights. Share these reports with your remote employees so that they can gauge their own performance. This creates transparency and builds trust between you and the employee. It also stops remote employees from getting paranoid and constantly wondering about their performance.

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Recognize employee contributions

Employee monitoring will eventually highlight the most productive employees. Managers should acknowledge these top performers. Don’t let them feel as if their achievements are not being appreciated.

Business owners and managers should start doing small things on a regular basis instead of handing out yearly rewards. Everyone likes to be recognized in some way. Especially top employees who would like to be appreciated for their hard work. Preferably more than once a year.

Reproach employees who break your new rules

Give a fair warning to employees who don’t follow your guidelines. If they still keep breaking your new rules then take immediate disciplinary action. If no one takes your rules seriously, then its effect will diminish. Employees will start developing a lax attitude as they know that they are not going to be held accountable for their actions.

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