When COVID-19 hit in 2020, many people were unprepared to transition their employees to a remote setting. For others, the pandemic provided unforeseen stress and hardships on businesses, making more of a need for people to hire help to pivot their businesses or support additional workload. In either of these scenarios, business owners were thrown into a crisis of having to find ways to engage their employees to ensure productivity while also trying to find a balance of trust with lack of supervision. Many business owners felt that they had little control over the situation and found it challenging to adapt.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, 50% of the workforce has transitioned to working in a telecommuting role and 80-90% of all employees are providing feedback that they would like to continue working remote, for at least part of their work week.
Working from home in some capacity is now the wave of the future. Most companies will not be fully transitioning back to having their employees in the office so it’s essential that business owners learn effective ways to supervise, communicate and engage their team.
In this month’s blog post, we are going to look at the 7 effective tips for leading a remote team.
7 Effective Tips For Leading A Remote Team
1. Set Clear Expectations
It’s easy to assume that everyone is on the same page and understands what is in your head. You may think certain tasks are just common knowledge such as an employee sharing their calendar with you or updating notes in a specific system. These may be common sense to you but this may not be apparent to others. Make sure that you set your expectations clearly to your team. If there are specific ways of doing certain tasks, you should consider making a simple SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) handbook. This may sound intimidating but it will actually save you time!
Make different headings of the important areas you feel you need to communicate. Write a summary or specific procedures that the employee should follow. This will help to save you time in two ways.
The first way is that your employee won’t need to come to you with as many questions because they can refer to their SOP handbook. The second way that it will save you time in the long run is that if you hire different employees in the future, you will be able to provide this resource to them to make the onboarding process more seamless.
2. Engage Regularly
A big mistake that employers made during the pandemic was not engaging their employees enough. Many employees felt that they didn’t have enough support or guidance, making it challenging to fulfil their roles. They could no longer walk down the hall to connect with their manager. Make sure you’re checking in with your team so they feel supported.
3. Use Technology To Build Community
There are a plethora of technology options that can help make you and your team feel connected.
Slack is a great option that can keep daily communication high while also helping to keep the back and forth efficient and organized.
It’s also important to have regular meetings with your team so you can find out their progress, areas that may be causing them challenges and work with them to find ways to overcome those challenges. Tools that you can use for this are Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams.
4. Provide resources & remove obstacles
If your team is struggling with working from home, it could be that they need better resources. This could be as simple as purchasing them a headset so they can multitask while they are on the phone or it could be investing in dropbox so that they can save documents and share them in an easier way. Whatever the issue may be, make sure you’re identifying the problem and possible solutions so that you can find the best way to solve the problem.
5. Trust Your Team
For many employers, it can feel stressful to not have their normal work environment with their team and they may worry productivity could be lowered.
If you’re not trusting of your team and respectful of their time, it will become apparent and cause a negative work environment.
To try and combat this, you can set up “work-from-home guidelines” such as emails must be responded to within 24 hours, no calls or emails should be responded to between certain hours to ensure employees aren’t working around the clock.
When you establish boundaries and expectations, you’re able to start building trust which will foster a positive work dynamic.
6. Connect Their Goals With Yours
The days of working at the same company for 30 years are long gone. Learning new skills in order to gain advancement is important to employees. Find out what your team’s goals are and help them in connecting their interests and goals with the work you are giving them. By doing this, your team will feel happier and productivity will be higher.
7. Be Flexible
Each employee will have a different home environment. Some will have spouses and children. Some won’t. Some will have private offices in their homes while others will be taking meetings in their closet or the nearest Starbucks to try and get some privacy. Make sure that you know your team’s unique situations so that you can help them overcome any obstacles and be successful in their job.
Let us know in the thread what ways you are helping your remote team to be successful!
Forbes Coaches Council. (2018). Top 15 Tips To Effectively Manage Remote Employees.
Gleeson, Brent. (2020). 13 Tips For Leading And Managing Remote Teams.
Gurchiek, Kathy. (2020). 10 Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Workers.
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