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6 intelligent ways to manage a remote team better


The digital world has made it easier than ever to build and manage a remote team. And, thanks to the coronavirus, more companies are beginning to adopt this highly inclusive and incredibly effective business model. Now, 16% of global businesses are fully remote and 52% of employees work from home at least once per week.

6 ways to manage a remote team better

As more brands switch to this more flexible arrangement, they’ll likely be looking for tips that will help them figure out how to manage a remote team. Luckily, there are plenty of resources to aid in this transition. So, whether you’re hoping to expand your remote team or have already developed a global approach, these strategies to manage a remote teamwill propel you toward success, even in how to scale a remote tech team.

1. Set Clear Expectations

As you transition to a remote space and learn how to manage international teams, employees’ job descriptions may change to include new responsibilities. While taking on a new role within the company can expand their skillset, some workers will struggle to understand or fulfill additional obligations. Luckily, you can avoid the lack of motivation that typically follows by setting clear expectations.

Outline each team member’s responsibilities and provide them with resources to boost their capability and confidence. Creating objectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound will also help them hone their skills and focus to achieve both big and small goals.

2. Define the ‘Why’

Of course, the pure satisfaction that comes with achievement won’t motivate everyone, which is why it’s important to clearly define your ‘why’ when you manage a remote team. After all, it’s often encouraging for employees to see how their day-to-day actions facilitate large-scale change. Ultimately, simply examining the bigger picture may convince them to stick around and keep putting in the work.

Share your business’s needs and clearly state actionable business objectives that will help you fulfill those needs. Connect these objectives to company culture and values to help employees form an emotional connection to your mission. Once they understand the purpose of their role, be more willing to work together in order to achieve success.

3. Schedule Check-Ins

Since your team is fully remote, you won’t see them unless you schedule a webinar or host a video meeting. This minuscule amount of face time can make employees feel isolated, which often leads to a lack of accountability. Eventually, their productivity will slip and you’ll have to schedule a one-on-one to discuss their performance.

Managers can mitigate these kinds of issues and avoid difficult conversations by scheduling face-to-face check-ins on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. These meetings are preventive by nature because they’ll help you spot roadblocks and productivity dips before they occur. Frequent video calls will also help you understand workers’ needs so you can support their maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

4. Cultivate Cultural Awareness

Global teams can include individuals of many different backgrounds, traditions and beliefs. Ultimately, these cultural differences can increase diversity and give your company a competitive edge. However, if you aren’t mindful of various observances, celebrations and perceptions, employees can feel disrespected, overlooked and insulted. Eventually, tensions can rise and misunderstandings can occur.

Make sure everyone feels seen and valued by cultivating cultural awareness. Encourage open and inclusive dialogue about diversity and honor local customs by offering a flexible schedule. Finding small ways to recognize or commemorate international holidays can also create a more welcoming and positive workplace. 

5. Take Advantage of Tech

Language barriers, multiple time zones, and cultural differences can pose challenges to traditional talent onboarding modules. Luckily, new technology offers various solutions to make international orientation and integration as quick and painless as possible.

For instance, many online training programs translate their curriculum into different languages to cater to global teams. Maintaining frequent communication through e-mail, Skype, Zoom, instant messaging, and other digital avenues can also improve organization, motivation, and productivity.

6. Host In-Person Events

Establishing strong interpersonal bonds is crucial for organizations that value teamwork. And, when it comes to developing closer relationships, nothing beats in-person gatherings. Sure, organizing a face-to-face event when your employees live all over the globe may sound daunting. However, if your success relies on connection and collaboration, in-person events are a must.

Plan an annual or biannual experience that allows employees the opportunity to gather and participate in team-building activities and skill-specific seminars. Workshops should provide educational resources, social downtime to foster connection, and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

While organizing such an event will require a significant investment, the gathering will likely incentivize cohesion and high performance, which will inevitably increase your bottom line and offset at least some travel costs.

Humility Is Key

Learning how to manage a remote team requires a fair amount of time and effort, not to mention trials and tribulations. Odds are good you won’t handle every situation with as much grace as you should.

When this happens, it’s important to acknowledge the company-wide learning curve and realize that you’re trying to navigate this new terrain as best you can, just like your employees. In other words, you have a lot to learn, too, so it’s best to practice humility and own up to your mistakes.

Fortunately, most employees are willing to provide feedback if you only ask. Doing so will reveal areas where you can improve and help you empathize with team members’ struggles and concerns. Ultimately, staying humble and extending grace to yourself and others will facilitate teamwork, which — as you know — makes the dream work.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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