Top 10 tips for managing teams remotely
Check your team have everything they need to be productive. Ensure you have a sensible and organised document storage system and an agreed naming convention which everyone can access and navigate.
2. Set clear expectations
The better briefed your team are, the more chance they have of reaching the goals. Set clear measurements of success (metrics) and targets.
How are they working? Telling them what to do when you’re not there to see means they’re likely to do it their way anyway! This way you can help ensure their way is working and coach them how to improve.
4. Goals, not activity
When managing teams remotely, a manager can no longer measure success through observed input (hours worked) and instead has to switch their measure to output (delivery of value).
People can’t simply turn around and ask questions of their team, so communication must be encouraged. As a leader, make sure you can be contacted and agree a communication strategy; DM, email, phone, Zoom… Set appointments for more formal meetings.
6. Avoid email fatigue
Encourage the use of phone, facetime or direct-message. Set standards around ‘reply-all’.
7. Meet regularly
Engage your remote team through a regularly scheduled face-to-face meeting. This can be weekly or monthly and could be combined with a training or coaching program.
8. Video calls
Control the conversation. Direct questions to individuals to avoid people talking over one another. Mute if you’re not talking. Have an agenda and limit the time. Use cameras to ensure engagement and add non-verbal communication.
9. Not just work
Show you are supportive of their success by using inquiry to help them achieve their goals rather than check on their progress and numbers. Make time to talk about other topics than work to foster better working relationships. This constant interaction will help remote workers feel included and valued.
There will always be uncertainty about whether or not the work will get completed at the same level as if they were in the office. You can monitor productivity but you can also set agreed behaviours such as expected log-in times, regular check-ins, email response times and shared values. Trusted employees are often more motivated.
Our Leadership and Management programme can help you manage teams
We offer the level 3 and level 5 Leadership and Management programmes. Our programmes are designed for those who currently run a team or will do so in the near future. The course teaches the core strategies required to be an effective manager as well as putting the strategies in practice via our skills days.
How to find out more about our Leadership and Management programmes
To find out more about the CMI please click here.