In any business, managing a team can come with plenty of challenges. With a remote team, there are even more challenges to overcome. But, it can and does work, and today more and more people are working from locations other than the traditional office. If all or even just one member of your team are remote employees, you need to find ways to make managing the team easier for yourself and for each of those remote employees. There are tons of productivity tools and time saving tips out there, but let’s take a look at these 10 essential tips for managing remote employees.
10 Tips for Managing Remote Employees10 Essential Tips for Managing Remote EmployeesClick To Tweet
1. Use Video
One of the biggest problems with online communication is that most of it is via email or text, and it is non-verbal for the most part. This is the first of our tips for managing remote employees, and one you need to pay attention to. You can’t judge reactions, moods, etc., and often things can be easily taken out of context. Try to incorporate video into as many of your communications as possible. You will be able to see body language, facial expressions, etc., and there will be less of a chance that misunderstandings will happen. Communication will greatly improve, and your team will work even better as a unit.
2. Recognise Employees
When employees feel appreciated, they are more productive. Remote employees are no different, and they deserve your recognition. Set up some type of an employee recognition program, and offer incentives to employees. For instance, offer a cash bonus for closing a sale, or a day off with pay for finishing a big project.
When it come to managing remote employees, there are lots of things you can do to recognise your employees and show them that their contributions to the company really do matter.
3. Use the Right Software
Project management software is for more than just tracking team progress. You can use it to keep track of everything that is going on, so everyone always know who is doing what, what has been done, and what is left to be done. This software is also important for keeping track of employee hours and earnings. Use employee timesheet templates to create timesheets that are accurate and easy to use and understand.
4. Track Team Progress
You need to find ways to track the progress of each remote employee, as well as for the team. Using remote worker software can help, because you can automate a lot of the tracking and save your time for other, more important things.
One good way to track progress is to have each employee send daily summaries of what they have done that day, or even better, send in screenshots that show what they have accomplished.Tracking team progress is invaluable when managing remote employeesClick To Tweet
5. Use the Right Communication Methods
Make sure that you use the right form of communication for the right purpose. For instance, email should be used for short exchanges of information. A chat should be used for group discussions, general talk, and announcements. Skype is better for long talks that are detailed or difficult. If you can’t Skype, the telephone is the next best option.
6. Learn to Overcome Time Zones
One of the biggest challenges with remote teams is that employees are working in different parts of the world, so they are in different time zones. This can make communicating difficult, because you can’t schedule meetings that everyone can attend at the same time.
Also, many of these people speak English as a second language, and often things are misunderstood. A good habit to get into is to make sure that even if everyone can’t be at online meetings that you have a way to convey all of the information from the meetings to them, such as a white board of the notes taken in real time.
7. Provide Ongoing Training
Your employees need to have the knowledge and tools necessary to get leads and make sales. You need to provide them with all of the training and education that they need to be able to do this. There are always new methods to learn, new tools to work with, etc. The more you can help your employees by providing them training, the more they are going to do for your company. You might even want to consider offering some type of incentive to help employees take courses and other outside training that is related to their jobs.
8. Use Emoticons
When using non-verbal communication, be sure to do whatever it takes to convey your real feelings so you are not misunderstood. Some words and expressions can come across as being a lot more aggressive than how they are meant to sound. Without seeing body language and hearing vocal tones, it can be hard to tell what someone really means. Use emoticons to convey your feelings. If you are in a good mood, use a smiley face. You will get better responses when you use emoticons, gif’s, etc.
9. Extend the One-on-Ones
Just because you can’t see each other every day in person, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have one-on-one meetings with each of your remote employees. But, don’t limit these communications to just short meetings. Try to schedule at least one hour each week with each employee. Encourage an open-door policy, so they know that they can come to you at other times as well.
Also, when you have scheduled one-on-one meetings, do not postpone or cancel them. This is just going to show your employees that you don’t have the time or the desire to listen to any concerns they might have. A much-overlooked tip for managing remote employees.
10. Send Swag
Most employees get some swag from time to time, but this isn’t always the case with remote employees. Make sure that you send them swag for themselves and for their families. It shows that you appreciate what they do for your company. If you are sending shirts or other clothing, take the time to find out the right sizes to send.
This is going to show that you actually care enough to learn about your employees and their families, and that you are an employer who really cares. If they aren’t getting the same perks that in-office employees are getting, they could end up becoming resentful.
How to manage remote employees - 10 top tips to read right here!Click To Tweet
We hope these tips on managing remote employees help you! Sometimes, though, trust and a great relationship can be the difference you need to succeed.
Dan Purvis writes for a number of leading business, social media and marketing sites, including Smart Insights, Marketo, MarTech Advisor, Marketing Tech News, MarTech Today, MarTech Exec, and Business2Community. Dan's also ranked by Brand Republic as one of the Top 50 UK Marketing & Social Media influencers.
Dan is passionate about the philosophy behind Comms Axis: we bring content, marketing and sales together to connect businesses with their audiences.
We pride ourselves on delivering tangible business value and ROI alongside excellent customer service. We work with a broad range of clients and industries, from B2B to B2C, from technology to cosmetics, from start-ups / SoHos to pan-European and global brands.
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