The opportunity to work remotely used to be practically unheard of, except when it came to specific niche careers. In recent years, however, remote work has become quite commonplace, especially within the last couple of years.
If your workplace is considering remote working opportunities, or you’ve already started initiating the process of managing your employees remotely, you might be in search of ways to improve the way you perform your management duties.
Read on to learn about some of the best practices related to effectively managing remote employees.
#1: Facilitate Effective Communication
Despite the challenges that accompany your team’s ability to stay in contact when working remotely, effective communication is a must.
While emailing back and forth is one component of maintaining contact in most offices, remote workers require more in-depth communication tools.
For example, video conferencing apps or tools that allow employees to send and receive messages instantly.
Facilitating effective ways for your employees to communicate amongst themselves and with management makes it much easier to ensure that each person is current with workplace announcements.
#2: Encourage Employee Interaction
In addition to ensuring that employees have several ways to communicate with management or collaborate on various projects, it’s also important to encourage employees to interact with each other.
Employee interaction can take on several forms, including but not limited to virtual breakrooms, casual discussions, and the opportunity to reach out for help with various work-related tasks.
#3: Appreciate the Individuality of Your Employees
Appreciating your employees as human beings should be an essential part of managing a team, especially when you’re working remotely.
Take time to understand the strengths and challenges of each employee you manage, and learn about the individual traits that make each person a valuable part of your company.
For example, if you’re aware that an employee excels at a particular task while struggling with others, be sure to give praise where it’s due and provide resources that will help the employee improve other aspects of their performance.
Further, if there are cultural things that play an important role in your employee’s life, notice those things and find simple ways to let each employee know that you’re paying attention to them, not just the work they do.
#4: Conduct Time-Appropriate Meetings
If your department is new to remote work, it will take some time for everyone to adjust to the changes your workplace is going through.
While your team is implementing new practices, it will be helpful to check in with them on a regular basis.
Schedule a single mandatory meeting each week so that you can review your employees’ strengths, needs, and concerns.
As time passes, you can either increase or decrease the frequency of these meetings to accommodate your team’s needs appropriately.
#5: Provide Useful Feedback
Evaluate the work each employee performs, just like you would do if you were working together in person.
Rather than providing blanket feedback for the team as a whole, take time to cater each review to the employee you’re evaluating.
Cover activities that your employees are performing effectively as well as activities that need improvement.
When covering areas where the employee can improve, provide instructions regarding how to do so.
This way, your employee won’t receive feedback simply telling them that they’re not meeting your expectations.
They’ll receive clear guidance they can follow in order to perform their best.
#6: Try Remote Management Training Opportunities
If you’re new to managing remote employees, you may be feeling overwhelmed when thinking about where to begin.
Building upon your in-person management skills is a great starting point, but if you’re struggling to incorporate the remote working elements into your plan, there’s no harm in seeking help.
Remote management training opportunities can help equip new remote managers with the skills they need to effectively lead a team despite the massive change that has taken place.
Training modules for remote managers can cover a variety of work-related topics, not limited to standard management practices.
For example, remote training courses for management professionals might cover anything from structuring team meetings to hiring remote workers and designing an onboarding programme.
#7: Trust Your Team’s Efficiency
Checking in with your team and providing them with resources and opportunities to improve is a helpful part of the management process.
However, there’s a fine line between being a helpful team leader and micromanaging.
Trusting the efficiency of your employees is an important part of the process when it comes to managing remote workers.
Provide adequate training and encourage collaboration when applicable, but it’s also essential that you allow your employees to work without constant interruptions and critiques.
#8: Utilize Helpful Tools
On top of providing your team with tools that they can use to communicate effectively, it’s also a great idea to recommend tools that will help each of them increase their productivity.
Remote work has become more and more common in the past couple of years, and as such, there is an impressive amount of tools and applications that are designed specifically for people who work remotely.
#9: Provide Clear Goals and Directions
Reminding your team about the day-to-day goals they’re expected to accomplish is only one component of providing an effective work strategy.
When managing a remote team, it’s also important to list the goals your employees should accomplish each week, each month, each quarter, and so on.
These goal lists should include both individual checkpoints to reach and group efforts that your team should work toward together.
Again, to supplement these goal lists, it’s crucial to provide directions as to how your employees can approach each checkpoint they need to reach.
#10: Offer Support
Being supportive and understanding is an important part of any leadership position.
If you’re managing a team of remote employees, letting each member of your team know that they can approach you to ask for help is a must.
Employees are usually more willing to work toward a common goal and adjust to new workplace practices when they know that they have the support of their manager.
To discover new ways to manage your team, or for assistance when recruiting the best individuals for your open positions, contact Wellsgray Recruitment, Melbourne’s leading recruitment agency.