Do you manage a remote team?
In this post, I’m going to cover 10 tips that will help you manage a remote team…like a boss.
And if you have experience managing a remote team, I’d love to hear YOUR best tips and strategies at the end of this post!
10 Tips to Manage a Remote Team
1. Communicate Your Company Culture
When managing a virtual team, it’s perhaps even more important to ensure your team members understand your company culture.When managing a virtual team, it’s perhaps even more important to ensure your team members understand your company culture.Click To Tweet
With employees potentially scattered all over the world, it can be difficult to communicate your values, goals, and the general “vibe” of your company.
However, it’s super important to try!
One of the best ways you can do this is by simply practicing what you preach. When holding meetings, communicating one-on-one with employees, or doing new-hire training, make sure you’re representing your company culture in the way you behave and communicate – whether that’s being casual, transparent, collaborative, open-minded…whatever!
2. Document Your Business Processes
I can’t tell you how important it is to document your business processes before you expand your team!
Your business processes are simply written procedures for accomplishing different tasks within your business. Some examples of processes you should nail down include your hiring process, your process for paying bills, your process for creating and publishing content, and your process for filing taxes.
For each of these tasks you’ll write down who is responsible for the task when it needs to happen, the order it needs to happen in, and the tools and procedures involved.
Having this documented will save you a TON of confusion and frustration, and will ensure every person on your team know EXACTLY what they’re responsible for!
3. Use Remote Collaboration and Team Management Tools
If you want to manage a remote team, you’ll most definitely need remote collaboration tools to keep everything (and everyone!) on track.If you want to manage a remote team, you’ll most definitely need remote collaboration tools to keep everything (and everyone!) on track.Click To Tweet
For instance, my team literally couldn’t function without Monday.com, Slack, and Google Docs among other tools. Some other GREAT remote collaboration tools include:
- Zoom: For video conferencing and remote screen sharing
- Monday.com: For remote task management and workflow
- Dropbox: For cloud-based file sharing and storage
- SignRequest: For managing signatures remotely
4. Focus on Outcomes, Not Time-Tracking
While there is a time and a place for time-tracking, it’s often far preferable to focus on making sure your team members simply get their job done!
Rather than requiring a detailed accounting of how much time they spend each day, establish regular check-ins to ensure key tasks are getting done on time.
When you hire people who are GREAT at what they do – and who you trust – it shouldn’t matter where they work or how long it takes them to get their work done…as long as the end result is done well and done on time!When you hire people who are GREAT at what they do - and who you trust - it shouldn’t matter where they work or how long it takes them to get their work done…as long as the end result is done well and done on time!Click To Tweet
5. Have Face-to-Face Meetings Periodically
There are so many amazing virtual meeting tools out there now, that in theory, you never even have to meet face to face.
However, periodically meeting in person can really help build rapport, solidify relationships, and communicate your company culture.
With large, global teams, this obviously won’t always be possible. However, even organizing local meetups for team members who live in the same area can go a long way toward building trust, connection, and a healthy work environment.
6. Hold Regular Virtual Meetings
Of course, most of your meetings won’t be face to face…but will have to be held online.
Holding regular meetings – preferably scheduled on the same day and time each week – is key to keeping the lines of communication open.
And remember: With a remote team (particularly if your team members work from home), you won’t have casual chats in the lunchroom or by the water cooler. So make sure to build in opportunities for team members to just get to know each other!
7. Hire The Right People
All the tips on this list are helpful but mean nothing if you hire the wrong people.
When you hire people for your team, make sure to look for traits that are important for remote work…such as:
- Good communication skills, both in person and in writing
- Good at navigating tech issues on their own (they won’t have an on-site tech team!)
- Motivated and a self-starter
Before you even begin to hire people, make a list of all these “soft skills” you’re looking for, and be sure to include them in your job descriptions, and look for evidence of them in your interviews!
8. Treat Your Team Members Like The Rock Stars They Are!
It’s no small feat to find and retain a team of amazing, high-performing individuals.
Treat them well by recognizing their achievements, thanking them for a job well done, and surprising them with rewards or bonuses every now and again.
Some ideas for helping your team members feel loved and appreciated are:
- Record video greetings for team members’ birthdays
- Send small gifts or bonuses at Christmas
- Surprise them with little gifts or handwritten cards for no reason
- Give bonuses when your team members go above and beyond
Above all, be sure to thank them regularly and make sure they know how appreciated they are!
9. Be Respectful of Different Time Zones
It’s become quite common to have team members from all over the world. While this is GREAT for adding diversity to your team and for hiring the BEST in the field, the difference in time zones can create some challenges.
When holding meetings or setting deadlines, make sure you’re being fair and respectful of all your team members.
For instance, holding a meeting that’s in the afternoon for you – but at 4 am for some of your team members – really won’t generate much goodwill from those employees!
10. Use Video as Much as Possible
While I highly recommend using a tool like Slack for daily communication and collaboration with your team, it’s also important to spend time connecting via video.
Video lets you see non-verbal cues and is often better than email or other written communications for talking about more sensitive matters and avoiding misunderstandings.
This is where video conferencing tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting or Join.me really come in handy.
Don’t be afraid to schedule video calls for meeting with your team, handling delicate issues, or just connecting on a more personal level, one-on-one!
I hope this post has given you some strategies you can try out to better manage your remote team.
Working with employees from all over the world can be a real blessing and a competitive advantage…as long as you have the right systems and strategies in place!
Do you manage a remote team? What tips would you add to this list?
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Amazing tips, thanks for sharing. Communicating the company culture can be a challenge when you have a virtual team, but it’s beneficial to make this a priority. Though describing your corporate culture is needed, it won’t cut it; you have to act.
Holding physical events and activities once in a while are very effective in getting remote teams to experience and imbibe the corporate culture.