How to Be a Top Leader for your Remote Team
Your remote team is the future of your business. Not long ago, the workforce was entirely dependent on an office. This point was the only place where the employees could access vital job-related files and collaborate as a united team. However, everything changed with the advent of the Internet. With every passing day, there are fewer and fewer reasons to sustain an office administration. This is how remote employees have become a common phenomenon. Employers no longer have to take the space factor into consideration when making hiring decisions. However, they have to deal with leading an invisible presence towards success. With that in mind, let’s see how leaders can integrate their remote teams into the culture of the company.
Define your Expectations
The only uncertainty factor surrounding the status of a remote team is the lack of face to face communication. Unlike a manager who supervises work consistently, a leader needs his or her team to grow together. Employees have to unlock new knowledge and skills to become better than the previous day.
This is why it is important to design a list of expectations on a monthly basis. A clear path of measurable objectives with their stakes increased periodically is enough to keep them on track. If they don’t achieve these expectations, you can schedule an online chat to figure out what happened. Based on this discussion, you can easily understand if the objectives are too high and they need a readjustment. On the other hand, a leader will know if the employee is taking too much advantage of this remote status.
If you were clear about your expectations and your team’s benefits and responsibilities, the factor of remote working would not work against you anymore. Also, putting the focus on improvement and not on the number of worked hours is a good move. This change will encourage your employees to concentrate on productivity and not just making themselves busy with routine tasks.
Decide their Availability
Even though they work remotely, the purpose of having a team is to work together. And you can’t achieve that if all your employees have flexible but unsynchronized work schedules. When an important issue is at hand, you need your entire team to discuss the matter and find a solution.
There might be some objections against defining a strict schedule for remote jobs. After all, flexibility is what makes such work opportunities so exciting. However, without discipline, you can’t guide your fleet towards the same major goal. Besides, there are a lot of other perks left to contribute to the “dream job” image. Your employees can still travel the world while working, avoid stressful daily commuting, design their office the way they want it and have access to a higher salary.
Schedule Frequent Meetings
With so many project management platforms on the market, like Asana, Slack or Trello, it is easy for everybody to collaborate with one another. But it’s not always about work. Knowing what your colleagues are doing is not exactly the same as knowing their personalities. In case this factor is left out of the equation, you will not have the right adhesive to create a culture that promotes loyalty, personal development, and success.
So, you should open up channels of social interactions too. A great way to start this is to schedule frequent chats. You can do them every Friday when people usually have fewer tasks to do and more time to think about the hobbies they are going to pursue during weekends. Encourage topic conversations that enable them to get to know each other and see what makes their hearts sing.
Organize Team Building Events
Team building gatherings are definitely worth the expenses, such as flights, accommodations, and team activities. In just several days, you can achieve what two months of office time won’t accomplish. You get to get the team members together and socialize face to face. The comfortable environment will eliminate the stiffness of a business meeting. Without the presence of obligations and responsibilities, the employees will be able to talk about their passion for their work.
Team building activities are generally a good investment because they succeed in changing different characters into one homogeneous team. Interacting together outside of work schedules will create a long lasting mark. Whenever problems arise, your team will know better how to mobilize itself to solve the situation in due time.
Offer Constant Feedback
One of the reasons employees like to work in an office is that they get recognition for their work. Also, when they are not doing so great, their leaders, colleagues or managers can help them in real time. This benefit should be recreated for your remote teams also. A survey discovered that 77% of employees would work harder if they received more feedback from management.
When there’s no one around you to tell you how you are doing, you lose perspective and become chaotic in your work. This is why it is important to implement a rigorous feedback system. It is important to let your employees know their strong points and the skills they can work on.
The option to hide behind an invisibility cloak can be the fault of a leader too. When there’s no communication between management and employees for a long period of time, the connection can be easily lost. You should create a feedback system to assess the performance of your remote team. This means that your attention will be needed at the end of every project. If the results are outstanding, don’t let them speak for themselves, but give your input and send honest congratulations. On the other hand, when the outcome doesn’t reach the targets, you should concentrate on sending detailed, productive feedback.
All in all, the remote team is one important step into the future. The space limits are no longer relevant in the age of technology. All leaders should make this change to the benefit of their company. Once a proper digital environment is designed and secured, an invisible team will be a win for both parties.