The workplace has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. The expansion and development of the internet has changed the way businesses work on a daily basis.
Globally, one in five people telecommute. This new way of working is having a dramatic effect, as people are now able to work more flexible hours from anywhere in the world.
While this new working environment is ideal for many, it brings about a new set of challenges for managers. Engaging a team who have never met face to face and who may be in different time zones requires a new way of thinking. Managers have to think of fresh ways to engage their team with the company, each other and tasks.
Looking for some guidance or inspiration? Here are some essential ways to make sure your remote team is engaged and achieving the best possible results for the company.
Keep Them Up to Date with Company News
A remote worker should feel committed and knowledgeable about the company they work for. Despite not working in an office or seeing managers every day, they should know the values and mission of the company.
In order to do this, make sure you communicate with your team about the company and keep them in the loop with important news. Sending weekly emails with updates can work well, or having the CEO check in with the whole team every week or two can also be beneficial. This can make employees feel more connected and committed to a company.
Arrange Face-to-Face Meetings
The thought of working with somebody and not knowing what they look like can be a little odd. The initial interview over Skype or FaceTime may have allowed you to see the person face to face, but organising more of these meetings is important. Face-to-face meetings mean you can hear somebody’s voice and can get to know them better by talking socially, as well as about work.
Schedule Meetings to Include Everyone
If you have employees in multiple time zones, you need to schedule meetings to fit around everybody. This engages all your employees in the dialogue and shows that you care for their needs. Considering this can go a long way to making sure employees stationed at any corner of the globe feel valued.
Recognise Hard Work and Company Culture
Every company and manager should recognise hard work. Highlight strong work every week or month. You can even create an employee of the month system and send a reward to the staff member. This, once again, engages them with the company and creates a company culture which employees are happy to work for.
Use the Best Software
The increase of remote companies means there is a vast array of software available which can help remote companies to communicate and assign tasks. Software such as Slack is used all over the world by companies to communicate every day. Investing in software which can streamline communication and workload within a remote team is worthwhile to get the best results and have your employees feeling engaged and motivated.
Organise Reviews and Encourage Feedback
Feedback is essential for every single employee at every single company. Dedicating time to giving feedback to employees is crucial for them to improve and progress as they would in any business. But this feedback works both ways. Encourage your team to give you feedback about how they’re finding their workload and any issues they are facing. Arranging these meetings face to face can improve communication and create a consistent, open dialogue.
Organise Effective Training
Even with previous managerial experience, managing a remote team is challenging; it’s a brand new way of working for many people. For those who are having trouble transitioning to managing a team who are all over the world, it can be worthwhile organising training for managers. Management courses for remote team managers can break down the challenges you’re facing and offer clear solutions and ideas for managing remote teams.
Christine Macdonald is the Director of The Hub Events. As an expert in learning and development, Christine recognises that remote team leaders require management training in order to engage and get the best out of their employees.