Looking to manage remote teams better? Use the TEAM acronym.
There are many benefits to having a remote team: increased productivity, lower costs, and more access to the best talent. That is, if these employees are managed properly. It can be particularly challenging to find the right balance between supervising and suffocating the employees you don't see every day.
It's important to remember why your employees choose to work from outside of the office and why your company allows them to do so. So let's get to it!
Manage Remote Teams Better with TEAM
1. Trust Your Team Members
Something that is so attractive about working outside of the office is the sense of freedom and independence that comes along with it. There is a trade-off that remote employees understand and it is this: the employer trusts them to work from home or from a beach or a park, so they must deliver excellent work from one of these places. Just as you have to trust your in-office employees to work on their assignments, you have to believe that your remote employees will complete their work. When your employees feel that you trust them, they produce better work. Have faith in your remote employees and confidence in your decisions- you hired them for a reason.
2. Equip Your Team
Give them the tools to succeed. Obvious ways to do this are making sure your workers have what they need to complete the tasks you give them. Whether that be a computer, a PlayBook or general background knowledge, these tools are necessary for getting things done correctly and in a timely matter. Be specific in the tasks that you give them and clearly define success.
3. Be Available
While you want to give your remote employees space, you have to be available. Set up check-ins to see if you can help them with anything. Be sure these are relatively casual meetings and talk about topics other than just work. These meetings should be a conversation where you both feel comfortable to be candid and address any issues. You both must understand that they won’t always be working 9am-5pm, but you can make the time to talk with them.
4. Motivate Your Team
A challenge that often arises when working with and managing a remote employee is making sure everyone stays motivated. A great benefit to working in an office or on the job is being stimulated and challenged by your co-workers. For remote employees, we can emulate this by emphasizing their inclusion in projects. Inviting them to both work and non-work events is a great way to make people feel included. In addition, make sure you ask for and hear their feedback so they feel like a valued member in the company. When people feel valued, they perform their best.
We've got some great quotes for keeping sales teams motivated here!
Rather than focusing on the risks associated with having remote employees, play into the benefits. Focus on their strengths. Remember that even though your remote employees are not in the office every day, they are still part of the TEAM.
Have any other ideas to manage remote teams better? Let us know in the comments!
Joe Sellmeyer is a student at the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University. He is majoring in Business Administration with a Primary Concentration in Marketing and a Secondary Concentration in Strategic Branding. He transferred to Fordham from Wagner College where he played Division 1 Football and studied Behavioral Economics in the Honors Program. Joe's ultimate goal is to start his own business. He has always been fascinated in consumer behavior and tendencies and the different factors that influence a purchase. He wants to continue to learn how to run and brand a successful business, so that he may manage his own one day.
Connect with him on LinkedIn, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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