With the flexibility to work from virtually anywhere, many office workers and job seekers are choosing not to return to the office. This poses quite the challenge for managers across all industries, leaving many asking themselves: How do I effectively manage a team where some employees are in the office, while others are working remotely?
Successfully managing a remote team will require leaders to adopt new styles and methods that effectively engage workers, no matter where they are located. Let’s take a look at the key strategies you can implement to keep your teams aligned.
Trust goes a long way –– and in the business world, this concept is no different. As a leader, it is your responsibility to rely on your employees to manage their time effectively and deliver on what is expected of them. If not, you risk coming across as a manager who has no confidence in your team. And remember, trust is a two-way street. So, if you want to gain your employees’ trust, begin by believing in them and their ability to complete their work.
One of the best ways to make trusting your employees easier is to take the time to define expectations. Employees who understand their responsibilities are more productive and focused, helping to improve their performance and earn your trust.
To be effective, remote work requires that all team members understand their department’s objectives and goals. So, the first thing you should do is define expectations across all departments, going into as much detail as possible. Through this, you will prevent potential issues and misunderstandings in the future.
Once you have communicated your goals, it is important to also determine the necessary steps and procedures required to achieve them. To keep all workers on the same page, provide as much information as possible. This will make them aware of what is expected of them and keep both remote and in-person teams aligned.
To help your employees meet their expectations, you must support them along the way. Investing in the right tools and resources will pay off in the long run, especially at a time when improved connectivity and communication are crucial to success. If your teams are working remotely, give them an allotted budget to set up a home office, or purchase equipment to make their jobs easier. Additionally, consider investing in video communications or collaboration applications, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. These tools will ensure a personal connection is achieved, even when working remotely.
Moreover, have your internal IT department put in place protocols and security software on computers, work phones, and any other devices that are being used outside of the company’s firewall. With this extra layer of cybersecurity, you can be sure your critical information is safe, no matter where your employees work.
Once you have the necessary tools in place for your teams, you can use these solutions to engage with them regularly. This is especially critical for remote workers. Whereas informal discussions and meetings happen when everyone is in the office, a more conscious effort is needed to stay connected and current with remote employees. We strongly recommend more frequent, short check-ins with remote employees to keep them current, understand their challenges/frustrations, and understand their needs.
Another suggestion is to have a set time each week when you will be live on video for a set period of time when remote employees can “drop by” for an informal conversation. By fostering these personal relationships with your team, you can continue to strengthen trust, communication, and ensure they feel heard and valued. Over time, this will contribute to their job satisfaction level and increase their commitment to the success of the team.
Learn More: How Company Culture Promotes Employee Engagement
To continue to develop your employees and help them reach their full potential, there is a need for regular, formal evaluations. Discussions like these allow employees to analyze their roles, decide their goals and objectives, and gain new perspectives about their work. As a leader, it is also your responsibility to share observations with your teams to help them develop professionally. One effective way to provide this feedback is through the power of storytelling. By sharing your professional and personal experiences, you not only make it easier for them to relate, but also increase their receptiveness and willingness to learn.
Be sure to include professional development opportunities as a part of these meetings, as this shows your commitment to their growth and keeps them connected with the organization’s success
Using any or all of these strategies in your management style will benefit your organization while managing a remote team. But, for these initiatives to be successful, soliciting feedback from your employees cannot be overlooked. These particular discussions provide valuable insights into how your team feels about current processes, their learning opportunities, and satisfaction levels. As you navigate managing a remote team, this feedback can help your team look for areas of improvement in your efforts.
To foster a culture that thrives in a remote work environment, remaining flexible throughout the process is essential. As unexpected events arise and priorities shift, a leader should be able to change strategies and look for new solutions quickly and effectively. Stay open-minded, adjust to these changes calmly and effectively, and watch how you keep your business thriving even through uncertainty.
Within the last couple of years, remote work has transformed the way business is conducted –– and hiring processes have followed suit. To remain successful when sourcing critical talent in a remote world, a flexible strategy is necessary. Organizations will need to experiment with new recruitment strategies to attract and retain leaders –– especially as the war for talent reaches an unprecedented level.
Executive search services are one of the best ways businesses can overcome the challenges of today’s hiring climate. Through the expertise these firms offer, you can achieve positive results for your organization, and allow you to reach a greater number of highly-skilled candidates –– both actively searching for a new opportunity and those who might not have considered it before.
Through their connections and experience working with thousands of candidates, executive search services reduce the overall costs, time-to-hire, and turnover rates. For organizations across multiple industries, this is an exciting opportunity!
If you are looking to fill open positions and maximize results by partnering with an executive search firm, Kinsley Sarn would welcome the opportunity to work with you. Our team of former executives have created a proprietary process to help you navigate the complexities of hiring top leadership. To learn more about our process, feel free to schedule a consultation with one of our team members by contacting our offices.