7 Tips for Successfully Starting and Managing a Remote Team
With more and more businesses going online to reach their prospective customers with, there’s really no surprise why the outsourcing industry skyrocketed in the past few years. Part of this industry that’s becoming more and more common is the creation and managing remote teams.
This setup is highly beneficial in that it allows small business owners and entrepreneurs like us to tap into great talents, regardless of where they might be and at a price we can afford.
The Right Way to Manage a Remote Team
However, managing a remote team successfully isn’t as easy as it appears to be. That’s why there are a lot of horror stories about small business owners setting up remote teams, using outsourcing websites, and hiring people — yet they are not able to properly manage their remote workers effectively. In light of this, here are 7 tips that can help you successfully start and manage a remote team:
Have a Plan
You are the leader of your team. You must have goals—a path where you want to lead your team and business to. You must take responsibility for outlining how communication will be handled, how tasks will be delegated, and setting expectations and deadlines for your remote workers. Consider all these before anything else.
Hire the Right People
Once you have your goals and processes laid down, you can start looking for people whose skills and principles match your own and your needs. Don’t just look at their cover letters and samples, though; conduct interviews and do trial projects to see if they are the “right fit” for your company and have the skillsets and expertise to take on projects that you assign to them.
Use the Right Tools
Technology is constantly evolving. Use that to your team’s advantage and utilize tools (software and services) that will help with your team members’ smooth communication and maximize productivity. Some good examples are Campfire (communication), Huddle, Box.com (file sharing), Sqwiggle (team monitoring), and Trello (task delegation and monitoring).
Communication is Key
Most remote team downfalls can be traced back to poor communication. If you want to avoid this issue, you should open as many communication lines as you can. That includes email, chat, phone, conference calls and even communicating with your team via social media.
Build Trust with Your Team
Trust is a crucial ingredient for success, but how do you build it within a remote team? That involves starting the project with a positive attitude, sharing goals, asking for ideas/suggestions, communicating on a regular basis, and, if possible, meeting face-to-face (you can use Skype and video Hangouts).
Give Constructive Criticism and Appreciate
In line with the above tip, you should show authority by giving your remote team members constructive criticism when their outputs are subpar, if they fail to follow instructions—but in a way that they will understand what they did wrong and be encouraged to do better. Similarly, you should acknowledge the members’ hard work and offer incentives, promotion, or training that will help them improve further, become more productive, and get satisfaction from the job.
Grow as a Team
In the end, team members have to grow as a team for them to continue being a team. That involves having monthly meetings, conducting team training, holding holiday games to boost morale, and meeting in “real life,” if possible, to foster bonds and long lasting relationships.
Managing a remote team may feel challenging at first. However, with set goals, clear processes, and sincerity toward maintaining long-term work relationships, you and your remote team will certainly be well on your way to success.