The pandemic had sure stirred things up across industries worldwide. It forced companies to switch to an alternate way of working – remote working, which led to multiple challenges like different ways of working, locations and time zones. Overcoming these challenges and navigating your employees working remotely, and ensuring they are productive and engaged can be a little overwhelming. It requires a strong plan and clear communication from employers. Here are a few tips for companies to enable remote team working and facilitate open communication:
- Define clear agreements and expectations: Communication is the biggest obstacle for managers monitoring remote teams. Having transparent communication while interacting with remote employees is crucial to ensure the teams’ proper functioning. How to do it? CLEAR COMMUNICATION! In order to bring in this, ask basic questions: what would the ideal mode of communication be? What time zone would be suitable for everyone for sync-ups? What will the frequency of communication be like for each employee?
Once you have these answers, it is better to set guidelines and boundaries for the employees, so everyone is on the same page. This can be done by understanding each employee’s availability and performance goals.
- Keep the work progress republic: One of the good practices of managing a team working remotely is keeping track of work and sharing it with everyone. Staying connected and knowing what’s going on in the group will encourage employees to take ownership of their work and help them understand how they contribute to the team. It will also prevent any misunderstandings and feelings of distrust amongst the team members. Along with this, you can also consider keeping every employee’s calendars and work schedules so that everyone is aware of each other’s availability.
- Virtual team building: To strengthen your team members’ bond, you can use various online team-building platforms. This way, your employees can connect and network with each other, have fun and form a relationship based on trust. Such platforms will also help you boost morale and productivity and improve the efficiency of your team members. One of the most powerful platforms available for companies to enhance teamwork is Odyssey’s Helping Hands project. This platform enables collaboration amongst team members by focussing on commitment, loyalty, and quality.
- Avoid micromanaging: Micromanagement can have a very negative impact on your employees’ morale, productivity, and will to work. If you are constantly checking up on your team members, it can lead to your employees thinking of you as someone who is very controlling and sometimes also questioning their self-worth. This only makes your job more challenging as a manager, so it is essential to trust your team and loosen up a bit. Instead of micromanaging the team, you can rather use that time in other priority areas. It is important to set your expectations right for the employees and check the final product, but in order to foster the feeling of accountability in your team members, it is critical that you practice letting go and giving them space to do their job.
- LISTEN to your team members: One of the best qualities you can possess as a successful manager is active listening. Try to communicate as much as possible with your employees. This will convey the feeling of trust and security within the team. Check on your team members constantly to understand their needs and pain points, if any. Celebrate success with them. All this will make them feel valued and increase their morale. But remember not to go overboard. Communicate without coming across as finicky. Ask for your employees’ feedback about what they like about the company’s processes and what they do not, and work on it accordingly.