Join Bob McGannon for an in-depth discussion in this video Managing remote employees, part of Managing Virtual Teams.
It is great to look across the room and see the people that are going to help you succeed in getting a job accomplished. Need some advice? Just walk down the hall and pop into the expert's cubicle. Have a problem to discuss? Pull a few team members into a conference room and have a chat. However, it is not always that easy. With remote teams and remote team members becoming more commonplace, managers must adjust their approach to achieve their business goals.
Being a successful manager with remote employees means executing the basics. You have to start simple. There are three back-to-basics areas I'd like to introduce to you. These are your management style, productivity and results, successful collaboration. First, take a look at your management style. When it comes to how you manage, there are multiple styles to choose from and tailor to ensure the whole team, you included, operate at full potential.
The good news is this is not much different from managing a local team. You can pull from what you already know. So I suggest you write down your answers to the following questions. What wins have I had as a manager? And by win, I mean successes or highlights in your career as a manager. This is anything you look back on and feel great about. Second, why are they wins? Take a look at your personal rating system.
Why do you feel great about these things? And lastly, what are your lessons learned? Take a look at those times when things didn't quite work. What knowledge do you now have because of that experience? By doing this, you'll probably notice you're taking inventory of things that you're already doing. Keep these answers handy because I'll ask you to reference them throughout the course. Now for the second back-to-basics area, productivity and results.
As a manager of remote employees, it's critical you have a team with the following two characteristics. First, self sustaining productivity meaning you'll have to spend very little time making sure your team is taking action. One tip to accomplish this, use living documents such as a shared Google doc or another form of Cloud technology to show when a document was viewed or changed and who viewed or changed it.
This is a great way to monitor your team's productivity with minimum effort. The second characteristic is reliability or a reputation for high quality results. My quick tip for this characteristic is this, any time you see something, like a format or the wording of an email that works well, make it standard procedure for the team. With these two characteristics, the vital point is to look at what your team has been tasked to do and support them, both collectively and individually.
This leads me to the third and last back-to-basics area, successful collaboration with your team members. Collaboration plays a key role in developing your remote team. A few things to keep in mind to start. Create clear goals, communicate often, celebrate wins, and problem solve together. In general, what I have shared here is the same as with a local team. The difference is how you apply these basics and fine tune these techniques for the remote environment.
It's not difficult, it just takes focus and practice.
Discover how to build rapport, set mutual expectations, communicate, connect, overcome conflict, get work done, and grow the team. Also included is a look at the top five challenges managers face in leading remote teams and helpful solutions that will get your team on track.
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