Have you ever managed to have that long-distance relationship with your employees being a project manager? Well, we all are aware of long distance relationships being a little difficult to maintain. With the hike of digital entrepreneurs there comes a need to have virtual teams. Searching out for remote employees and getting them on line within appropriate management is the key of the equation.
How do you manage a remote team effectively by making sure they understand their responsibilities correctly? In this article, we will help you look at some tips and tricks which will be helpful to find the answers to all your questions and get you better at managing a team from anywhere across the globe.
#1 Develop Transparency
Being a project manager and a leader, it is a must to lead the team with an example. You cannot really expect your remote employees to open up and get to know you without discussing projects or sharing opinions.
What makes a difference?
Try to encourage transparency by getting them involved in all the aspects of the business. Share the company vision and objectives and let them resonate with that. Set some realistic and clear expectations to tell them about who you are and your goals to work on. You can also engage in talks about things other than work, too.
#2 Conduct Regular Meetings
Occupying the same physical locations allows your employees to communicate and collaborate effectively whereas coordinating with variant times zones can be more forethought and over scheduling. This can be one of the challenges when working with a remote team as depending on where employees are across the globe, it occurs that some will be beginning their work day where others are finishing theirs.
What makes you Unique?
The only way to understand what kind of people you have on the team and meet them at least once a week to create a friendly and honest environment where everyone can talk to each other using a few collaborative tools. Try to consider it as a virtual coffee and relax for the next half an hour or so.
Also, According to Deborah Shane a career author quotes “Bad workplace relationship always give rise to negativity which then works against the team culture and productivity”. — Forbes.
#3 Organize your Work
We can understand how an appropriate structure can boost any business. Hence, managing people across the globe without getting to know what is everyone working on and handling multiple projects on your hands can turn your work into a big chaos.
How can you implement it?
To avoid this, you need to create procedures and implement project management systems to set rules and share them with everyone. Start by organizing all of your data, categorize it and make it available to all your team members. Decide on the way of communication for each hectic situation and set clear deadlines to meet the expectations of the project.
#4 Opt for a Time-Tracking tool
Scheduling meetings at the same time and handling multiple projects with variant employees sitting on different time zone can be troublesome. You are required to use technology for communicating and collaborating with remote workers.
What a Manager should do?
According to a poll by Gallup almost one third employees waste their 1–2 hours of day. All you need is in your arsenal is a time-tracking tool which is an efficient way to keep your employees on track, review their performance, set clear goals and boosts team productivity. Make sure to introduce your new piece of technology to your team by letting your colleagues know how to utilize it to get the most advantage out of it. Timesheet software help employees track their spent time, improves concentration and fight distractions.
The vital benefits of such special time-tracking tools are that every employee feels in charge of their time and can figure out unproductive activities and weak points in their performance.
#5 Embrace Cultural Diversity
This can also become a challenge while managing employees from different countries where people have a various attitude towards their career and families as it differs from border to border. Managers usually lack the understanding of managing cultural difference while coordinating with a global workforce. People from different cultures have various work ethics and sometimes it might be astonishing to see their approaches to work day.
How to Deal with it?
It is of no surprise that being a manager you are likely going to come across cultural obstacles when managing remote teams. Figure out how different people from different areas are open up to receive feedbacks by promoting a mindset of celebrating difference and being respectful about national holidays. We can even follow some approaches to cultural diversity in the workplaces from some companies like Wells Fargo.
#6 Make a stronger Team bonding
When you are working with remote teams, you cannot have the coffee meeting, gather around the cooler, enjoy the happy hours after office and talk with each other. This can lead to uneasy situations among the employees due to the lack of appropriate communication.
What steps are to be taken?
Try having a retreat for stronger team bonding once a year, keep the energy high and have big discussions to all of your remote workers. Try to communicate in friendly phrases just as you talking with one of your distant friend knowing the professional limits. Never forget to celebrate their victories by sending emails, GIFs, and notes to appreciate them warmly.
It might be challenging to manage remote teams as organizing a meaningful process, monitoring team member’s activities and tracking the work process can be a little tough than at an office. But still, following some simple rules and you can achieve it the way you can have a loyal, hardworking and productive group of employees that help you reach your vision sooner. Keep Learning!
Vikash Kumar works as a manager in the software outsourcing company Tatvasoft.com. Sometimes he does have free time while managing campaigns, during which he likes to write and explore new technical trends and topics. Vikash also has published his bylines on major platforms and has been blogging since 2014. You can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.