Managing a team can be a tough job on a regular day. Managing a virtual team can be a pretty daunting task, if this is your first time. Although you may have some experience managing a team, but that was face-to-face, managing a remote team is a completely different beast. There are a number of points to consider in order for you or any manager to keep up with your online employees.
There are a number of good things that can come from managing a team remotely, but this can only happen if the manager knows how to correctly motivate their team. Here are a few tips on how to maximize efficiency from your remote team.
1. Build a culture of positive feedback
Positive feedback is always good for motivation, especially in the case of remote teams. By highlighting the employee’s achievements and focusing on their potential, the team will be encouraged to step out of their zone of comfort and try new things. Though it may lead to failure, it will help them grow as individuals. The manager can schedule a regular one-on-one session to keep the discourse flowing and embrace the failings with a positive mindset. Most importantly, keeping consistent with the culture of positive feedback will help managers build a relationship of trust and mentorship with their employees.
2. Look at performance, not time spent
While sitting in the office can create an atmosphere of competition, micromanaging an employee’s seat time can have a negative effect on morale, which in turn effects the performance. Instead, it is better to foster a culture of accountability, which is especially important when remote working is factored in. Some software allows managers to track a team’s progress and help each employee to understand how their goals align with the company. Also, managers should recognize any outstanding individuals or team achievements, thus spurring the team to continue with the good work.
3. Make Communication Easier
A team will do better when the members are able to communicate effectively with each other. Managers must ensure that the team members are comfortable working with one another and can communicate with each other without any issues. While a remote team can work in different parts of the world, there are a couple of ways to make communication between team members easier. Some of the most common and easy to use forms of communication include Emails, Video call apps, text messages, file sharing apps, online calendars and screen sharing tools.
4. Have Virtual Meetings
Depending on the location of your remote team, meeting face-to-face can be difficult. This is why virtual meetings are a great way of strengthening the relationship between teammates and improving their communication. Virtual meetings help the entire team to be present in a virtual room all at once and discuss certain matters in real time. This can also spur the team to do better if a manager decides to present everyone’s achievement during these meetings. It can foster a friendly competitive atmosphere and help the team focus on completing the projects on time.
5. Provide chances to grow
People tend to get excited at the chance to learn something new, especially when it helps them to be more efficient at their job. Managers can provide ongoing training opportunities for teams or individuals, helping them to constantly improve upon or hone their skills. When a team learns something new together, this allows them to bond and build new connections. When an individual brings new skills to the team, it can lift everybody up.
6. Focus on realistic but challenging goals
It is important for teams to have challenges. It allows them to grow, both as individuals and as a team, providing them the chance to do work that goes beyond what they are used to doing. Having an occasional special project or deadline rush can help reinvigorate a team that feels stuck doing the motions. They could find new and different ways to work together, discover a new sense of camaraderie or even develop skills that can help them improve other projects. It is also important for the manager to make the goal achievable and realistic so that the experience motivates the team instead of discouraging them.
Any team can be successful as long as they are working together. Thanks to the power of Internet, remote teams are now able to work together without being limited by boundaries. Some approaches like expressing gratitude and appreciation can be implemented right away and become part of the work culture. Other approaches like a training and development program can take time to fully form. As long as the right tools, apps or approach is used; a manager can help their team stay motivated and productive.