Remotely Managing a Dream Team
In the past, most employees spent their days together in a meeting room, collaborating on the next big project while others gathered around the computer reviewing the results from a recent analysis.
But now, it has almost become a norm for employees to work remotely. The majority of companies worldwide have weathered work-from-home for almost a year now. And for the most part, the productivity metric is proving that remote working is working. With the pandemic yet to see any drastic improvement, remote working is likely to increase permanently in the future.
While this has had many benefits in terms of work-life balance, job satisfaction and improved productivity, it also means that it’s harder to get the whole team in one physical space at the same time, which can affect the communication between the team. As a team with remote employees here at WILD, here are our tips that have helped us build a successful remote team without the need for face-to-face meetups.
Setting a Team Communication Ritual
Although most of us are used to using a wide range of different media platforms during our job, we, too, can find it overwhelming when working alone. Hence, it is important, as a team, to discuss and agree on what works best for everybody. Choosing effective communication tools is essential to avoid bottlenecks, and confusion between team members - for example, the leader might decide when it is more appropriate to message for quick questions or general discussions, and when it is more appropriate to pick up the phone to talk.
As you schedule virtual team meetings, make sure that there is a clear agenda and you stick to the allocated time and topic, just as you would in a physical office meeting. There is nothing worse than hanging up from a team meeting feeling like you’ve wasted your time and everybody else’s time as well.
Take Remote Onboarding Seriously
Whether you’re building a new remote team from scratch or hiring a new addition to an existing team, it’s important to have a good onboarding process in place. Not only will it be the first impression of the company for the new member, but it’s also the time that leaders set expectations around important points like communication and work styles.
A good place to start is by scheduling weekly calls to help them get used to the way you and your team works. Never try to skip the onboarding process, overwhelm them with too much work in the beginning and try to jump right into collaborating with other team members right away.
Always Align Brand Image and Goals
Whether you’re working on social media posts, interacting with the audience or replying to a client email, you need to ensure that everybody is “living” the brand consistently. You need to ensure that everybody is up-to-date and on the same page with the brand image and style in order to ensure every piece of work that goes out is consistent.
It is also important to establish short-term and long-term goals for individual team members and the company. Align the interest of your team with the larger goals of the company by helping them understand what is expected of them and how their work contributes to the bigger picture. Most importantly, a leader needs to recognize what the team expects from them by communicating regularly.
If your team is filled with passionate people, it is important for leaders to ensure that the team doesn’t burn out when leaders don’t have oversight over the team’s daily routines.
As long as everyone is keeping each other updated and communicates proactively, there’s nothing wrong to be flexible about blackout periods if some members aren’t available for meetings at certain times. And, if your team is scattered across various time zones, it’s good to be mindful about the time differences when scheduling meetings and deadlines.
Recognizing Great Performance
Recognizing hard work or excellent results of remote team members is important in building stronger relationships. This will make the employee feel appreciated and noticed despite working remotely alone. Distributing non-cash rewards in the form of gift cards or gifts are universally appreciated gifts which will make them feel appreciated and will also give them a reason to have some time off.
At the end of the day, working with a remote team requires consistent communication and persistence. Building a successful remote team is just the beginning; the harder challenge is sustaining it over the long-term.
Just like us at WILD, we strive and work together to build the best team in order to be able to help our in-house talents grow; and help businesses out there get noticed, connect with their customers, create brand awareness and boost performance.