How do you manage remote teams? For the most part, there are many similarities between managing remote teams and general management best practices. However, there are some specific considerations that managers of remote employees should consider. Whether your team is entirely remote, or you only have some remote direct reports, there are some big remote management mistakes you can make that can severely impact the productivity and overall happiness of your team.
If you’re charged with managing a team, you have to be mindful of the skills, behaviors and attitudes that job requires. Identifying what you need to do in order to effectively carry out this responsibility. That means that if you do have a remote team, it’s up to you to identify what the management needs are for that situation. Reading this blog post is a great start — as you read, make note of exactly what you need to work on and make a plan to achieve your goals.
Many individuals who are responsible for supervising others never receive any kind of leadership training. They are expected to just learn those skills as they go. Immersive learning can be an effective way to get some good experience under your belt, but you should seek out opportunities to learn what the best practices in management are. Ask your own supervisors or mentors for suggestions on where to go to seek these opportunities.
Poor communication comes in many forms, not the least of which are unclear expectations. So, Make sure your employees understand what your expectations are of them. Do not assume that everyone has the same understanding and interpretation of timelines, deliverables, and other expectations. Check in regularly to ensure everyone is on the same page.
One of the quickest ways to increase employee engagement is to provide consistent, constructive feedback. Many managers don’t make this a priority, which has a negative effect on employee satisfaction and performance. Make sure you have a system in place that reminds you to provide both informal and formal types of feedback. And remember that when giving feedback, you should highlight both areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.
If your entire team is remote, make sure there are opportunities for everyone to interact. And if only some of your team is remote, make sure that you provide opportunities for them to participate in work functions. Never leave team members out just because they are not on site. If you have an inclusive environment, that will contribute to the overall satisfaction of employees and productivity of the company.
Additionally, you should make time to meet with your employees one on one and make yourself available for spontaneous meetings or conversations.
These management mistakes can have severe negative consequences. Some of these include poor employee engagement, a toxic work culture, or even problems attracting and retaining top talent. Keep continuing to seek out opportunities to improve your remote team leadership skills to build the most collaborative and effective remote teams.