Top Pitfalls to Avoid when Managing Remote Team Members
With growing resources, companies are finding more unique ways to structure their offices and attract the very best talent for team members. As technologies develop, the option of working remotely has become increasingly viable. In order to help make a remote team member successful, here are a few pitfalls to keep in mind.
Do more than a one-on-one.
One-on-one’s are great, but other moments of collaboration and team-building must be established for remote workers to not feel so isolated. Encourage community between members by providing forums for communication and co-working projects.
Communicate. Then communicate more.
Communication is essential and needs to be worked into the very foundation of a team – even included in the business goals and metrics. Not only must overcommunication occur in order to account for a lack of ability to read body language or have the connection face-to-face time brings, but that communication must be clear for all parties involved.
Establish clear goals.
While communication must be clear, so must the endgame of the position, team, and organization. Set clear goals with achievable metrics, so accountability doesn’t breed frustration.
Suppress the urge to micromanage.
There will be moments when an employee is not performing according to expectation. Resist compensating with micromanagement to facilitate change or redirect. When there is no physical presence of a manager, micromanaging can build a sense of mistrust instead.
Reconsider the tracking of time and hours.
If you do not trust the employee to be working as they should, reconsider your hiring processes.
Create easy systems for knowledge transfer.
When the day-to-day office chitchat is not available, other means should be found to encourage the manifestations of vision and ideas from your team members. Those inconsequential conversations can often lead to big concepts that propel projects or departments forward.
Define the onboarding process.
In fact, over-define the onboarding process for your remote workers. Establish routines and expectations for communication, meetings, and processes. Imagine you are laying out a virtual office for them – building walls, putting in a new desk and chair – that will serve as their baseline for becoming a confident and valued participant in your team.
Do not sit on conflict.
Should marks be missed or frustrations start, it is always best to address those verbally and as soon as possible when you have remote team members. Otherwise, gaps in communication will be filled with assumptions that will only deepen the conflict.
They are just an employee too.
Every team is different – and so is every employee. Remember to take each employee’s needs into consideration as you build a plan for them and their specific role.
Every team member needs a connection to their community. With the right groundwork, a remote team member can feel a part of the cohesive movement of their company.