Since the start of the Coronavirus lockdown, people are suddenly having to work from home. Adjusting to this abrupt chnange has been tough for managers. New skills and strategies are needed when managing a remote team. Management training needs to be tailored to discuss the challenges of managing a team who you don't see every day, or communicate with face to face. Motivating and getting the best out of a team who can be miles apart requires a unique set of skills that can take some time to master. We've got several new online courses designed to help managers rise to this challenge.
Here are some key management skills and best practice for those who have the challenge of managing a remote team.
Showing and Rewarding Achievement
When you're in an office, it can be easy to give a shout-out and recognise the hard work that a team member does. If your team are scattered about the country or even in different time zones, it can be difficult to find a time when everybody is working. However, finding a way to acknowledge great work is important — whether this is by sending out a company-wide email or notifying everybody on a work messaging service. Employees need to feel valued in a way they would in any working environment.
Efficient Monitoring of Work
Your remote team might work to end-of-month deadlines, which can be hard to check without looking over their shoulder in the office or having them send you a quick report. So how can you monitor work progress remotely? There are a variety of software programmes which can be used to assign tasks and to note down the work achieved each day. Taking advantage of these various software tools is essential for monitoring staff progress.
However, it's important to show that you trust your team, too. You can't check everything they are doing. Regular communication is important, but so is showing that you have faith in the skills of the employee to get their work done.
Creating Team Culture
Without face-to-face interactions, it can be difficult to create a team culture; a real sense of togetherness within your workforce. Some employees might log on, do their work and barely communicate with the team.
Sharing outstanding work, creating incentives and giving everybody a chance to talk socially is important to allow a team to get to know one another. You want employees to feel valued and showing that you're getting to know them is important.
If you have employees in multiple time zones, try and create meetings and time for people to talk when it suits everybody.
Organising Face-to-Face Communication
Loneliness can be a big issue for those working remotely. There are a number of ways in which individuals can tackle this issue, but managers can help, too. If all communication is online or on the phone, organising face-to-face communication can make a difference. If you're working in different countries, arranging a meet-up may be difficult. However, even arranging a meeting where you can see people can make a difference and create a connection. Use FaceTime and Skype to your advantage, to see people and converse with them socially and for work.
Support Managers With Effective Management Training
Being a manager in a remote team can be difficult, especially if this is a relatively new way of working for your team. One of the best ways to support managers is to send them on a management training course. Due to the increase in the number of people working remotely, training courses specifically for remote teams are now available. A training course for remote team managers is the best way to learn about software which can enhance communication and how to build that team culture and trust.