How to manage and keep remote teams engaged?
Due to the current issues arising because of the pandemic, there have been a lot of changes. The virtual world has taken over as the necessity and usage of online tools has accelerated. We need to get used to the new routine and one of the most vital part of it is being able to manage work. Independent working has not been as affected as working in a team due to the extra work that needs to be put into developing and maintaining a team. Managers need to get more creative and find out-of-the-box ideas to manage the teams and form a culture where the members feel very comfortable in sharing their inputs.
This article has enlisted a few things that will be vital in helping you manage your team.
Managing the Team
1. Establish Goals
It is vital to have a vision in mind and to integrate the same in the remote teams. With distractions and stress, it is very easy to get side-tracked. You have to ensure that the team has a clear direction as to where they are headed and what the end goal of the project is so they can have a clear mind and can focus on the destination.
2. Keep Track of Attendance and Progress
It is essential to have a team that works proactively and efficiently. It is important to keep tabs on the members of the team and their involvement in each project. As a manager, you should also keep track of how the members of team are progressing and how far they are going in a certain amount of time. There are multiple software that help you with the same if you are having difficulty keeping track of a big team.
3. Don’t Micromanage
Managers often practicing on keeping a constant check on each of the employee of the team. It can be a waste of time and resources, especially when the remote teams are big. You need to track the progress of the teams as a whole. Although weekly check-ins are encouraged, maybe via phone calls for work related things and also to make sure that the employees are doing well outside the work hours.
4. Get to Know Your Team
You need to know how the team is operating. Each team has a different dynamic and flow which is unique to that team. You also should know a little about the employees outside of work, especially because of the impact of self-isolation on the mental health of employees. Let them know that you are there to listen if they need a trusting ear.
5. Hold Weekly Meetings with the team
Communication is vital. You need to hold video calls regarding weekly process to be updated with where the team stands. Video calls are better than audio conferences because they allow real-time interactions where the message can be conveyed more clearly due to facial expressions. They are also more impersonal compared to the audio calls
Engaging the Team
1. Virtual team building Activities
This is the best way to engage your team since it allows personal interaction and engagement. The team members need to know each other well outside of work. With remote virtual team building activities one gets to know their team members as well as has fun! It is ideal due to its inevitable result of coworkers learning more about each other and bonding over something mutual.
2. Communicate Actively
You need to have a chat room open where you communicate with your employees actively. Communication with you is as important as conversation between the employees. You need to discuss ideas, brainstorm, ask them for their inputs, their progress and their improvements so that you know where the employees are headed and where you stand among them.
There’s nothing better than individuals coming together and forming an idea by reinventing and merging the ideas given out by the employees. When you collaborate, you encourage your employees to come out and brainstorm. Even the employees who don’t participate much will be found giving inputs because when you collaborate, you make the employees feel like they are a part of something and are less likely to be judged if their suggestions don’t stick well. A lot of times, that is the sole reason why employees are afraid to speak up. It also helps in assigning tasks fairly.
4. Make work accessible
Technology, although immensely life-changing, can sometimes be very frustrating. If the files can’t be found or the internet has crashed, one feels intense frustration lining up that can lose train of thought and motivation to continue working. To avoid that from happening, make sure that all the files can be easily located and accessed and make provisions for people who don’t have required equipment.
5. Try creating and maintaining a virtual water cooler
Managers are starting to realize the importance of cubicle communication and elevator interactions. They need to keep in mind that the loss of social interactions can influence mental health and work productivity marginally. To avoid that from occurring, you need to create a work culture and environment where the employees feel free to talk about anything regarding or outside of work.
In these times, remote team employees are in grave need of the guidance and direction of their managers because some still haven’t adjusted to the shift in environment due to working remotely. It is difficult to manage teams when they aren’t completely accessible but it isn’t impossible. If you follow these tips, you are in for some progress in your team’s performance.