Top 6 mistakes to avoid when managing a remote team
Savvy business owners and managers are opening up to the idea of remote teams. However, managing remote teams requires a slightly different skill set than managing a team in an office. Many companies have tried and failed to incorporate remote teams into their network of employees. However, with proper management and excellent planning, you can make a remote team work.
To help start you off, we’ve compiled a list of the top 6 mistakes to avoid when managing a remote team.
1. Treating remote workers as individuals instead of team members
A huge mistake remote team management can make is not building team camaraderie. Managers need to maintain the team spirit as much as possible. The best way to do this is through inclusion. Promote conversation during meetings and celebrate birthdays and work milestones with the whole team. Most importantly, keep the entire team in the loop with team and company news.
2. Not checking in with your team
Remote employees are still employees. You need to know what they think about the job they are doing and any ideas they have. Checking in with your team includes:
- Touching base daily—shows an interest in how work is progressing and tells your staff they have support.
- Weekly feedback—offers insights, encourages hard work, and lays the foundation for team work.
- Quarterly reviews—provides valuable feedback for staff and the business.
- Weekly/monthly teleconferences—create synergy amongst the team.
3. Not allocating tasks efficiently
Remote arrangements can fail if you fail to delegate tasks efficiently. Everyone’s personality is different, and every employee is better suited to a task over another one. You also have to be aware that just because a team member is working from home that doesn’t mean they can take on a task last minute. Therefore, you have to become an efficient delegator and learn to pre-plan.
4. Hiring staff who have no idea how to work remotely
It’s not enough to hire the best employees for the job. You also need to hire the best employees to do the job remotely. Someone may be a hard worker in the office, but that doesn’t mean they can focus at home. Therefore, you’re best off hiring staff who have worked remotely before. And if you have an office team you want to make mobile, you’ll need to progressively transition them.
5. Focusing on talent and neglecting team fit
There is no doubt that you want to hire the best talent. However, new team members need to fit into the team to work to their full capability. When you hire new members to join a remote team, you need to ensure they’re on the same page as everyone else. You also need to encourage productive communication and help them stay connected.
6. Not using the right workflow tools
Since you can’t count on face-to-face communication, you have to make sure to use the right tools for remote workflow. There are a variety of workflow platforms and apps that will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your remote team:
- Microsoft OneNote
- Google Drive
Each one has a different function, but all help to enhance remote workflow.