Manage remote teams remotely could be a challenging task. Usually, the team is cut off from the everyday communication that the rest take for granted. While everyone can be clear about a project at the beginning of the week, at the end it could be something very different. During the week, a lot of things happen, talks and isolated changes that can impact the team that did not have access to these conversations. The remote team members could be behind everyone else. It is assumed they are on the same page, but in reality, they have been side-lined and the opportunity to add value just went away. Here there are five ideas that will help you to be well connected with your remote team:
Create a daily summary
At the end of each day, a member of the team should collect the main points on the key projects. If during the day there are any discussions, issues, concerns, or decisions, it should be documented, archived, and sent to the remote team members. That way, nothing is lost along the way. The results will always be positive, remote members should feel more included and informed.
Have clear goals, tasks, and deadlines
Remote members shouldn’t feel isolated from the rest of the team and waiting for their project tasks. It is important to let them know exactly what they should accomplish during a certain period of time, so that they will feel empowered, independent, and in control. During regular meetings, it’s necessary to verbally agree on tasks -short and long-term- and to document them on an ongoing basis. Checking in the progress regularly it’s essential, particularly for those who are not bringing up topics.
Acknowledge efforts publicly
It’s nice to make an effort to regularly acknowledge the team’s individual contribution, much better if it is done during a team meeting or in a team email. This will help them to feel that their efforts are recognized, valued, and part of the team. It can be as simple as telling them they have written a good email or thanking them for proactively completing a task.
Schedule meetings within your time zone
When you are managing people outside the country, hold your meetings at a time that is convenient for everyone. Don’t commit your colleagues to a meeting during breaks or after work. There are diverse apps that will help you to organize your times and make remote meetings more efficient.
Slow down meeting agendas
Telephone conversations are difficult. For people on the receiving end it is often difficult to listen or interact. It is critical to avoid rushing through the schedule. Remote teams need an opportunity to intervene. Avoid confusion and make your team feel listened and included. This should give a remote team an opportunity to repeat, clarify, or explain things. The meetings should be recorded and distributed, and then they should be followed by a personal phone call to ensure that everything was understood, and that way, give them the opportunity to clarify things in private. When it comes to managing people remotely, it’s important to make an effort to over-communicate and include everyone as part of the team.