Managing Remote Teams: How companies can keep remote teams engaged and leverage performance.
Managing remote teams at work has become the new standard due to COVID-19. Most companies plan to continue the WFH option even after governments allow us to return to work, for the safety of the company employees.
While there are many benefits to virtual teams, many managers are concerned about how to engage employees in a virtual work environment. If you want to build productive and leverage remote teams, you need to engage employees.
Managers need to put double efforts to manage a virtual team. The basics of good management are settling up clear goals, running great meetings, communicating clearly, and increasing the individual and collective strength of team members.
Here are some key things every manager has to look at
Discover the individual Mindsets of your virtual team
As an administrator or manager or leader, it is your job to discover the mindset of your employees. Are they introverts or extroverts? The best method is to make sure the introverts are engaged properly and listened to in virtual meetings. During making remote team meetings, pay attention to each participant’s levels, turn around each person, and ask for their input.
Even if your employees are not physically able to attend office activities, you need to find ways for virtual employees to participate and experience some part of the culture.
Keep the communication in the flow
The most important barriers to remote team engagement are lack of collaboration and constant communication. Pay attention to what you send and receive. Voice, expression, and emotion are often lost in email and other written communications. Regardless of the context, people tend to fill in the blanks, making sure you are not just communicating via email. Arrange weekly or bi-weekly video conferences.
Constant Breaks in the Meetings
If you have a virtual meeting for more than 2 hours, breaking things down is very necessary. Give everyone 5 minutes to take a bathroom/water break. When they return, have a casual chat for 5-10 minutes.
When you set up your virtual meetings, video/camera is a must. People feel more engaged and if everyone can see each other it is a ‘normal person meeting’. You can recognize nonverbal cues such as nodding, facial expressions, hand gestures, and all other things that make a live and engaged communication.
Encourage Team Collaboration
Remote workers and corporate colleagues should be encouraged to get to know and interact with each other. Lack of regular communication often leads to job dissatisfaction. As an administrator, you need to enable some of these conversations. Encourage office and remote workers to call each other and managers for advice, cooperation, or birthday wishes.
If your organization is in the process of developing new virtual management strategies while your employees work from home, consider downloading our free guide to managing virtual teams, which will help you, the manager, to implement and support virtual work arrangements.
Choose the best tools
Technology means making remote teams possible to work. Below is a brief list of tools that can facilitate communication in virtual teams, along with some well-known options to consider: