7 Tips To Improve Your Remote Team Management Skills
The exponential increase in remote work has changed how companies manage their businesses. According to Global Workplace Analytics, there are now over five million remote employees in the U.S. However, while technology has made it possible to collaborate with teams from anywhere, managing a remote team is not without its challenges. A report shows that 71% of employees find it challenging to adapt to remote work.
To get the best results from your remote team, managers and organizations must demonstrate the following top skills:
Self-awareness is a branch of emotional intelligence that entails one's ability to consciously understand and manage their motives, feelings, character, and desires. This essential management skill lets you tap into your true feelings and understand the drivers behind them.
Self-awareness helps leaders understand their strengths in both personal and industry skills. It entails effectively managing your emotions and understanding how your personality, habits, and abilities affect those around you.
Even though the team is remote, you constantly communicate with employees, handle clients' tasks, and correspond with various people. Managers with a high level of self-awareness can analyze situations and effectively manage emotions in high-stress situations.
2. Build Inclusion
The diverse nature of a remote workplace makes it imperative for managers to build inclusion across teams. This encompasses trust, belonging, and psychological safety. Employees with underrepresented identities continue to experience higher rates of exhaustion, stress, and burnout. According to Harvard Business Review, this disconnect is due to several factors, including bias, marginalization, and microaggression at work. A remote team manager ensures that everyone is set up to contribute their best, irrespective of their background.
Here are a few tips to promote inclusion in a remote workplace:
Hold virtual events that encourage connectedness, such as virtual coffee breaks, happy hours, and team events.
Provide exceptional support for employees with diverse needs such as caregiving responsibilities, quarantined employees, and sick workers.
Support team growth by allowing team members to share ideas on the most effective ways to maintain productivity.
Encourage team members to leverage employee network groups for support and guidance.
3. Create a Communication Strategy
Communication could take many forms, such as regular team meetings or weekly catch-up calls. No matter the method you choose, a virtual leader needs to be proactive about staying abreast of what you're working on and staying in contact with the entire team. It would help to have a clear strategy on staying updated with what your employees are working on, how projects are going, areas in which they need support. Offering your availability will assure the team that you value the relationship.
4. Embrace Micro-Learning
In a decentralized workforce, improving work performance through training requires innovation. Since bringing together widely spread teams for a seminar or in-person class may be impossible, micro-learning can meet your employees' training needs. This learning method splits up complex topics into bite-sized units that your workers can easily consume.
Remote teams will be able to access resources on demand. They can easily search for all relevant learning instantly on smartphone screens. Consider micro-learning to improve your team's performance in a dynamic and fast-paced workplace. One way to embed DEI learning is through virtual meeting inclusion software that gives feedback to employees directly in the meeting. Tools such as Equal Time allow meeting participants to observe how they appear to others, and improve their self-awareness.
5. Trust Your Team
A remote team may be an excellent opportunity to back away from your conventional view of what it means to be "hard-working". Instead, you need to set targets and trust your team to get it done where, when, and how it works best for them.
Micromanaging team members and asking for project updates in a remote work setting is often tedious. Studies show that employees who feel trusted perform better and go beyond expectations. As you hold team members accountable to theirs, it's also for you as a leader to develop trust by following through on commitments.
6. Experience What Your Team is Going Through
Become a better remote manager by getting remote work experience yourself. Try to emulate the setup your team has, with all the challenges and perks that they may have. See from their point of view what it is like for a few weeks.
Get permission from your company to relocate temporarily to your home office, a neighborhood coffee shop or a local coworking space. Going through this experience will open your eyes to the pains and gains your team sees every day. Afterward, you will be better suited to improve the conditions your employees face and create a more effective environment that enhances the performance of your distributed team.
7. Lead with Empathy
While it's essential to deal with important tasks as a leader, make sure you're also there for the people and their personal issues. Get in touch with your team at an emotional level. Be completely transparent and honest when crucial decisions have to be made.
In addition, check in with your team regularly to see how they're doing, especially those finding it difficult to adjust to remote work. Empathize with your virtual workers, so they know you see them as not just an employee but as a person. When you lead with empathy, virtual workers can feel like they're part of a community. This may help eliminate the sense of isolation often experienced by remote workers.
As a manager, you want your employees to work towards the same goals. However, studies have found that workers often struggle with feeling disconnected from their company culture and colleagues when they are distributed. This disconnection, combined with loneliness, often impacts deadlines, morale, and overall productivity if left unresolved. A combination of increased self-awareness, empathy, clear communication, and other essential management skills can help you build successful remote teams.
Contact Equalicert to learn more about how we can help you and your team improve your remote management skills.