As some parts of the nation starts to reopen there are many people still working remotely and may stay working remotely indefinitely.
You may have already noticed that your “old school” way of managing your team has gone out the window as your team is no longer working with you face to face in the office.
My team started working from home a little over a year ago. It has taken a little time to adjust to managing them outside of the office.
To help make the adjustment a little easier for you, here are a few tips that I wish I had known about a year ago.
- Set and Manage Expectations Early
Without clear expectations, your team is working blind. It should be clearly laid out what you expect of them on a daily and weekly basis. Your expectations should be the roadmap for their success which, of course, leads to the success of the agency.
A few examples of clear expectations that should be communicated are: Work Hours, Availability, Key Projects, Goals, etc.
- Establish Clear Communication Outlines and Communicate Often
Your team needs to understand how to best communicate with you, fellow team members, prospects and current customers. A few examples of this are:
- What platforms to use to communicate i.e. email vs text vs chat vs phone vs video conferencing, etc
- When to communicate such as a regular scheduled meetings, anytime, twice daily, etc
- Expected turnaround time – If you send a team member an email, how quickly do you expect to hear back or better yet, if a customer reaches out, how quickly should their request be handled?
- Complete Daily Check-Ins to Engage with Your Team
Talk with your team members on a daily basis. This can be over the phone or through face-to-face video conferencing.
- Take Advantage of Technology
Communication related technologies are becoming more and more popular. For example – Zoom, GoToMeeting and Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc.
As stated by the Harvard Business Review, “Remote workers benefit from having a “richer” technology, such as video conferencing, that gives participants many of the visual cues that they would have if they were face-to-face. Video conferencing has many advantages, especially for smaller groups: Visual cues allow for increased “mutual knowledge” about coworkers and also help reduce the sense of isolation among teams.”
- Offer Encouragement and Emotional Support
It is very important to offer encouragement and emotional support to your team members regularly. Now with the pandemic, unemployment and uncertainty, your team members need all the support they can possibly get.
Research on emotional intelligence and emotional contagion proves that team members look to you the leader/manager for cues on how to react to different situations. You must remain calm and strong for your team.