Because of the threat of COVID-19, a lot of employees are now working remotely. As convenient as it sounds, it has become very challenging for managers to oversee their employees. Another challenged group are the people in Human Resource.
Managers have implemented the use of teleworking as a solution to this hurdle. However, it is something new for everyone. According to a recent study from the Society for Human Resource Management, over 71% of companies are finding it difficult to adjust to telework as a means of doing business (SHRM).
There are many benefits when it comes to working remotely. However, it’s understandable that managing remote employees isn’t always a piece of cake. It may also be a challenging shift for managers and workers who are used to working in an office setting.
Soon, everything becomes difficult. Team huddles, meetings, and one-on-ones are already stressful even before they start. It doesn’t have to be like this all the time, though.
In this article, we aim to provide you with tips for hiring and managing remote employees to add to your arsenal. There’s nothing better than going into the fight prepared. Read along to know about the best tips for managing and hiring remote employees.
Organization And Flexibility are the Key.
Working with remote teams requires allowing for flexibility to maintain consistency. Although a specific strategy is required, you should be willing to change methods as needed. It shouldn’t matter whether your staff work in the morning or late as long as the task is finished and of great quality.
There should also be an air of organization. Prepare everything you need beforehand. It may take a bit of time to do so, but it will save you from a lot of panicking and stressing.
If you’ll be needing resource materials for your meetings, coordinate in advance with your employees to stay organized and prepared.
Effective Communication Is Important.
Managing remote employees can get a little tricky if there’s no effective communication taking place within the organisation. In a situation as dire as the COVID-19 pandemic, managers and employees must maintain healthy and effective communication. This allows everyone to feel that, despite being isolated, there is a channel or medium to connect with people.
This also keeps employees informed of deadlines, available resources, job-related issues, and supervisors’ expectations, such as work schedules. If you are informed about this, you will be able to resolve any issues as soon as possible.
It’s critical to figure out which mode of communication works best for your team.
Determine which method best matches your team’s work culture: e-mail, SMS, phone calls, video calls, or a unique communication channel altogether.
Aside from that, the regularity with which you may connect with each individual is critical. You need to maintain a balanced communication channel among your team members.
The ideal strategy is to ask employees how they want to be managed while working remotely. This allows managers to keep a pulse on what each employee requires to be effective while working from home.
While managers should measure metrics that are relevant to their firm and check in with staff, remember while managing your remote employees you shouldn’t hover too much as this might show employees symptoms of mistrust.
Keeping a well-balanced communication channel is the key to this.
Learn To Listen.
Being a manager or leader does not insinuate that you should be the only one who is heard. The most effective managers are those that listen well and communicate trust and a strong manager-employee connection while avoiding over-communication.
Listening to input from colleagues and workers is beneficial. This enables you to identify which aspects of your management techniques need improvement. Ultimately, it will be critical to your development as a leader.
Conducting surveys or team huddles to talk about stuff is healthy for the growth of your team and really helps when you’re trying to manage your remote employees successfully. Just remember though that listening is just half of the equation, you should be able to improve upon the points of concern.
Expectations Should Be Set Early And Often.
Clear communication and expectations are essential for successful remote team management right from the start. Expectations should be set as early as the new hire orientation.
Providing rules, establishing limits, and examining the fundamentals are among the most crucial measures to do before embarking on your project.
With team members distributed across many locations and even time zones, it’s critical to have clear policies and communication standards in place to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Managers should also keep employees informed of the policy and personnel changes, corporate accomplishments, and advice for working from home, just as they were in a traditional office setting.
It’s critical that your whole staff, including yourself, be reminded of these standards as frequently as possible without becoming overbearing.
It’s never a good strategy to glance over an employee’s shoulder in the office. It makes your employees feel pressed and uneasy.
This is also something you should avoid while working remotely. Even remotely, some supervisors “look over their employee’s shoulder.” Pestering their employees about the deadlines and pointing out the little things in an employee’s output.
Trust that your employees are being productive and executing their duties efficiently if they are communicating properly and reaching objectives and deadlines.
An effective method to manage your remote employees is to perform regular one-on-one check-ins that’ll allow you to avoid micromanaging while keeping a pulse on staff and providing a chance for feedback to flow both ways.
New Hires Need To Be Onboarded.
It might be difficult to convert office employees to a work-from-home environment. Even more so when new hires are thrown into the mix.
Onboarding is critical for ensuring the success of your new hires. This is especially true for remote employees, who do not have the same possibilities to seamlessly integrate into your business culture as in-house staff. While hiring remote employees, you should be certain of the fact that your onboarding process is able to assist them not just in getting set up to accomplish their work, but also in feeling connected to their team and the larger corporate culture from a distance.
In an office, you would generally show a new recruit around the workplace and introduce them to the teams and leaders with whom they will be working. Because you are working remotely, a virtual introduction is the next best thing.
Being the new kid is often daunting. New hires should know that they are supported and that the team has their back no matter what.
People must have time to adjust, make errors, learn, and connect without feeling rushed.
Feedback is also healthy for new hires. Incorporate feedback into your onboarding process to make it a part of company culture from the start.
Track The Progress Of Your Employees.
While it’s important to give your remote team flexibility and as much breathing space as possible, it’s also good to keep track of their progress. Request that your staff provide you with a work schedule as well as the tasks they are expected to do within a certain time frame. This is for everybody’s peace of mind and it’ll further help you in managing your remote employees well.
This will alleviate your concerns while also providing your staff with the framework they require to do their duties.
Remember that just because you can’t see them at their cubicle doesn’t mean they’re not working.
Have faith in your employees. They won’t be slacking off if they have a guideline to base on.
Improve Your Connections And Be Available To The Team.
The COVID-19 epidemic has isolated us all. Facemasks, rubbing alcohol, and a new work atmosphere drives us into a new world.
Because everything happened so quickly, many individuals struggled to adjust.
While managing remote employees things like sharing positive comments, creating a fun group chat, or going to ‘grab a coffee together – even virtually – might all assist your team to overcome this challenge. Just a friendly reminder to everyone that they are not working alone.
Good leaders make themselves available to their team. An open-door policy is essential for your staff to feel like they can communicate with you.
You may make yourself available across many time zones and via various kinds of technology. It is critical to remind your staff that they can always rely on management to respond to serious concerns.
The fact that you’re reading this article about tips for managing remote employees is evidence enough that you want to be available for your team. Keep it up!
Adapt To Your Situation.
You should be aware that what works in the office may not work in a remote environment. Because of the sudden transition, it’s logical that we stuck to our previous patterns in the office.
However, we should start growing out of them as soon as possible, before they begin to have a negative impact on everyone.
For example, long meetings are something common in a typical office setting. This is not the case with working from home. It can cause burnout. Instead of long meetings, do brief virtual huddles. Apply this logic to team resource allocation, scheduling, and action planning and you’ll see how effectively you’re able to manage your remote employees.
Celebrate The Little Wins.
At the end of the day, what we crave is success.
When we think of success, we frequently consider how amazing it feels to accomplish a long-term goal or make a significant breakthrough. These big victories are great, but they’re quite rare.
You must understand the significance of little wins. They can improve someone’s confidence in their job and drive them to be more productive and achieve higher results.
Recognizing these little victories by management will benefit the employees involved.
You should also celebrate the same job accomplishments that you do at work. This enhances the morale and motivation of your workforce.
Now that you’re well-informed about the best tips for managing remote employees, the most important thing to remember is that if you’re struggling, your employees are too.
During this time of uncertainty and fear, we should be able to communicate and connect with the people we work with. Work is already expected to be stressful, let’s not add to it by being a bad manager.
There are two words to summarize what the ten tips for managing remote employees are about: compassion and connection.
Let’s all be each other’s shoulder to lean on during this pandemic.