Managing Remote Teams: How to Communicate Effectively
For many managers, working with a remote team can be a pressing concern. Can you effectively connect with your workforce when they're not in front of you? How do you navigate through communication challenges like team collaboration or project coordination?
After all, effective communication is essential for business success. Without it, there's a high chance that problems will arise. There are ways to overcome any communication challenges.
1. Communicate Clearly and Concisely
One of the main challenges of remote work is not being able to communicate face-to-face with team members. Most managers prefer dealing with employees in person, especially when it comes to discussing business decisions or strategies as it helps prevent confusion and misunderstandings. When connecting with your remote employees, you'll probably be using a lot of instant messaging or email. Therefore, it's crucial to maintain clear and concise communication.
If something needs elaboration, consider using voice or video calls to avoid long, and possibly confusing, written explanations. Written conversations can also lead to misinterpretation, as you can't rely on facial expressions or body language. It's best to watch your tone and review your message before pressing send.
2. Set Goals and Objectives
Having a remote team can pose difficulties in setting tasks, managing projects, and tracking progress. A lack of proper guidance and task allocation can lead to confusion among virtual employees. Your workforce needs to have clear direction and understanding of their targets and duties so that everyone is on the same page.
Use project management tools like Trello, Weekdone, or Basecamp to set goals, objectives, and tasks. These tools let you allocate jobs to certain workers, set deadlines, and track weekly progress, enabling you to monitor task status and completion. Use Google Calendar to mark important dates, events, and reminders that will let employees know they've got a task to complete. With these task management tools, you can clarify every employee's objectives and hopefully establish a smooth-running remote working environment.
3. Have Regular Meetings
Along with using project management tools, team leaders also need to keep staff updated by holding meetings regularly. Getting remote employees together can be challenging. You can set up weekly video meetings to keep your team updated and even record sessions for staff that cannot attend due to varying time zones. Use video conferencing tools like Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts to gather the team and conduct a meeting as you would in the office. Video meetings are great for getting a team together and building trust. Indeed, Live meetings help relationships start well and nurture and grow them over time.
4. Encourage Feedback and Collaboration
Creating a sense of teamwork can be challenging with a remote workforce. After all, your staff isn't in the same room. But there are ways to enforce collaboration and feedback within a virtual team. Group chats on Skype or departmental channels on Slack enable teams to have group discussions about shared projects. Video calls are also great for staff members to discuss business operations in a person-to-person kind of setting.
5. Be Human
As team managers, you have to find ways to make remote work effective and enjoyable for your staff. Your employees don't have the benefit of working side-by-side, cracking the occasional joke together, or sharing life updates as they would in a normal office setting. One way to break the ice and humanize communication online is by enabling your staff to connect as people, not just as colleagues.
Use chatroom to open designated channels or groups where members can discuss informal things like TV shows, share music, or weekend plans. Casual group chats for your staff can build a sense of community for your distributed team, where they can share interests and fun content.
6. Create a Communication Guide
If you want your work operations to run smoothly without confusion among your workforce, it's imperative to set forth a communication guide. This guideline should enlist all the channels of communication that your team uses and their specific purpose.
For example, staff should only consider video calling for elaborative discussion, while instant messaging should be used for quick updates or questions. Email might be best when wanting to explain something in detail, give guidelines, or discuss official matters, while phone calls are suitable for emergencies or running by some ideas.
Everybody knows that communication within a business is the key to success. However, things get a lot more difficult in managing remote teams. Successful communication in a remote team may take some effort, but with the above tips, you can achieve a workforce that's happier, productive, and motivated. Register with Recruit Hero. Get started now and start hiring top talents. Enjoy a 14-days Free Trial of Professional Plan. Do follow our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Youtube channels for more.