Sun Nov 14 2021

2 Important Ways to Manage Remote Team Members Better

Managing remote teams is challenging! However, having regular one-on-ones and building empowerment are two of the best ways to help you and your remote team succeed.

Hold Regular One-on-Ones with Your Team Members

One of the most important tools for helping all of your team members succeed is regular periodic check-ins with your team members, regardless of working remotely or in-office. The one-on-one meeting with your individual team members can be one of the most powerful tools a leader can use to support the development of team members and to ensure a good working experience for the team.

One-on-ones are your chance to feel the mood and satisfaction team members have in relation to their work. One-on-ones are also a great opportunity for targeted coaching or professional development to help improve struggling performances or to take star performers even further.

Your one-on-ones do not have to be long or weekly. Even 30 minutes a month or every few weeks held regularly can be a great opportunity to keep in touch. The key is to hold to the schedule and expectations you set with your team members. A regular one-on-one shows that you are invested in the team member and think the team member is worthy of your time.

Build Empowerment

Many leaders find managing remote workers challenging because they cannot see what their remote workers are doing and prevent them from making mistakes or errors. Learning to accept that your team members will make mistakes and helping your team feel empowered to make decisions without you will help you embrace and enjoy managing a remote team. When your team feels empowered to do their jobs and solve their problems, you will see better performance, fewer mistakes, and fewer situations that require you to intervene.

Building empowerment takes time and hard work, especially for teams that are used to asking the supervisor before they can do anything. Writing not-too-specific guidelines for what your team members should do in common situations can help them understand how you would respond in those situations. Work through these situations with your team and explain your decisionmaking process.

Most importantly, when team members try to make a decision independently that was not the best decision, avoid punishing the team member. Instead, explain and show the team member how the decision was not the best and how the team member can handle the situation better in the future. Punishing or humiliating a team member who exercised empowerment will seriously undermine any feeling of empowerment your team members have.

Managing Remote Workers Is a Very Valuable Skill!

If you can learn to successfully manage remote team members, you will have a huge advantage over leaders who can only be successful with in-office teams. Workers today are more distributed than ever before, and even if workers are not remote you may often find yourself managing individuals who are in-office but in an office in an entirely different part of the world than you.

You can learn to manage remote team members. It is a skill that can be thoughtfully and intentionally practiced like any other skill.