Running a team virtually can be quite a challenge, especially if it’s your first time doing so. While past experience in managing any team will help you make this process run a little smoother, there are quite a few things you need to know in order to be able to keep up with your remote employees.
There are so many different benefits which come with managing a remote team, but these can only be obtained if you are able to do so correctly. Here are some of the best tips to help you motivate your team and achieve the goals you are after.
1. Make Communication Easier
Any team performs better when its members are able to communicate effectively. If you’re looking for a surefire way to motivate your team and increase your productivity, you need to start by making sure your team members feel comfortable with one another and manage to communicate without any issues.
While your team might be working from completely different parts of the world, there are a few different ways for you to make communication between your team members easier. On the one hand, there are the virtual bonding activities you can arrange for your team in order to help them build trust and get to know one another better.
On the other hand, there are the different tools you can use in order to mace communication between them easier. Some of the most common and easy to use ways of communication for your team are:
- Chat programs
- Video call apps such as Skype
- Text messages
- Screen sharing tools
- File sharing apps and platforms
- Online calendars and planner
All of these tools will help your team members get to know one another better and have certain tools which will allow them to communicate regularly.
2. Use the Right Tracking Tools
Something that will help your team to cooperate better and work in unison is setting goals. While this might be the easiest part of this process, what’s difficult is keeping track of your progress, especially when you can’t communicate with each member of your team one on one and in person.
The best way to overcome this issue is by using tracking tools which will give every member of your team the chance to easily keep an eye on their progress and also see their leftover responsibilities. There are quite a few different things you can take into consideration in order to track their productivity. Some of the simplest yet most useful things you can track are the hours they are working daily, their ongoing projects and number of tasks completed.
Keeping track of these variables can help your employees be more focused while they work and help them eliminate distractions during their working hours. Some project & time tracking tools which can help you achieve this are Orangescrum, Time Doctor and Top Tracker.
Project collaboration and time tracking tools help your team keep a track their working hours, their task progress and allow you to track your team’s resource utilization from the comfort of your own office.
3. Don’t Overdo it with Emails
Sending the right amount of emails is essential when it comes to establishing good communication with your team and motivating them to work harder. Emails should be used in order to communicate certain important issues such us reminders of upcoming events and meetings and milestones your team has reached in regards to the project.
In order to make it easier to communicate with your team, you should limit the amounts of emails you send to the bare minimum and not overuse them. Too many emails can create a sense of pressure on your team and make them less productive.
While you might feel the need to keep reminding them of deadlines or certain milestones and goals through various emails, it would be a better idea for you to use a tool such as Google Calendar in order to help your team keep track of everything on their own. Constant emails and reminders will simply create tension and decrease your team’s motivation to work.
Online project collaboration tools offer a host of useful features just as real-time alerts, email notifications, in-app chat and reminders to keep everyone informed of key upcoming events and their due dates.
Thus you prevent things from falling through the cracks and have a very robust work management process. Also, everyone is informed of the key activities, whom are they assigned to, their status and when are they due.
So, teams are more inclined to step up and help each other get stuff done on time.
4. Have Virtual Meetings
For teams that don’t have the chance to meet often, virtual meetings make a great way of strengthening the relationship between your members and improving their communication. Virtual meetings allow the entire team to be present in the same “room” at the same time and discuss certain matters in real time.
This can really help your members feel like they belong in a team rather than working by themselves. You will have the chance to present them with anything new without having to reach out to each and every one of them individually.
Virtual meetings can also motivate your team to work harder if you decide to present everyone with their achievements in between meetings. This will promote a friendly competitive atmosphere and help everyone stay focused on completing their projects on time.
5. Arrange Meetings in Person
While virtual meetings can help cover the gap of the necessary meetings for your team, nothing can bring a team closer than meeting in person. While this might not be possible in every scenario, it would be a good idea for you to try and bring the team together if a company event comes up.
This will be a great chance for you all to get to know each other better and to come closer as a team. Knowing the people they work with personally will help everyone feel like they need to always do their part in order to not let their team down.
6. Create a Common Team Feeling
Last but not least, another thing you need to take into consideration is that any team will perform better if they feel like they are working in unison for achieving a common goal. With remote teams, this can prove to be a challenge as they won’t be able to meet in person regularly.
The best thing you can do is to make sure to always arrange meetings over Skype and to send out chain emails where they will be able to reply to one another easily. As the leader of this group, you will have to be the example and treat everyone equally and with respect.
Motivating your Team to be Successful
Any team will be successful as long as it is working in unison and thanks to the power of the Internet, remote teams can now work together without any boundaries affecting their performance. By using the right tools and apps to your advantage, you can promote effective communication and help your team stay productive and positive.
Do you have any tips on motivating a remote team? Let us know in the comments!
By Estelle Liotard