The opportunity to work from home provides many benefits for managers and the teams they lead, but the arrangement doesn't come without its own set of challenges. Remote team leaders must first learn to promote a great company culture and manage their employees successfully, all from a distance. Consider these six tips to help remote team leaders succeed.
1. Establish a Code of Conduct
Communicate the company's values and mission to all potential employees at the job interview, and ensure that the company culture is clear to all workers by letting it drive daily operations. Create a code of conduct that's in line with the organization's ideals, and make it a practice to hire employees who fit with the culture.
2. Foster Personal Relationships
As a remote team leader, you have the responsibility to get team members acquainted and promote an environment of communication, on both a professional and a personal level. Use employee engagement software, such as 15Five, to get remote workers talking about what's going on in their personal lives. Start conversations about vacations, hobbies, children or weekend plans so employees can find out what their co-workers value.
3. Provide the Necessary Software
Make sure all your remote workers have the software they need to perform the essential functions of their jobs, and give every employee access to the same programs to allow for consistency and simple collaboration. This includes Microsoft Office software, teleconferencing programs and video chat tools.
4. Focus on the Team
Any good manager must focus on connecting his employees and promoting a team-oriented workplace, and this becomes even more challenging for a remote team leader. Avoid creating competitions that pit remote workers against each other; instead, focus on a cooperative atmosphere. Encourage the use of private Facebook groups or other communication tools to keep employees engaged with one another.
5. Give Employees Control
Make sure workers truly feel like they're part of the bigger picture by including them in the decision-making process. Assign employees to mentor new remote workers, and promise full financial transparency for the organization. Hold annual or quarterly retreats to bring remote workers together, and hold brainstorming sessions to garner feedback and suggestions.
6. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
As a remote team leader, you need to stay in constant communication with your workers. Use chat software to check in with employees daily, hold weekly videoconferencing meetings to keep abreast of new developments, and link up with workers face-to-face on a regular basis to provide feedback and discuss any issues.
A company culture focused on employees makes for a successful organization, but this objective becomes a bit more difficult for a company whose employees work from home. By following these six tips, any remote team leader can make his employees feel more like part of the team.
Photo courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net