7 TIPS ON HOW TO MANAGE REMOTE TEAM
Working on a remote team is not for everyone. While some people embrace flexibility and independence, others will struggle amidst isolation and technological challenges. Through personal situations and conditions, management directives, or a simple lack of information, many people who are not well suited to remote work end up doing it. You may or may not be able to move these people out of your team.
You might have the affluence of building a team, or you might be mannered by the personnel decisions you have inherited by taking over an existing team. But whatever the situation, you’ll want to figure out how to expert the most control over who’s in your group, within the boundaries you have been given.
Top tips to manage a remote team:
1.Evaluate the team members’ skills and personal qualities
Pay special attention to the ideal attributes, examine the last leader or consult someone else who knows the team well: a senior member, a supervisor, perhaps even a customer. Discover any written documentation of the team’s work, such as an after-action review. Interview team members directly. Look for the patterns: which elements of the team are working well? Where are the obvious pain points?
2. Identify gaps and make a plan to fill them
Since we can’t directly observe people in action, use the team survey and any other available documentation to make your best assessment. Observe these three things: Does anyone require outside training? Can one team member coach another? Do any team roles need to be redefined pr reassigned? If the issue isn’t too fragile or if we have good relationships with the rest of the team, run parts of your plan past the team members in one-on-one meetings or by e-mail.
3. Team Survey
Pick the questions that are most appropriate to your work, and allocate them via e-mail or an online survey tool such as SurveyMonkey, with a due date. Ask your team members for brief, bullet-point answers. Questions can be:
- What is your role in this team?
- What skills are most important to your particular role?
- Which skills are important to your success as a remote collaborator?
- How is your role affected by working from home? What are the benefits and challenges?
- What do you wish you were better at doing in your role?
- What are the overall strengths and weaknesses of your team right now?
- How would you adjust your role to add value to your team?
- To make your role easier or better, how would you change the way the team works?
- Which tasks or parts of remote collaborator are you best at?
4. Communicate with the team
Communicate your plans to the individuals involved and, when necessary, to the whole team. If this meeting happens on a phone call or video chat, document an explanation of the change, and make it available somewhere that is accessible to everyone in the team as a reference going forward.
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5. Confirm your team
Whether you reassign, cut, or add personnel, make sure everyone in the team has roles that are clearly defined and mutually understood. Always share a document with a final description of everyone’s roles, and if the document incorporates meaningful changes, schedule a meeting to review it. Motivate people to clarify any uncertainty over relevant team members.
6. Determine the skills and personal qualities you need
Consult colleagues, supervisors, and direct reports with experiences on remote teams like yours to draw up a list. Use the latest version of the team survey to guide a phone conversation, or send it out via e-mail or an online poll.
7. Identify people with those skills and qualities
Use your network to look both within and outside your institution. Although team members will be working remotely, the location may still matter, for example, your team may need to be in the same time zone or meet certain requirements for internet access.
You have been given the control of a team that someone else assembled. Maybe your team have been working together for years under different leadership and has already developed processes for bridging the distance between them. Or maybe they are as new to each other as they are to you. Either way, before you jump into the work, you will have to spend time thinking about how your team’s members work together.
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