The culture of remote staff is growing very fast in most companies. However, these businesses have one challenge—managing their remote staff to avoid losing productivity. Most employers believe that remote staff should be monitored effectively for them to be productive and deliver quality results. However, this shouldn’t be the case.
There are various ways in which you can control remote staff properly, without putting them under any form of pressure. So, how is this possible? Below are the top 8 best practices for managing remote staff effectively.
Set clear expectations
When managing remote staff, it’s essential to avoid generalizing instructions and expectations. This is because people will always have a different idea when it comes to doing a task ‘well’ or ‘quickly’. Therefore, you need to set clear expectations for your remote staff when allocating tasks. When you set clear expectations, you should expect good results in return.
Make them feel part of your company
At times, most people tend to treat remote staff differently than in-house employees. However, this shouldn’t be the case, as it can affect their productivity. To deal with this issue, you can consider organizing staff partnerships or virtual meetings. Moreover, you can assign a local contact to your staff, to make sure that there’s no breakdown in communication. During the process, you should ensure that there is a transition period, with clear expectations, steps, as well as check-ins to ensure that your staff embraces the process fully.
Follow up on your staff regularly
This is essential, as it will make your remote staff feel valued. When following up on your staff, it shouldn’t be all about productivity alone. You can use the opportunity to keep them engaged and motivated.
Therefore, you should schedule a regular one-on-one video or phone calls—either daily, weekly, or twice each week. These calls can assist you in:
- Check how your staff is fairing in other aspects of life
- Know whether they are performing well
- Deliberate with your staff to point out and eradicate bottlenecks
- Discuss any plans for staff’s professional development
- Answer any questions raised by the staff
The experts from remote staffing agency, Allshore, say that you are required to maintain regular interaction with your staff, depending on their role in your company. With this, you will realize that you need to contact some staff every day, and others every week. Besides, supervisors need to adapt to the schedules and needs of their staff.
Be flexible, but organized
Flexibility is essential when managing remote staff. Thus, you need to allow them to work on flexible hours for consistency purposes. While it’s a must to have a concrete plan in place, there should be some room for making adjustments to strategies whenever needed. So, you shouldn’t be concerned whether your staff decides to log in their time in the morning or evening. Your main objective should be to get work done and get high-quality results.
Track the progress of your staff
Always let your staff give you their work schedule, together with any tasks that they should complete within a certain time frame. This will do away with your anxiety, and give your staff the required structure to complete their jobs on time. Please note that just because you cannot see your staff physically doesn’t mean that they are not working.
Avoid micromanaging your staff
When managing a business, there’s a chance that you manage both in-house and remote staff at the same time. So you should not be ‘micromanaging’ your in-house staff, and do the same to your remote staff too. With remote staff, you only need to do frequent check-ins—preferably one-on-one with the staff. This will make your remote staff feel free, taking away the feeling of being micromanaged. Besides, frequent one-on-one check-ins with your staff provide a platform for feedback and updates.
All you need to do is to trust your staff, and believe that they will meet your deadlines and goals. Besides, you must trust that they are productive and that they will deliver quality results.
Provide a platform to collaborate
One way to remain up to date with what your remote staff’s progress is by providing shared documents. You should adopt this practice even for your in-house employees because it’s very effective. It’s a good way for you to set your expectations, and also track the progress of all allocated tasks.
However, you will need to agree with your remote staff on how to handle virtual collaboration—like how quickly they should respond to your messages, or if they should be online at a certain period, even if it’s for a few minutes.
Emphasize on communication
Lastly, managers must understand that communication is essential when dealing with remote staff. This will keep your staff up to date with deadlines, your expectations, work schedules, available resources, as well as any work-related challenges. With this, you will need to set a common communication platform or tools—like text messages, emails, video calls, or phone calls. Also, you should find the balance between contacting your employees regularly with messages and letting them work. However, the frequency of contacting your remote staff can differ, depending on their responsibilities.