Whether you’ve always had a remote workforce or had to adopt remote operations when Covid struck, it is vital to continually assess how you can work better with your remote team. This will help boost overall work output and ensure that your business is constantly progressing towards achieving its short-term and long-term goals.
Following are several communication and operational strategies that have helped me, and may help you to lead your team and boost the overall success of your enterprise, wherever your team is located.
• Set Times for Open Communication
Since your business is fully remote, your team members may not know if their colleagues are focused on finishing projects by their deadlines or other deep work that requires their utmost attention. Thus, your team members may unknowingly instant message or email a colleague right when that person needs to be completely free of all distractions. As the leader of your business, you need to prevent this pitfall that can stifle workflow and impede on your business’s overall progression. Do this by setting specific times for open communication.
Setting times for open communication will allow your remote team members to stay in touch without interrupting the deep work that is integral to the success of your enterprise. For example, let your team members know that unless it is urgent, they should only send Slack messages and emails to each other from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. CST, and then in the afternoon from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m CST. Setting times for open communication will help your team stay on track and focused on their projects, while also making them all easier to manage.
• Set & Track Your Business’s Goals
As the leader of your company, you need to set clear and measurable weekly, monthly and quarterly goals for each of your team members and ensure that you track them regularly. If you don’t do this, all of your employees may have the wrong idea of the amount of sales they should get each month, the dates by which they need to complete steps in a major project, how many leads they should be securing each week from their marketing efforts, etc.
It is crucial that you get input from every team member on their respective goals and the plans they will execute to achieve them. You can track progress by having a quick video chat with each of your team members every Monday morning, where you go over project statuses and the plans for the week. This will keep your team members accountable for their projects. Implementing this strategy has really helped me in my own business journey with Live Lingua.
• Outline Clear Lines of Communication
Especially in a fully remote business, wires can get crossed and team members can accidentally email the wrong person to ask about a certain task, share a project update, etc. This can cause a lot of time-wasting, back-and-forth discussions between team members as they ask others for answers or try to figure out who the best person to contact is. Thus, set clear lines of communication that dictate who to ask or tell about what, like who should be asked about social media marketing and which person is in charge of projects for a specific client. This avoids confusion and reduces the need for you to micromanage.
• Ensure Your Remote Team Knows the Business’s Mission & Vision
When you’re running a remote operation, it’s not like your team members can just pop by your office to ask a question about a project. Your remote team may also be across time zones, and you might not always be at your computer to answer an email from them right away. That said, help your team members make decisions without waiting on you by ensuring they know the company’s mission and vision. This will help guide them, as they will know their choices need to be in the interest of moving the business forward towards achieving its overall mission.
• Trust Your Team
You hired each of your remote team members because you knew they were reliable and had the skill set needed to excel in their positions. Therefore, trust that they will do the work they’re assigned and don’t overmanage them. If you are constantly looking over everybody’s shoulder and trying to micromanage everything, it will only cause your team members to get frustrated and stressed out. Let them do their work and focus on what you really need to focus on: how you can help the company progress towards achieving its mission and vision.