Managing remote employees has never been so important. Businesses across all industries, sizes, and geographies benefit from offering workplace location flexibility to their employees, so the ability to manage remote employees to success will continue to become more critical.
Why it matters: Working remotely drives success!
Before we look at the key steps to managing remote employees, let’s first explore the benefits of remote working to highlight the importance of allowing your team to work from home or the local coffee shop.
Make more money. Companies that allow employees to work remotely grow faster than companies that require all employees to commute to one central office. According to research firm IDC, when a business allows its employees to work remotely at least three times a month, it is more likely to see revenue growth of at least 10% during the previous year. The research also notes that greater revenue growth was seen in telecommuting companies with less than 250 employees.
Have happier employees. According to Brandon Gaille and a comprehensive study that includes over 13,000 employees, the remote worker is happier, less stressed, and less likely to leave their job.
Recruit the best talent. Phil Montero of The Anywhere Office reports that 72% of U.S. employees say that flexible work arrangements would cause them to choose one job over the other.
How it’s done: 5 steps to successfully managing remote employees.
STEP ONE: Set clear goals and objectives
Managing remote employees to success requires a disciplined approach to goal and objective setting. Clearly articulate your team’s goals, and then establish and align each employee’s objectives to those goals. This process of goal and objective alignment with make your employees feel more engaged, while charting a very clear and measurable pathway for the employees’ activities during the month, quarter, or year.
STEP TWO: Be highly transparent
When you’re managing a remote employee, you become that employee’s resource for company information. Take the time to share company news, market trends, and other relevant information about the company with your employee. This type of communication will facilitate company knowledge sharing, while it will also help you establish trust in your manager/employee relationship.
STEP THREE: Promote a strong culture and relationship building
Be a champion of your company culture, and extend it to your remote employees by celebrating company wins, holding group meetings to encourage cross-departmental collaboration, and creating project teams with both local and remote employees to encourage relationship building. As the leader of a remote team, you have a great opportunity to establish and strengthen bonds between your employees, while extending key company values through guided, thoughtful activities.
STEP FOUR: Communicate regularly
Open, bilateral communication is essential to successfully managing remote employees. Make sure each employee takes the time to share with you what has been accomplished, what is currently planned, and any areas of friction that might benefit from your involvement. As the manager, you should respond to positive employee status by recognizing great work. When an employee is struggling, seize upon the situation to create a development opportunity for your team member. Managing remote employees becomes much easier when managers and employees all commit to discussing their progress against objectives.
STEP FIVE: Operate above the task level
Managing remote employees successfully requires a certain level of trust, and an ability to communicate broadly at the objective and goal level. While task-setting and tracking is a great way for an individual to accomplish certain activities, do not require your remote employee to report such a granular level of their activity. First, you don’t have the time to absorb a long lists of tasks each week to gain an understanding of your employee’s activity. Second, you don’t want your remote employee to begrudge communicating with you. Instead, you want the remote employee to embrace sharing with you only the most important elements of his or her job.
StatusPath is passionate about helping you manage your remote employees. We offer a modernized business goal, objective, and status report system that delivers value across your team and entire company. You can start achieving more with your remote team in just minutes.
Managing remote employees is similar to managing local employees – you just need to be more considerate of scheduling time together.
Don’t underestimate the power of engagement. Your remote employees will be happier when you make them feel more apart of the team.
Trust your remote employee until he or she gives you a reason not to no longer unconditionally trust their efforts.
The number of remote workers continues to grow, so companies will continue to value your ability to manage remote employees successfully.
Team-building exercises, even over just a two-day workshop, can improve collaboration across your remote employees.