The changing digital landscape has opened many new doors for small business owners. Many entrepreneurs are growing their teams in less traditional ways. Instead of the standard team under the same roof, in the same city, every day – they are pulling talent from all over the country, or even the world.
While this approach does help with reducing the overhead of large brick-and-mortar offices, it also presents new challenges. How do you grow your team and develop each individual resource when you don’t see them on a regular basis?
1. Hold Regular Meetings
When everyone is in the same office, you’d likely hold a regular staff meeting. This is vital to success when managing a virtual team. Working remotely can make your employees feel disengaged and isolated. Making them a part of the larger group will help to build that team mentality and keep them from feeling like an island.
In addition to the group meetings, you need to meet one-on-one with each of your virtual employees at least once a week, if not more. Even if you just hold a 15-minute morning check-in call, it can go a long way toward keeping that employee engaged and loyal to your company.
2. Be Conscious of Time Zones
If you’re living according to Mountain Standard Time, but your employee is living on Eastern Standard Time, try to avoid scheduling a meeting for them at 5:00pm MST. That’s actually 7:00pm their time, and you want to encourage work-life balance.
At the same time, if you’re on the east coast, an 8:00am meeting for you is really a 6:00am meeting for them.
Know where your employees are and make the appropriate scheduling adjustments.
3. Establish Expectations
When you are managing remote team members, you need to be clear from day one about what you expect from them, and what they can expect from you. They don’t have the benefit of getting to learn the ropes from other people in the office – they can only rely on the limited direct contact they have.
Keep an open dialogue with your remote employees in case issues arise. They need to be able to come to you with any concerns right away. This will save a lot of stress, and reduce turnover.
What about you? Do you have insight into managing remote employees? We’d love to have you on Wright Stuff Radio! Send your idea to us today!