After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies started switching to the remote mode of work. They were forced to adapt and adjust their management style in accordance with the new reality. Remote management became a craft — one where modern technology and tools are used to facilitate workflows and communication among people miles away from each other. We have asked Diversido to share their insights about the secrets of effective remote team management.
There are 5 main rules to follow when it comes to remote project management:
Clearly define your communications channels. Make sure that your employees do not use any third-party messengers that weren’t approved for work-related issues. For instance, if your team decides to use Slack for internal communication, then WhatsApp cannot be used for work-related matters. Otherwise, it isn’t easy to find and manage information. Moreover, this might pose security risks.
It is vital to use modern software to oversee employees’ efficiency and whether your projects are on track. Choose the software type according to your needs. It can include time trackers, task managers, Kanban board simulators, and more.
Educational online events present opportunities for bonding and honing skills. They also help management keep team members updated on the latest developments in their industry. This facilitates a shared sense of unity and moving towards the same goal.
Be realistic when setting deadlines and determining project milestones. If a team regularly misses deadlines, eventually they stop paying attention to them at all, not to mention various project risks. Do not forget to add some cushion time to your project planning in case something goes awry. And be sure to celebrate major milestones to keep up your team’s morale and motivation.
Feedback is paramount. If an employee does something wrong — tell them so that they know how to fix it. If everything is great — praise them. They should know that you notice not only their mistakes but achievements as well, even small ones. This will improve motivation and reassure a person that they are on the right track.
The 5 taboos of remote project management are:
Results are important, not the trifling details of work processes. The PM’s primary task is to ensure that everything goes smoothly on a bigger scale — there is no need to micromanage team members.
A common issue, particularly during crises, is the looming feeling of isolation. Communicate with teammates to find out whether someone feels down. Don’t be overly intrusive, but figure out whether everyone has family or close friends to rely on. In case somebody doesn’t, chat with them regularly, show support, and let them know they are not alone.
Explain to your new employee during an online meeting what tools they should use, what the company values are, whom they can contact for information, etc. You can share your screen to illustrate your point. Don’t just send to a person some manuals to read instead of discussing work processes.
Emotional distress is likely to affect a person’s ability to deliver results. Moreover, depression or burnout can lead to severe mental issues. These dangers should not be taken lightly. Monitor employees’ emotional state and if needed offer help — suggest a day off or vacation, or take other measures depending on the situation.
Video meetings are vital for the success of remote team management. Nonetheless, they should not be the only way of exchanging/delivering information. First of all, information fades in memory — important meetings should be recorded and structured in a comprehensive database or playlist.
For recurring questions, a company should create guidelines or FAQ pages. Rewatching videos takes lots of time. And if you don’t know which video you need, finding information becomes nearly impossible. Docs, on the other hand, can be searched by keywords or topics, making them a fast and efficient way to retrieve data.
Remote project management is a real art. Those who have mastered it advise defining team communication channels, monitoring performance using modern software, organizing online learning events, setting realistic deadlines, celebrating achieved milestones, and providing employees with regular feedback.
Avoiding common mistakes of remote team management is equally important. Those can include micromanagement, neglecting the online onboarding process, overlooking teammates’ emotional state and the dangers of isolation, as well as overly relying on video meetings instead of creating a robust database with handy information. Hopefully, with these pieces of advice, you will be able to manage your remote team effectively while achieving incredible results!