Top 15 Tips to Effectively Manage Remote Employees
Jan 15, 2019 22:23
It's a whole new era, and these days it's very common to have remote employees who work from home. According to Forbes, around 50 percent of the workforce has a telecommuting role of some sort. Up to 90 percent of all employees say they'd like to work remotely at least sometimes. But all those employees still need effective management, and employers need to develop their own techniques fill this role.
The answer to being successful at almost anything is communication, and employee management is no exception. Whether employees are working remotely or in a virtual office, it's always best to be clear and specific. Do not say that something is due "as soon as possible" or that a task needs to be completed "quickly." Give firm deadlines. Tell employees you need the task completed by the end of the day, or the end of the week, etc. Always be specific and always be as clear as possible to ensure that you are fully understood. Outline your expectations for each project, with a clear deadline, when you assign tasks to employees.
Remote workers may feel cut off or adrift from the company they work for. You don't want that. You want employees to feel invested in the company's success, and you want them to feel supported so that they are happier and more productive workers. Make yourself highly accessible to your remote workers. Respond quickly to email and messages, and address concerns and problems as immediately as possible. Give employees all the contact information they need for tech support, managers and other relevant personnel who can give them guidance and answer their questions.
Create a Sense of Community
Bring remote workers together, and make them feel part of a team by creating a sense of community. There are many options for this. Create an online forums area where employees can exchange messages, build a chat room on Slack, Skype or a similar program, start a group email chain. There are many ways to design a community for your remote workers.
Don't micromanage your remote employees. What you're interested in is the final product. Stay focused on the goal, not on how employees get there. Remote employees have their own habits and their own way of doing things. Try not to interfere with their process, and focus only on the desired result. Have clear standards and outlines for the finished work, but not for the process of completing it.
Have weekly or monthly meetings with remote employees so they continue to feel connected. Let them know they're part of a team and part of a company by giving them company updates and other news at these meetings and give them feedback as a whole team to tell them about upcoming goals and plans for their work. Save individual criticism for private meetings and/or emails.
Have a Clear Process
Make sure there is a clear, easy-to-follow protocol for all employees when it comes to submitting their completed work. Put together an online packet of documents for employees that contains instructions and information about submitting work, so everyone knows exactly what to do and which company guidelines they need to follow.
Use a Standardized Payment System
Establish a standard payment system for all remote employees. Choose how employees will be paid and how time will be tracked. There are a variety of time tracking tools available online, or employees can be responsible for tracking their own hours. Create a standard system for everyone to follow with set deadlines for payment. Remote employees, like all employees, need a strong structure in order to work effectively.
Give your remote workers frequent feedback, so they know what they're doing well and what needs to improve. Workers who receive ongoing feedback feel more supported and have more confidence that they are doing their jobs w
Establish a Holiday Policy
Do remote workers receive holidays off from work? Do they receive holiday pay? Establish a policy on how to address remote workers during holidays for the entire calendar year. All remote employees should be made aware of this policy.
Make remote workers feel encouraged to reach out and communicate. You don't want them to hesitate to ask questions or waste time trying to solve their own problems with an assigned project. Let remote workers know that you're available to them, and encourage them to reach out to the proper people for technical support, help with a task or any other issues that may arise. Consider giving remote workers a contact list, so they know to whom they can reach out for every situation that may arise.
If an employee performs a task particularly well or does something else to stand out in their work, tell them. Employees benefit from praise, and it should be given when earned.
Provide Access to All Tools
Give remote employees access to all the websites and online tools they need to make their jobs easier. If there are specific web extensions or apps they need to use for their jobs, provide them with links so they can easily download these tools.
Maintain a Single Time Zone
Remote employees may be working out of a virtual office from anywhere in the world, and that can get confusing when it comes to scheduling meeting and deadlines. Maintain a single time zone as "company time." All meetings, deadlines, dates and times will be in this time zone. Employees can convert that into their own time zone on their own. When setting specific times, always be sure to include the company time zone so employees don't mistakenly believe they're going off their own time zone.
Review Your Employees
Regularly review your employees every month or every few months, so you can see how well each employee is working and how many tasks are being completed. To be an effective manager, there
will be times when you have to let some employees go or hire new ones. Always keep an eye on your team and have a working knowledge of each team member's performance.
Pay for Work Well Done
Some employees work for less from home than they would in a physical location, and it's true that hiring a virtual workforce is a huge money-saver for companies. However, it's important to pay remote employees a good rate that they can live with. If you don't pay employees well, you will have massively high turnover rates that make it impossible to establish a strong core group of workers.
Manage Remote Employees
Having remote employees adds new challenges to any manager’s role, but the basics of management are still the same. Maintain good communication, provide feedback and keep a structure in place with clear guidelines for all to follow. If you combine traditional management techniques with some modern-world thinking, remote employees will stay productive and satisfied in their jobs.
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