Managing a Remote Team

Remote working does not always allow you to properly manage your teams and keep employee motivation intact. So how do you manage your team remotely? Here are some tips to motivate your teams and keep the morale of the troops.

Unfortunately, remote styles of work do not only have advantages. Feeling of isolation, complicated supervision, obligation to be autonomous… Demotivation awaits when complicated situations point the tip of their nose.

This is where the role of the manager comes in.

Managing a remote team in difficult situations is not always easy. And yet. Each member of the company needs to feel supported by their managers, even from a distance. The leader has the heavy task of finding motivational levers and mobilizing his team to maintain a good group dynamic. It is also up to him to federate and motivate, strengthen group cohesion and consolidate team spirit.

Tips for managing a remote team

Create a toolbox to motivate your remote team

To begin with, the decision-maker must acquire tools to motivate his teams remotely . Here are some ideas to slip into your toolbox.

Organize remote meetings (video conference)

Video calling has become the norm for many. Different software exists to organize a videoconference: Zoom , Microsoft Teams , Skype , Google Meet … There are many choices. To motivate your teams and make your videoconference meeting a success, consider assigning it a specific objective. Organize meetings of about thirty minutes. Beyond that, the attention of the participants may drop.

Keep in touch by email

Don’t bombard your teams with emails. But from time to time, consider sending an informal and motivating email to your employees. Use positive and dynamic language. To make the discussion warmer, add some smileys to your message. A less official conversational tone accentuates the closeness with collaborators and helps to motivate its teams .

Set up reward tools

Rewards are seen by employees as recognition of the work done. Remote work should not prevent the implementation of reward tools for employees who deserve it. Bonus point, gift box, bonuses… All the means are good to motivate its teams by remaining attentive to their needs.

Use a collaborative platforms

A collaborative work platform is a virtual workspace. It modernizes internal communication, better connects employees and streamlines collaborative work. Slack, WhatsApp or Talkspirit, for example, allow your team to communicate at any time of the day. Life isn’t just about work. Also consider initiating less formal discussions, to encourage friendly exchanges.

Set collective and individual goals

To motivate his teams remotely , the team leader regularly reminds the company’s mission. Its societal raison d’être. Regularly clarify everyone’s work. Put an action plan in place. Each employee needs to practice a job that makes sense. Giving meaning to the work of employees means allowing them to improve on a daily basis, to develop skills, to understand why they get up in the morning to put themselves at the service of the company.

Set team goals… but also individual goals. And then, trust your teams. Don’t be afraid to delegate. Achieving set objectives also means helping employees to take responsibility.

Position yourself as a local manager
Even at a distance, management must remain close to its employees. Remote working requires some specific managerial practices. In Remote working, the manager must rely on two essential pillars:

Trust & accountability

Give objective feedback to your teams on the work done. Managing your teams well from a distance also means showing empathy, humility, benevolence and assertiveness.

To acquire these skills, managers have every interest in developing their emotional intelligence. Be warm, favor the direct and personalized link. Pick up your phone. Do a weekly update. Check in on your teams. This style of management makes it possible to animate and motivate its teams from a distance , but also to ensure well-being in the company .

Managing your team and supervising it to motivate it

Ultimately, the manager remains the sole decision maker. But today, collaborative management has appeared. This effective management is based on the principle that employees have abilities, a taste for work, and that they want to be associated with the projects of the company, which can therefore trust them. To lead and motivate his teams remotely , the manager can thus develop 4 axes:

Manage conflicts remotely

Distance creates tension. Telecommuting imposes certain working methods. Existing conflicts are glossed over. Their resolution is postponed. Clashes within the team can lead to very conflicting situations. To improve collective performance, appease quarrels and operate the necessary reframing, the manager must engage in active listening. Invite employees to step back and talk using, for example, non-violent communication techniques.

A mediator can also help. Physical distancing has led mediators to reinvent themselves, today practicing mediation by videoconference. Fortunately, distance is not a sticking point. It even has advantages. In particular speech sequencing, imposed by the tool.

Congratulate your employees to boost their motivation

Leading a team also means being able to congratulate employees when they have done a good job. Team performance is maximized. Be sure to motivate your teams by highlighting the strengths of your employees and giving positive feedback. Also remember to encourage collective intelligence , in order to put everyone’s skills at the service of the organization.

Organize remote team building

One last idea: look at the animation of the team. Role-playing games and virtual games with several people can unite teams. Remote team building helps create connections between employees and mimics physical teams. The game is ideal for keeping morale up, motivating remote teams , promoting productivity. The role of the manager? Explain the rules of the game, create relationships of trust with employees, distribute roles and tasks. If you want to organize a remote team building or seminar, do not hesitate to consult our webinar guides on all available platforms.

In conclusion

Motivating a team requires some very specific management techniques. To be a good remote manager, it is important to develop one’s leadership, to promote open communication, to be present for the management of the team.

Each employee needs local management. Forget overly hierarchical relationships and focus on collaborative team management. For effective project management, remember to acquire the right tools and regularly congratulate your employees. Compliments are essential to motivate remote teams and make everyone smile.

Eleanore Frinqois

Eleanore Frinqois, Lead Editor at BusinessGrowthCoaching.co.uk is a business leader with over 30 years in both start-up and enterprise level organisations. Previously Operations Directer at a £1.8BN media group, alongside setting-up and later selling 3 digital brands - Eleanore has expertise across all aspects of business growth.

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