One of the greatest modern developments is giving people the freedom to work remotely. But what is the best way to lead such a diverse and dispersed team? Here’s some advice on how best to lead your remote workforce.
Know Your Employees
No matter how remote your team is, or how large the time difference, you should never lose contact with your workforce. Each person on the other side of that screen is an individual with their own ambitions and dreams. Take time to work out what their key strengths are. Spot someone who’s a good leader themselves? Why not make them a Senior and let them lead their own small team. While you might not have the capital at hand to fund training, you could encourage staff and offer your own management advice when possible.
Be Technologically Adept
It is essential to maintain good work portals and solid IT infrastructure that inspires your team to work their hardest. You are also handling a large amount of sensitive data for your remote workforce, like their personal details and bank records, so be on top of your IT and reassure them that their information is safe. Investing in safety techniques like web isolation will keep your workforce and yourself protected, as a separate server safely checks all coding while your PC remains secure.
Invest in Management Training
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a manager for twenty years or two months, times always change and training is the best way to stay ahead of the changing needs of your team. As most of your communication is conducted via email, it has never been more important to get your leadership techniques right. Why not invest in some tailored training designed specifically to get the most out of your remote workforce. Here are some free online courses to give you some inspiration.
Communicate With Honesty
It takes someone with confidence to admit when they’re wrong. Employees will have more faith in you as a leader if they see you as a human. This is especially important when the only time they hear from you is via email. If you think they’ve done a good job, tell them honestly, and specifically why you are so impressed. Likewise, if you’re disappointed, take the time to provide useful feedback, and they’ll respect you enough to work on it the next time around.
Make Yourself Available
Take the time to make yourself available to your remote workforce. Confirm once you’ve received an email. Encourage them to share ideas and be involved in the company, and create an hour a day where you can share ideas with people across time zones. Convey that you’re listening and are engaged with your responses, and you’ll find that people will be more willing to approach you with ideas.
Take on board these concepts and you’ll be surprised at the positive response from your remote team. Be a great leader to your employees from across the world and reap the benefits for your business too.