Four Effective Ways to Manage Your Remote Workforce

Managing a remote workforce might seem as though it comes with a completely different set of tasks and guidelines; however, many people might be surprised that it does not. Many principles of management and leadership adopted by good managers that hold true in a brick and mortar office can be identified and used when managing a distributed team of employees.

 

Here are four practical ways to manage your remote workforce. 

 

Clear communication

It’s easy for effective communication to fall to the backburner, especially if your team is made up of individuals with different communication styles. However, communication is the cornerstone of business growth and success and should be treated appropriately. 

 

Here are a few examples of how to communicate effectively with your remote employees:

  • Know how each individual on your team prefers to communicate. Make a conscious effort to utilize that style (text, email, phone, video conferencing, Slack) with each respective individual.
  • Know the best time of day to communicate with your team, most specifically when scheduling meetings. (Does a teammate feel most productive first thing in the morning or later in the evening? If you have this awareness, you can plan meetings around peak hours of productivity.)
  • Communicate turnaround time. Most forms of dialogue are expected to be responded to within 24-hours; however, if a matter is more pressing than usual, it’s critical to express the need for immediate action on the front end as opposed to waiting for an inevitably delayed response. 

Processes

When your workforce is scattered remotely, ensuring processes are in place for adherence has a renewed and heightened sense of importance. 

 

Working remotely, although encased in heaps of benefits, can still present a few problems if not addressed. One major issue is the bottleneck

 

For example, if Jack has a question about step three in an email campaign, he must either email or Slack his colleagues the question and wait for an answer. This waiting period can create bottlenecks and increase both inefficiencies and frustrations.

 

A simple solution is to create systems and processes for your team members that are both easily found as well as easily followed.

 

One-on-onesone-on-one

Having a positive team environment definitely helps build and maintain high employee morale; however, sustaining communication between an employee and their direct manager is just as important.

 

Dedicating time to talk through individual issues that an employee is hesitant to address in a group setting builds rapport and trust within your company. As an added bonus, spending time with a colleague in a one-on-one setting allows a manager to check-in on the well-being of an employee while also addressing if the employee’s work duties are aligning with their career objectives.

 

Centralized documents

Imagine, for a moment, your company just hired a new team member while your entire workforce is distributed. Will you opt to send all of the required documents through the mail or would you prefer to have electronic signatures, quick uploads, and a centralized database for important company documents?

 

Although the question is posed to be hypothetical, it’s fairly easy to answer. 

 

Having your company’s forms and onboarding documents, especially if hiring new employees, in a centralized location makes common administrative tasks less cumbersome and time consuming. 

 

Utilizing a centralized location can benefit your organization immensely when managing a remote workforce. And, if that database can automatically communicate with your timekeeping and payroll software as well, then the list of HR duties becomes increasingly streamlined, effective and efficient, wherever your workplace might be. 

 

It’s no secret: times have proven uncertain and stressful, and the majority of the United States has shifted its workforce to working from home. Although these moments can be viewed as uncharted territory for many, rest assured the paths of effective management are similar to those in an office setting. 

 

Schedule your free consultation to see how FastPay can help you manage your workforce wherever you might be.

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