Six Tips to Manage Remote Teams EffectivelyHow many times a day do you thank the conveniences of advancing technology?

It might be after you quickly Zoom chat a team member with a question, find your daughter in a crowded event venue, or text your spouse to pick something up on their way home.

Then you think, how on earth did we live without these things? For many of us, it was in our own lifetimes we didn’t have so much as a cell phone to keep in touch. Well we did survive, and generations before us did as well.

An article in SmartBlog on Leadership resurrected an interesting quote from In Search of Excellence reminding us how the Roman Empire managed without the luxury of texts, emails, and GoToMeeting.

They used principles such as trust (releasing a certain amount of control), knowledge (excellent training) and empowerment (making decisions on their own).

Six Tips to Manage Remote Teams Effectively

For those of us with facilities across the country and globe, or telecommuters and other remote employees, we, should take advantage of the technologies currently available to us to make things easier, but we shouldn’t forget some of the best practices which allowed the ancient Romans to remain a cohesive team.

  1. Manage for results. Rather than managing by activities, manage for the outcomes you desire. Let your teams determine how to get there.
  2. Align the team on goals and vision. This isn’t a new topic on this blog. Make sure the vision and the business goals are clear to the team. Communicate regularly and show progress so everyone sees where their efforts fit in. As mentioned in the first point, these outcomes will direct your team’s actions.
  3. Focus on talent. Great employees will be motivated by your vision and goals, and will work together to establish the objectives and  tactics to get there. They enjoy being empowered to make these decisions and want more than a paycheck; they want to create opportunities where they can advance, by making your business succeed.
  4. Create a framework for working together. Unlike the Romans, you’re going to want to touch base on a daily basis with questions and possibly on a weekly basis with updates. Establish a framework of communication and technology. Perhaps there is a weekly call, a weekly email or a specified hours and time zone established to provide immediate availability. Ensure this is understood across the organization.
  5. Collaborate. Working remotely can feel isolating to the various teams. Spend some time understanding how they like to work together and allow them to collaborate on various projects. It helps to provide a connection across your network.
  6. Use technology. Lastly, just because the Romans didn’t have it, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use it! Technology allows you to move faster and save money. It also has the ability to do the opposite as well so be careful. It can help communications and bring your team closer together if used correctly.

Do you manage remote teams and/or facilities? What are tips or best practices you use?

Image credit Firmology.

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