No More Excuses: Your Ultimate Guide to Remote Team Management

The pandemic has changed the way we work. Everyone— including employees, managers, and executives have been affected by the pandemic. 

As we come to accept remote work as the new norm, managers' role in maintaining collaboration, developing leaders, and inspiring their team has not gone away. It just looks different. 

This guide was created for managers interested in learning the best practices for remote management, how to identify pitfalls in their team dynamics, and who are eager to build a thriving virtual team.

Keep reading to learn what I have in store for you. 👇

Elevate Your Remote Team Management: A Case Study of Buffer and Shopify

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What has made other companies so successful at remote work? Were they born great? Or can this greatness be achieved??

We examined  Buffer, a company that has been successfully remote for over a decade, and Shopify, a company who has recently decided to switch to remote work long term in response to COVID-19.   Each case includes a company description, insight on why they decided to go remote, and key takeaways you can use as a manager to elevate your own remote team’s performance.

From the case study you will learn the six fundamental elements for successfully managing virtual teams. Below I’ve given you a little sneak preview:

1. Output vs. Hours

Focus on the output employees deliver rather than the hours they spend working. When you allow employees to set goals for themselves they stay more engaged and focused while they do work.

2. Effective Tools

You don’t expect a carpenter to build you a bookshelf without a hammer, nails, and wood right? The same applies to remote teams. Provide the proper technological tools for your employees so that they can do their jobs effectively.

3. Transparency = Trust

When you’re honest with your employees, they’ll trust you to have their best interests in mind. This trust allows them to feel safe at work which gives them the freedom to be themselves and do their best work.  

4. Allow for Disconnection

When employees are overworked, they tend to be inefficient and unproductive. To avoid these negative consequences, remind your employees to step away from work and turn off their notifications when they need to. Just be sure that they give everyone a heads up before they sign-off.

5. Evolve Your Culture

It’s out with the old and in with the new. Use this time as an opportunity to grow and improve your team culture. Take things that worked well in the office and implement them online while ditching any negativity that you had.

6. Overcommunication is Impossible

As a remote team, communication is the glue that keeps you all together. A foundation of strong communication is the perfect recipe for success. Don’t be afraid to sit down and discuss proper communication practices with your team.

Your Main Takeaway:  Big changes require big adjustments, be kind to yourself because not everything will fall into place simultaneously. Remember to adjust your expectations to what works for you and your team.

To learn more about what practices you can implement to better manage your remote team click here.

Performance Evaluations for Managing Virtual Teams

The goal of performance reviews is to recognize employee performance, identify areas of improvement, correct problems, and set future goals of growth. While the outcomes of performance reviews are intended to be positive, it's not uncommon for employees and managers to feel uninspired and disappointed after the conversation.

So, what can you do to ensure you and your employees leave your performance reviews motivated and confident?  Keep reading to learn what my ultimate guide to hosting a productive remote employee performance review can do to help you crush your next employee performance review experience.

Below are quick tips to get you started:

1. Do Your Prep-work

The best way to avoid unsuspected surprises is to prepare for the meeting in advance. This ensures the meeting is conducted smoothly and in a timely fashion.

2. Challenge Your Biases

Avoid biases that could  skew the results of your review so you can be as objective as possible with your employee review.

3. Use My Agenda

Create and share a meeting agenda with your employee so you can both come prepared. prepared … Don’t worry, I’ll let you steal mine to save you some time. 😉

4. Learn the Dos and Don'ts of Better Communication

A quick refresher never hurt anybody. Review communication tips and tricks in preparation for the meeting.

5. Prepare for Emotional Reactions

Prepare and learn how to respond to negative reactions in response to feedback.

6. Use SMART Goals

Set goals to increase focus, productivity, and quality of work of your employees.  

7. End on a High Note

It’s important to end the meeting positively as it helps you and your employee take the most away from the meeting and can strengthen your working relationship.

If you’re a virtual learner, watch this video to learn why coaching is more effective than management . 👇

👉To watch it on YouTube follow click here: Coaching Skills For Managers To Coach Their Teams Better | Fahd Alhattab

Follow my walkthrough guide for employee performance reviews to increase the likelihood of having a positive and productive exchange with your employees. There you will find a complimentary employee evaluation guide, and a free performance evaluation template follow the link below to my blog: Your Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Productive Employee Performance Review Remotely.

Your Main Takeaway:  The best way to increase your chance at a positive employee performance review is to prepare. This will help avoid any hiccups that could cause the meeting to go astray leaving everyone involved with a negative aftertaste. Take a lesson from Scar in the Lion King, BE PREPARED! 🎶

To be fully prepared for your next employee performance evaluation click here.

You can access the free performance evaluation document here.

Creating a Thriving Culture While Managing Virtual Teams

Your company’s culture will be what makes or breaks your business because it determines your ability to attract, and more importantly, retain top talent.

But how can you implement a thriving startup culture when all of your employees work online?? ..

To learn what it takes to build a successful remote culture, I sat down with Hoppier’s CEO, Cassy Aite, to understand how they built an unstoppable virtual team.

From my interview with Cassy I came up with five takeaways you can use to build your own remote culture:

1.     Build from the ground up based on strong company values.

2.    You must always be working to better your company culture practices.

3.     Learn how you can better support your employees in a remote workplace

4.     Remember there is always room for growth and improvement.

5.    Base every business decision you make on your company values.

Your Main Takeaway: The foundation of a thriving company culture can’t come from one person; it has to come with everyone. Work on communicating your company values everyday with all of your employees and don’t be afraid to learn, grow and improve.

For my full interview with Cassy follow this link.

Managing Conflict in Virtual Teams

Team conflict is inevitable , but it’s much more likely to happen on remote teams. Why? Because 93% of total communication is lost without tone of voice and body language. 🤯

This loss of communication becomes the embers that light the flame of toxic conflict.

But not all conflict is toxic. In fact, conflict is completely natural, and when looked at from the right perspective conflict can actually be used as a tool to increase team innovation, performance, and productivity.

To learn how you can change your perspective on conflict and use it to your advantage on your remote team check out my new video:

You can also watch it on YouTube here: How to Manage Conflict in Virtual Teams in 7 Easy Steps

As you can see from the video above, productive conflict leads to new ideas, greater understanding, and better problem solving which help give you a competitive advantage in the ever-innovating startup world.  But now that you understand what productive conflict is and what it can do for you, how do you implement it when managing your virtual team?

First, start by establishing rules of conflict that your entire team can follow. By creating a set of established rules, you give everyone in the team common ground to work on, which helps the team understand how to better communicate with each other.

To help your new conflict rulebook should look like, I decide to share some of the best rules I’ve successfully used on my own teams throughout the years.  

1. Encourage your team members to always be asking questions.

2. Don’t let your team members downplay minor issues, otherwise they’ll come back to bite you later.

3. Remind your team members to assume the best of each other when sending and receiving messages.

4. When there are bigger issues that need to be discussed, take the time to set up a meeting.

5. In the face of conflict, start with identifying the problem and then present the facts.

6. Be sure to set up an end goal that you want out of the discussion to prevent everyone from chasing their tails in circles.

7. Create a conflict ‘contract’ that everyone can sign to understand what each party needs to do to help each other.

8. Always follow-up with your team to ensure that a state of resolution was reached.

Your Main Takeaway

By creating rules of conflict you are strengthening your team dynamics by giving your team a psychologically safe place to interact in.

For access to better conflict management practices click here.

This concludes includes everything you need to know to help you manage any virtual team with success.

Don’t hold you and your team back any longer. Follow the links above to understand how to make your remote team unstoppable. 💪

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