Five Tips to Successfully Manage Remote Employees or Teams
When you become a manager, there is no guarantee that all of your employees will physically work in the same location as you do. Some may work at another one of your organization’s physical locations. Some may work in a different city, state, or even in a different country. Some may simply work from home. As you can imagine, this can present some challenges to leveling the playing field of ensuring that each of your team members or teams get their fair share of your guidance and attention.
Earlier in my career, I was in a position that worked out of a different office than my director, so I saw her about once every other week, sometimes longer. During that time, I learned some things that I, the employee of a traveling, or geographically displaced director, wished had been different. Likewise, if you are a manager of remote employees or teams, I’m sure that there are things that your employees absolutely love about working remotely, as well as having you as their manager. Conversely, I also imagine that there are some aspects that they wish were different.
Although I had been a manager, I had never managed a remote team, so when I suddenly found myself the manager of an employee who works at another location, as well as the HR resource for colleagues at another one of our locations, this aspect of management was new to me. Besides getting advice from the articles that I read, and accepting guidance from my director, I decided to develop my own plan to effectively manage my new team, including my remote employee. As I began to settle into my new role, I developed the following management practices of my own: 1) Realizing that each employee is different; 2) Interacting every day; 2) Responding early and keeping a list; 3) Facilitating two-way honesty; 4) Acting inclusively; and, 5) Getting together. I explain below what each of these practices means for me and how I hold myself accountable to each.
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