Are You Effectively Managing Remote Team Members?

Mar 14, 2016 3:28:08 PM

Management Tips For Building Strong Remote Teams

In today’s digital age, remote workspaces are gaining more and more traction over the traditional office environment. According to recent reports, the opportunity to work remotely has grown nearly 80 percent over the past decade. With so many ways to stay connected, many business owners are exploring ways to keep office costs down leveraging remote employees.

Employee working remotelyToday, entire teams, and even some companies, are comprised of remote workers. This new work structure offers flexibility for employees and cost reduction for employers.

 

In an effort to lead with revenue and scale appropriately, real estate agents are increasingly considering remote employees as a great strategic option when looking to expand their business.

Are you considering working with a remote team or even a virtual assistannt? Here are a few key tips to best manage your remote team members:

Hire accountable people: Not everyone is skilled at self-management and structuring. But, those who are, make the best team members. If you hire the right people, you will spend less time monitoring and possibly micromanaging.

Make expectations clear: Remote employees may seek to work during normal ‘off’ hours.
Make it known if there are certain times when availability is required. Establish a ‘road map’ with employees so they don’t get off track. Use project management apps such as “Aha” and “Trello” to help manage scheduled and tasks.

Build rapport: Managing remote employees shouldn’t be just about work calls and deadlines. Outside of a typical office, it can be hard to connect with employees. To bridge the gap, invest in getting to know what matters to remote employees. By doing this, you will gain insight into their motivations and develop a stronger working relationship. You will also increase retention because you are providing an environment that meets their needs.

Video conferencing: Studies show that more than half of human communication is non-verbal. By not seeing someone face-to-face, it’s easy to become disconnected. If you don’t have an office location where you can schedule weekly face-to-face meetings, consider using a video conferencing tool regularly to simulate an in-person experience.

Embrace the benefits: For many not accustomed to managing remote employees, the idea could seem strange at first. By identifying and focusing on the benefits, the transition can be seamless. Working remotely is more fluid than working from 9am to 5pm. One of the great benefits of a remote team is that it allows members to work at their peak performance time, so be as flexible as possible.

Additionally, when team members work remotely, they tend to have the flexibility to work throughout the day and into the evening to get a project done. Be sure to monitor your remote employees and know when they need help "turning off." You want to avoid burn-out. Let them know that because they work at home doesn't mean they need to be working all the time. 

Creating Strong Team Relationships in any Environment

The topic of managing remote employees was recently evaluated in a Harvard Business Review article, which offered more tips on managing a remote team. The article noted that contrary to a popular misconception, employers do not need an additional skill set to manage remote employees. Remote or not, employers are always working on strengthening their teams.

For immediate training in the area, Keller Williams University (KWU) offers a course designed to help agents sharpen their skills at empowering and retaining talent. In the course, Growth Through Value, participants create a Leadership Communication System, strengthen their understanding of their agents’ “PERC”s (Production, Engagement, Recognition, and Commitment), and learn the warning signs that call for intervention when someone is struggling.

This one-day course taught by Master Faculty is best taken as a full team, and individual leaders are welcomed as well! This course is recommend with a companion course, Recruiting Great Agents.

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