As a business owner, you have the power to make your own team thrive. Unfortunately, many leaders struggle to manage their remote teams, especially now as the SD Times reports that nearly 90% of project teams are working remotely. On top of that 26% of employees even admitted that their organization struggled to operate remotely, resulting in low productivity and reduced collaboration. This reality can be a hard pill to swallow, especially for entrepreneurs. Fortunately, you can bridge the gap by employing remote work practices that will make your team stronger than ever. If you want to turn your dreams for your business into reality, here are the strategies you need to follow:
ESTABLISH CLEAR POLICIES FOR THE REMOTE TEAM Your business policies may have worked while you were in the office, but a lot of things have changed in the sphere of remote work. Without proper guidelines in place, you’ll find it difficult to establish a remote work practice across teams. As an expert with a doctorate in interdisciplinary leadership from Creighton University, Brent Daub recommends that you collaborate with your fellow leaders in drafting policies for remote work. Together, you can identify the performance requirements that are expected from remote teams. Make sure that employees can easily reference these guidelines, so it will be easier for each remote worker to meet the tasks necessary for your business' progress.
SERVE AS AN EXAMPLE FOR BEST PRACTICES Your remote work guidelines serve as a compass. But if you don’t lead your employees in the right direction, they may not follow the very protocols that you have set. That’s why our article entitled Go the Extra Mile emphasizes that high-octane leaders are committed to the success of their own teams. Rather than waiting for your employees to follow the protocols, you need to show initiative and serve as an example that your employees can look up to. While it may be a big responsibility to go above and beyond as an entrepreneurial leader, the attention to detail is worth it once your team is inspired to follow suit.
STRENGTHEN THE CONNECTION BETWEEN YOUR TEAM The absence of face-to-face interactions is one of the biggest problems in remote businesses. Due to the lack of supervision and structure, entrepreneurs and employees can find it difficult to build relationships and establish trust in the workplace, particularly if a business is still finding its footing. But even if you can’t walk up to your employee's station for a one-on-one meeting, a guide to running remote businesses by Maryville University highlights that you can leverage videoconferencing and messaging platforms to stay connected. The guide also suggests that you make each meeting count by setting guidelines regarding the communication channels, objectives, and meeting schedules. By initiating purposeful meetings with your team, you can foster trust and collaboration despite the distance.
IMPROVE THE CULTURE OF YOUR WORKPLACE Business culture may be the last thing on your mind if you’re running a remote workplace. It should be, however, especially since business cultures influence the performance of your team members and company. In fact, professors from DePaul University and the University of Nebraska outline how organizational culture is crucial for the general operating norms of your workplace. Since your business culture is shaped by the common practices of your employees, it can affect the productivity and success of your team. As such, the professors recommend that you invest in training programs and organization development work to improve your team’s culture. By adopting healthier practices early on in your business, you'll reap higher employee satisfaction and productivity. Now that remote work is becoming a permanent setup, entrepreneurs need to step up with their leadership strategies. Steer your team in the right direction, and you'll be able to emerge stronger and closer as a unit.