How can I adjust my remote team’s work for the best possible performance? Advice for managers
How can I manage people if they all work remotely? How can I increase the loyalty of an employee who works only 10 hours a week for us? These questions burn in the minds of many managers whose team either partially or fully is comprised of specialists working either remotely or part-time. In this article we will provide some useful pieces of advice on how to adjust working in this complex situation in the most effective way possible.
Tip 1: motivate your employees
Your employees should believe that they are doing important and meaningful work, so show them that you value and respect their labour. Many managers consider that when working with freelancers there is no requirement to do this. In fact, doing this is necessary in any case, otherwise you risk ending up with an army of robots who only do what they are told, and nothing more. Without the appropriate motivation your employees will become lazy, complete their tasks with errors, ignore deadlines etc. Remember that your team are real people who need acceptance and recognition.
The simplest ways to provide non-material motivation to your workers are to congratulate them on holidays and important dates, inform colleagues about the achievements of highly outstanding employees, and also the various competitions for the title of “Best employee of the department” etc. The emotional lift received from such measures brings a far greater result than you think. In the current state of affairs when salaries often have to be lowered, non-material motivation can be used to increase loyalty, teambuilding and productivity.
Tip 2: respect the limits of specialisation
Always remember that the division of labour is linked tightly to one’s specialisation. A well-known scholar and founder of a management school, Henri Fayol considered that “the division of labour has its limits”. Remember this when you distribute tasks and duties to your remote employees, since not all of them possess a varied skills set, experience and capacity for work. Try to better know and understand each of them, even when located remotely. It is the only way to create a strong team which moves in one direction and at the best pace for all.
For convenience you can divide all your employees into two groups: soft skills (ability to listen and speak, ability to sell, to negotiate, to solve conflict situations) and hard skills (knowledge of one’s field, experience, qualifications), and then logically delegate powers to them. Don’t give in to temptation and do not delegate tasks which require soft skills to even the most active and experienced employee with hard skills, and vice versa.
Do not overload your employees with work and be sure to pay for any overtime. Remember that “squeezing dry” your employees works for a very short period and will not produce good results!
Tip 3: use a reliable system for payments
Not one employee will like it if his or her payments will come with delays. Furthermore, many services through which employees receive payment for their work, take disproportionate fees for the withdrawal or cash withdrawal of funds.
To avoid problems and acrimony when paying out to your employees, use tried and tested services, for example, ePayments. Some of its key characteristics:
- Instant mass payments;
- Automatic outpayments to employees;
- Possibility to issue branded ePayments cards with your own design (company logo).
Tip 4: control your employees
Control your remote employees’ work daily, since being located far from an office, in the comfortable conditions of their own home, many people work less effectively. In order for work to always be completed on time, and for employee efficiency not to fall, use a daily report system (for example, via the Google Docs service).
It will also be useful to organise a virtual work environment with the help of specialised internet services. Thus you will be able not only to control the process of undertaking the tasks set, but also establish cooperation between your employees. Amongst such services it is worth mentioning various CRM-systems, for example: Bitrix24, Microsoft Dynamics CRM etc.
Nowadays more and more people prefer remote work to the daily office grind. Perhaps in the comfort of one’s own home an employee’s efficiency will significantly increase, but, it may decrease. In such an instance much depends upon the manager who is responsible for the organisation, motivation and control of his or her team. Follow these simple pieces of advice and your employees will work coherently and effectively!