Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something. – Morihei Ueshiba
What many project managers do wrong is that they assume that written interview for a job in their team can be conducted in written form. However, the popular research shows that communication is only 20% of what we actually say and that there is a lot going on underneath with the body language and HOW we say something. Therefore, I strongly advise you that in order to get to know your remote team better, you should have a video chat from time to time with each of them individually and after that you can have your first group chat.
Connecting with your remote team on social media is a great way to show how good a leader you are. Once you connect with everyone on Facebook, Twitter of LinkedIn, you will be able to get to know them more and have a more natural communication with them. You can, for example, make a private group on Facebook that will serve for not only casual chat but also some important notifications from you – it is more efficient and more direct than sending them via email. If you connected with them on LinkedIn, you will have a better insight of who your teammates are.
This is an oldie that always worked well for any group of people. Namely, when providing a task for each of them, if applicable, give certain conditions for a competition and see which team member will do the best job. Of course, this means that the one who was the best should get some kind of reward, be it monetary or just motivational. Be careful about this activity, though, for it can turn into a battlefield sometimes and people can get over-competitive, resulting in a disaster.
It is usually the other way around – you give feedback of your team’s work to your remote team. However, what if you made a certain survey which will be distributed among your team members and which will give feedback about your work. Ideally, the survey should be anonymous so that everybody can speak their mind out freely about you and your team management skills. Once you get feedback, you will know how to improve and what was the thing that you were doing wrong the whole time.
The time difference among team members is sometimes the main obstacle that nobody can overcome. Therefore, it is always a good idea to ask everyone which time of day (in their time zone) they would prefer to work. Once you have everyone’s preferable time, you can make a schedule so that the work is covered basically always. Furthermore, you can use online storages such as Dropbox where everyone can post their work and everyone else can see it and continue to work on that project.
To sum up, managing a remote team does not only include providing work and giving salary – it is much more than that. The thing is – your co-workers in a team are just a bunch of letters on your screen which do the job and you do not want that. You need to connect with each of them on a human level, by video-chatting and connection on social media (if possible, in real life as well). Only by doing this will you be able to see what their capabilities are, what the level of their knowledge is and what kind of people they really are.
Amy Cowen is a content marketing strategist who specializes in maximizing the commercial impact of the content. She manages her own team of content writers at Aussiewriter and contributes to different sites and blogs. Feel free to contact her on Twitter
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