Top 9 Tips for Managing Remote Staff

We all know that managing remote staff can be challenging because we can’t see them every day. However, just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean that they aren’t producing great work.

We thought you may enjoy these managerial tips from some of the best: Enjoy!

1. Know the Different Between Skill and Will
There are two main reasons for underperformance: a skill gap or a will gap. A skill gap is easy to close through coaching, training, and support. A will gap is more difficult to close. You need to take time to dig into your employee’s motivation. Do they understand how their work fits into the big picture? Is there something blocking them? It’s your job as a leader to find out.

2. Be Specific
The quality of your input directly impacts the quality of your output. If you ask a team member to review a process and share their thoughts, it will be hard to know whether they have offered their best ideas. A better framework is to explain why it’s important, what your concerns are, who the customer is, how you think it could be better, and when you’d like it to be completed. A power move is to ask for input, then lead with: “Specifically, I would like you to look at XYZ.” These extra 10 minutes of work will help you drill down into what you really want from your employee and increase the quality of their feedback tenfold.

3. Explain the Why
Sure, you need to explain what needs to be done and provide guidance on how to do it. But the most important goal is to gain buy-in from your team. You achieve it by outlining why something is important. A project, that can easily drag on for weeks, can be finished in hours by a motivated staff member. As a leader, you choose your own adventure.

4. Take Ownership… and Action
As a leader, you need to relate to your team as your customer. If they point out a problem, it’s your responsibility to solve it. Make sure you understand the problem first by speaking it back to your team. Then regularly update your team on your progress, and close the loop by offering a solution.

Check in frequently
Don’t wait until a quarterly or annual review to give feedback on team performance. Regular check-ins and performance updates will help your team to stay motivated and on course.

5.Get Help When You Need To
This is an easy step, but often neglected.   If you work in an organization of any size, help is everywhere.  Get perspective on a difficult employee from someone whose judgment you trust.   This could be anyone: a Human Resources contact, a mentor, your own manager, a colleague.  During my years in management I went to all of these people at different times to seek opinions when employee issues arose.   It isn’t a sign of weakness.  It’s sensible judgment.  I found Human Resources especially helpful and made a point of establishing close working relationships with individuals – regardless of rank – who I felt were especially capable.  I never for a moment regretted it.

6. Set Clear Measurable Job Objectives: It’s a Matter of Fact, Not Debate, Whether or Not Your Employees Have Reached Their Performance Targets
I often write about the importance of objectives in the management process, but that’s only because I feel well-conceived targets are so valuable and so neglected.  Why would you not want to have crystal-clear goals that you and your employees could refer to often to make sure they’re on track?  It makes evaluating performance more concrete and less nebulous.  When a problematic employee isn’t achieving goals, you have something totally tangible to discuss.  I’d always rather argue data than opinion.

7. Provide More Feedback Than You Think Is Necessary
What Makes a Good Leader
80% of employees claim that they do not get enough feedback whilst 80% of managers claim they give enough feedback.
Informal or impromptu feedback is one of the strongest drivers of a high performing culture, especially when your feedback relates the employee’s performance with your business goals and the employee’s personal aspirations.

To discover how to give the type of feedback that will supercharge your culture and put you on track to build a high performing culture, click here

8. Communicate, Communicate, and Communicate
What Makes a Good Leader
You need to provide significantly more communication than your people need to do their job.

As a leader, in addition to enabling your people to do their job you need to create a sense of purpose for your people, providing reason and context for their work. Then there is our innate need” to know what is going on around us, so let your people know what other parts of your business are doing, only then will they feel like a part of the business.

9. Thank Your People for Their Suggestions
What Makes a Good Leader
Listen to your employee’s suggestions and then thank them for making a suggestion. Let them know that you value suggestions and the people that make them.

The best part about is we provide you with the training and tools to help you manage remote staff. Want to know more? Book a call with us to see how we can assist you.

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