One of the skills that global business leaders have had to learn from COVID is how to manage a remote team. Whether your team is offshore or onshore, or you’re working remotely or from an office, there are a few things you can do to effectively manage and motivate your staff wherever they are.
As a top outsourcing provider in the Philippines, Cloudstaff is an industry leader when it comes to managing remote teams. With an innovative outsourcing platform, we help remove the challenges of working with offshore staff by providing real-time visibility, effective communication and full control of your team.
It’s important to have a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t. To make remote working a success, here are five skills, tools and techniques you need to master.
- I’m here
Many people often underestimate the value of a morning greeting when they see the happy, smiling faces of their colleagues when they get to work. It helps create cohesive, collaborative teams that form a work community that really benefits the workplace in general. You need to encourage the same comradery with remote workforces. Remote teams are really embracing video and instant chat for keeping connected. Real-time meeting platforms like Google chat, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Rocket chat can really help. These tools often allow integrations to enhance the chat experience. Cloudstaff’s MyStaff tool can integrate with many chat platforms to automatically update staff about key events. For example, if your remote staff clock in for the day, it sends a message that is automatically posted into your chat channel so everyone can say ‘hi’ when they get to work.
- Where are you?
Knowing the current status of your workforce is key when working with remote teams. In an office environment you can easily see who is at their desk, but it is a little harder when working with remote teams. Cloudstaff’s MyStaff performs this function when working with remote staff by showing you where people are at the moment, who is on a holiday break, or who has called in sick. You can easily monitor their work schedules, location, and status.
- Let’s chat
The Daily Huddle is such a critical process in remote team management but is often overlooked. Scheduling a quick catch-up—via Skype, Zoom, Google Meet, etc.—allows you to get updates on important tasks and projects. It doesn’t have to be long but the key is to do it every day.
Here’s an extra tip! If you’re going to schedule an 8:00am meeting, it’s better to set a slightly off time like 8:03am because to some people, 8:00am means 8:05 or 8:10. Selecting a slightly off time like 8:03 helps reinforce to your staff that your meeting is really set at the said time.
- Turn it on
Turn on your camera during your online meetings—this is hugely important. Don’t let people hide in the meeting. Saying yes to the camera enables you to effectively communicate with your remote team to accomplish projects successfully. You get to see their expressions or reactions and it helps to ensure that they understand everything that needs to be done or what’s been discussed. Every Cloudstaffer has a PC and camera, and if they don’t or they have issues on their equipment, they can simply press a button on their mobile phones. We have an SLA for getting it fixed.
- Break the ice
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to managing remote teams is how to get everyone engaged. During your scheduled online meeting, icebreaker questions are an excellent strategy to get things off to a great start. Everyone will feel more relaxed and at the same time, they get to test and make sure that their video and audio are working well. This helps to avoid being told, “You’re on mute,” “We can’t hear you,” or “Your microphone is crackly,” especially when you’re in the middle of a serious discussion.
Here are some of the icebreakers that we use at Cloudstaff:
- If you could be a superhero, what superpower would you like to have?
- What do you consider as your greatest achievement before turning 18?
- What was the first ever concert you went to?
- If you’re stranded on a desert island and have the option of bringing three items with you, what three items would they be?
- If you could have any celebrity over for dinner, who would it be and why?
If you have big teams, you can still use icebreakers by getting people to jump into a breakout room.
Looking for other outsourcing tips and strategies?
Cloudstaff’s outsourcing experts are always available to help. We’ve been setting up teams of outsourced staff in the Philippines for over 10 years for companies of all sizes. From helping you get started, to fine-tuning high-performance teams, we are always happy to share our experience with you. Speak with us today.