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Key Strategies for Hiring and Managing Your Remote Team

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By Tina Martin of Ideaspired

With the rise in popularity of Skype, Zoom, and other technologies that enable remote workers to meet face-to-face, working at a distance has become more popular and easier within the last decade. Team leaders should endeavor to recruit, hire, and manage their remote team in a similar way to how they would in person, but with a few important differences.

Utilize Remote Hiring Tools

Why not hire remotely too? Use Linkedin, video interviews, and an applicant tracking system to clearly communicate with your potential employees so that they know where they are in the hiring process. Having candidates submit resumes virtually through this type of system helps you keep track of everyone and let them know whether they've gotten the job - or whether they should look elsewhere.

Ensure Business Basics

If you're looking into a remote team for the first time, there is a good chance you're either expanding or starting anew. It's important to bear in mind that while remote workers are often less expensive than in-house staff, you will have different priorities budget-wise. For instance you need to ramp up your software choices so that you can keep everyone on the same page no matter where they work. Invoicing, timekeeping and the like can be more challenging when your team isn't punching a traditional timeclock, so one place you want to spend money is on well-chosen apps and appropriate cybersecurity.

Also, consider a limited liability company (LLC), which can help you separate your company's finances from your personal money. An LLC is an ideal choice for a growing company, since the structure allows businesses to take on partners and investors as needed. There are tax perks that come along with this choice, too, and while it sounds like it would be complicated to establish, it's simple to create an LLC using online tools. By limiting your personal liability and ensuring you have robust task and housekeeping software, you'll have your essentials in hand.

Use Product Management Software

This point can't be stressed enough: no amount of meetings, reminders, or micromanagement can replace a great project management dashboard or app. Monday.com, Trello, and Todoist are color-coded, streamlined, and easy to understand. Project Management Institute points out this type of software is essential for keeping everyone on the same page in a remote situation, since workers may complete their contributions to a project at different rates.

Stop Micromanaging

If you're transitioning to a remote managerial position from an in-person job - especially if you're a type-A individual, like many managers are - you may have to fight the urge to constantly check in to see if your employees are staying on task, meeting deadlines, and understanding your directives for the current project. Remember that you hired your employees for a reason and that they are likely competent. According to Peoplebox, the less you micromanage, the happier your employees will be.

Handle Conflict Individually

One tricky part of managing a remote situation involves employee conflict, since you may be hearing most of the information about an issue secondhand. If you are trying to sort out a problem between two employees, try speaking with them on the phone or on individual video calls before bringing them together. If an employee has a conflict with you, address it with them in a similar way so that it does not affect their work or the team morale.

Schedule Downtime

Office parties exist for a reason: team building and camaraderie make the workday experience better, more productive, and sometimes even more fun. Though coffee hours or remote game nights over Zoom may not sound like the most fun of activities, it's a good idea to get to know your team as people in addition to employees. Try holding a virtual trivia event or simply gather a group of coworkers to chat during a long-distance cocktail hour.

Remote work can take a while to get used to, and the task of managing a team from a distance, from the hiring stage to using a new project management dashboard, can seem insurmountable if you've never done it before. Thankfully, it gets easier with the right tools and the right mindset. Before long, you may find yourself loving remote work and wishing you'd started sooner.

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Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash 

Published Tuesday, April 06, 2021 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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