How to Build an Effective Remote Working Team?

How to Build an Effective Remote Working Team?

With remote working becoming a common place at most of the companies, there are new challenges that come with remote working model that needs to be addressed. Recruiters need to be more meticulous in selecting the right remote talent that fits into the company culture. So, finding right employees to work in remote work environment is not sufficient. Recruiters and hiring managers have to ensure that remote employees get on-boarded effectively to make them productive.

So, how do we manage remote teams effectively to deliver desired productivity? How do we make sure that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and aligned with the remote team? How do we motivate remote team?

Here are some proven tips that can help in creating and managing remote teams effectively:

  1. Establish well defined on-boarding processes:

Once the right remote employee has been shortlisted, there should be clearly defined on-boarding process that highlights company vision, key contacts in all teams, playbooks and communication tools to collaborate effectively with peers and cross functional teams to deliver as per job responsibilities.

  1. Establish a Communication Norm:

Create new norms for effective communication utilizing technology & tools. For example, companies such as Merck have created acronyms for their digital communications like “Four Hour Response (4HR)” and “No Need to Respond (NNTR)” that bring predictability and certainty to virtual conversations. Individual teams can also establish their own norms — e.g., to use or not use Slack, Google Docs, or Whatsapp groups. (Source: HBR)

  1. Encourage Transparency:

Clearly articulate company’s vision and goals and align your remote team to company’s objectives. Set clear expectations and as manager or leader, lead the team by example. Be open and transparent in sharing feedbacks and let team share their opinions and suggestions.

  1. Communicate Regularly

Communication is the key to keep the remote team in line with the company’s goals. Leverage technology and tools like Slack, Google hangouts and others to meet regularly as a team and in one-on-one meetings. As a manager, keep your calendar shared with your team so that they can book the time for the meeting. Also, set agendas for regular meetings with clear expectations to make it more productive.

  1. In-person Meetups

Companies who embrace remote working model should ensure that they meetup in-person atleast once or twice a year with all employees to know each, build bonding within and cross functional team and get all employees align to company’s goals. Additionally, frequent small team level meetups should be planned for team cohesion and to boost productivity.