It today’s world working with remote teams has become a norm. A remote team could be a team of your own employees that are located in a location other than your main office. It can be some employees that work from home or from other offices. Or it could be a team you have setup offshore.
IT companies build teams globally to achieve business and financial goals. Your ability to manage those teams is what will differentiate you from another failed outsourcing initiative.
Managing those virtual team starts with establishing trust with all the employees. Having confidence in your remote workers will propel them to the top. The first task is to create effective and beneficial interactions within those teams and between your local and remote groups.
The following few items will help you build and manage your virtual teams.
- Setup regular team meetings. Make sure you have some periodic scheduled meeting both with your remote and local members. Having both sides hear the same message is important in building trust. Remember you manage one large team with multiple locations.
- Find ways to communicate visually. Don’t count just on written communication and don’t limit yourself to only audio. Find ways to use visual interactions. It today’s world it’s easy and cheap. You can find few recommendations on tools in my other article on how to improve communication by using simple technology.
- Interact with every employee directly. You probably have a local manager running your remote team. Don’t limit your interactions to just talking to that one person. Talk to you remote employees as frequently as you do with your local people. When employees feel that they are an equal part of your operation they will be a lot more creative and will be committed to your success.
- Set and communicate mutual expectations. From day one of operations agree with your remote employees on what your expectation is of them. That should include their work hours, communication methods, reporting frequency and style, as well as all other points. Don’t stop at setting just their standards. You should also agree on what they expect from you and from your local team. You are building a relationship that is mutual and equal on both sides.
- Share your vision. Don’t just ask your remote employees to blindly follow you. Trust them. Share your vision and goals. Don’t treat them as incompetent or as children. They will go out of their way to help you succeed if they feel they are an equal part of your team.
Agreeing on mutual expectations is a key to make your relationship open and equal. Setting your expectation will ensure easier time when time comes to solve misunderstandings and conflicting.
Building trust between teams is of high importance. Managers and leaders must be inspiring and passionate to invoke the best in their teams and allow them to deliver at their full potential.