11 Tips for Effectively Managing Remote Employees
In this rapidly growing business world, remote work recruitment is a very common thing. But managing remote work isn’t as easy as it seems. Here are the basic challenges faced by remote work recruiters and a shortlist of easy solutions to overcome them. If you are a remote recruitment agency, remote employee manager, or a manager who has to handle distant employees due to the pandemic, this article is for you, so go ahead and read it!
Challenges in managing distant employees
Having distant or remote employees have become essential to many businesses worldwide. A remote workforce comes with a number of advantages. But as every coin has two sides remote work recruiters have to face certain challenges too.
Maintaining distant employees is hard, be it handling a team of distant recruits or a number of separate individuals. Many-a-times, lack of face-to-face communication, understanding current employee work circumstances becomes a bit challenging and prove to be a barrier to working smoothly. Working alone in one’s private workspace may lead to loneliness and stress. Recruiters must take this factor into consideration and try to overcome it.
A remote recruiter provide adequate information helping employers and their remote employees get satisfactory results. Provisions need to be made, giving workers access to information as and when they require. Distant employees, especially the ones working from home, may face distractions during work hours, which could easily interrupt the work-flow. Employers and recruiters need to take all these factors into consideration and learn to manage remote employees efficiently.
Remote recruitment agencies are recruiting workers all over the world. Rapidly expanding business demands remote workforces. Sometimes it is convenient to outsource some work in order to focus on the core subject. These are a few of the many reasons why remote workers are employed. The current pandemic has forced so many employees to work from home, making it a new norm. But in order to manage the distant employees successfully, here are a few tips and tricks every manager or distant employee recruiter is advised to follow.
Essential steps in managing a remote workforce
1. Provide clear guidelines and establish basic rules of engagement
Remote work recruiters need to have a set of basic rules and SMART goals established for the employees. It makes work easy for both the parties, the recruiter as well as the employee. Setting these rules and goals imbibes a sense of duty in the employees towards the organization. It also tests the professionalism of the employees. Some standardized work patterns need to be set so that employees know how to address any problem from a technical one to a project issue quickly and efficiently.
Distant employees often complain that they lack access to the necessary information required to work. It is the prime duty of remote employee managers to provide all the guidelines related to work. Moreover, if an employee or a team of employees find it difficult to complete a task, it is the responsibility of the manager to guide them and provide the necessary knowledge.
Doing so will develop a trusting and helpful atmosphere between the employer and the recruits, boosting the overall remote work efficiency.
2. Be organised but flexible
There should be an organized schedule for every remote employee. Managers should see to it that each remote recruit has the work schedule planned out well in advance. This gives the employer and the employee a clear idea of workload and overloading the employees can be avoided. It is also advisable to plan out the weekly and monthly meetings. Employers should request daily updates from the recruits.
Each employee is an asset to the company or business. Therefore along with maintaining a schedule, managers sometimes need to be a bit flexible with the recruits as it is hard to determine the working conditions of the distant employee. Employers need to understand that sometimes due to a technical glitch, family, or personal commitments, etc., recruits might need flexible working hours. In such cases, the manager needs to be understanding. Such flexibility wins employee trust and motivates them to go the extra mile for the company when needed.
3. Stop micromanagement and start trusting the employees
Trust is the base of every relationship. Employers need to trust the distant recruits with the work assigned to them. Every recruit is skilled in his own task; managers need not interfere in each small detail behind the working. Rather focus on the bigger picture. Trusting the employees gives a sense of responsibility to the employees.
Micromanaging everything can be irritating and sometimes display mistrust. Instead, allot the work to the employees and provide clean instructions in a way that they can perform the work in an efficient manner. Study shows that a person is more efficient in working when given the freedom to work in his own style. It allows the free flow of creativity and independent thinking.
4. Establish daily check-ins and track the progress
Many successful remote managers adopt a daily calling or reporting system (whatever you prefer) to establish daily contact with remote employees. These reports should be to track the progress of work. These reports or calls should be predictable and crafted in such a way that an employee finds it easy to approach the manager via these calls/ emails.
These daily check-ins can also be done on specialized platforms or company-backed social media group chats and calls. It is convenient and user-friendly.
5. Communication is the key
Communication is a must between the employer and the team of remote employees if their work is closely interlinked. It is the duty of the employer to establish the most advanced and fast means of communication between everyone. Employees must be able to talk to each other anytime during working hours whenever needed.
Doing this not only ensures smooth working but also improves productivity levels as queries can be solved on-time. Multiple ways of communication should be simultaneously used as there need to be options available in urgent cases if one form of communication fails. Having a conference call or video call with the employees or the whole team on a regular basis provides an opportunity for everyone to know each one on a personal level. Which ultimately enhances collaboration, coordination, and the quality of work.
6. Listen, encourage, and support
In a number of scenarios, distant employees as well as the employees working from home are facing tremendous stress. They may not be able to voice it out. It is the prime responsibility of the recruiter to talk to the employees. Sometimes just a simple question like “How is the new work arrangement working for you?” may get some heart-full responses.
Employers are suggested to listen to the problems and provide encouragement. Saying stuff like “You are doing great” or “well done” may boost the confidence of the employees. Understand their particular work challenges and try to help them accordingly.
7. Maintain personal contact
Have a longer one-on-one conversation with the employees. Try to connect with them on a personal level. This may seem a waste of time at first, but practicing this will enrich your bonding with the recruits and give you a glimpse of their personal life, helping you to understand your employee better.
Employees who are single parents or who have some constant family responsibility may be able to open up to you in this form of communication, which may not be possible in a group. Keep yourself forever, approachable. No employee should hesitate to directly communicate with the manager. The one-on-one conversation shifts the course of communication to a friendly tone rather than a professional one. This makes employees feel assured and motivates them to give their best performance.
8. Set employee development plans
The development of employees on a professional and personal level is extremely important. Managers are advised to organize employee development courses or 1-2 day-long seminars in order to lift the morale of the employees in stressful times. Moreover, a change in the mundane work life is always welcomed.
Invite guest speakers and have such sessions at least once a month on any online platform. Encourage all the employees to attend and participate in these programs. Let the topics of these lectures vary. Instead of just having work-related seminars promote all over development.
9. Make sure a workspace is set up
Whenever we imagine a remote or work-from-home employee, we picture an individual working on the living room floor or on the sofa. A study says working in a non-professional place reduces working efficiency. Encourage employees to set up a special workspace. Maybe a table or an old desk. Anything will do as long as it is dedicated solely to work. This feels similar to working in an office cubicle and increases work efficiency.
10. Have online get-togethers and celebrate success
Celebrate festivals and any special occasion together on video conferences. This will feel like a mini virtual get-together where employees can bond as they would in any normal office environment. Try to make it feel as normal as it can. Don’t let distance come in your way. Celebrate the success of a project through virtual meets. Try to normalize the situation by connecting on special occasions.
11. Presents are powerful
If your business or organization has a custom of gifting employees on their good work or top performance scores, remote work recruiters can take it to the next level and send gifts to an employee’s doorstep. This will make the employee feel that his extra efforts and dedication has been considered and valued. This also encourages them to work hard and perform better.
If you are planning to employ remote workers, you are sure to benefit from the tips our remote recruitment agency provided. Not only will you have a better employment experience but also have some of the best recruits out there. These small tips really help the employers to engage well with the employees and build a more deep connection. You could try and see the results!
We are a remote recruitment agency and would be delighted to assist you in recruiting and managing remote teams. Please reach out to us if you would like to know more.