In theory, managing an offsite team shouldn’t be much different from managing an in-house. After all, you’re still bringing different personalities together to achieve common goals.
But, as a leading recruiting agency, Peoplelink knows that in practical terms, managing employees who work in different locations can be far different from supervising those on-site, posing a variety of challenges as a result.
To help you keep your offsite employees on track, here are some tips to follow:
Communicate openly and often.
Those on offsite teams can sometimes feel like they’re out of the loop because of physical distance. They also may not feel as strong of a rapport with their manager because they don’t see each other on a daily basis.
For those reasons, it’s critical to ensure that just because your employees are out of sight, they are not out of mind. One way to do that is to set up a weekly group conference calls with the team, and then check in with individual workers throughout the week. If your employees feel like you are invested in their success, they will stay more engaged.
Establish clear milestones.
Offsite employees typically work well independently and will have a strong work ethic in place to ensure they get the job done. However, it’s still your job to keep them motivated and hitting project milestones by outline clear goals and delivery dates.
Keep in mind too, the feedback you give on progress must be specific, timely and action oriented. This will keep projects moving along and your team hitting its goals.
Pick up the phone.
Email is a great tool for a quick note to check in or to follow up. But for more important matters, pick up the phone. An email written too quickly or carelessly could be misconstrued by the recipient, causing issues to ensue. Plus, if you’re discussing sensitive issues, a phone call is the way to go.
Deal with conflicts immediately.
When issues do arise, you must address them head on. Take a look at the composition of your team and the assignments you’re handing out and identify if any of these areas need to be tweaked. Ask your team members about the situation and where they see the source of the conflict coming from.
Ultimately, it’s important for them to feel like their voice is being heard and that you’re doing something to address the problem.
The most important aspect of managing offsite employees is to make them feel like they are part of a team. By doing so, you will gain more insight into their daily progress, gain and build trust, and produce the best results.
If you need help hiring for your team – offsite or in-house – call Peoplelink. As a leading recruiting agency, we can source, screen, interview and help you hire candidates that are the best fit for your organization.