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Remote teams is a new concept to some, but is very common to others. Many companies have used virtual assistants and other outsourced employees for years and others have kept all of their employees in house. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly created a remote workforce mindset shift that is creating interest in building, training, and managing remote teams. Building the team isn’t terribly hard however, managing a team can be difficult. Managing a team in person is hard and remote is even harder. Here are five challenges to managing a remote team and how to address them:

Challenges

  1. Training – training someone in person can be difficult. Training someone remotely can be even more difficult.
  2. Measurement – you have to find a way to measure performance. If we are all in the office together, you can physically see if I am working or not. In a remote setting we must add metrics to ensure that we are maximizing productivity across the workforce.
  3. Communication – clear communication is always important. When we are communicating over phone, video, or email, it is even more important.
  4. Process – in a remote work environment, processes must be very well defined to maximize your ability to train and manage your remote team.  Bad processes usually equal bad outcomes
  5. QA – In the office it’s easy to walk over and check someone else’s work to make sure they are doing the correct thing. Managing QA remotely requires more coordination and defined processes and metrics.

How to Address

Training – conduct screen share training with remote employees and either create a manual for them or make them create a training manual. Usually when someone writes something down, they learn faster and retain more knowledge. There should also be a certification process that follows training to ensure that the remote team is prepared to go live.

Measurement – create key performance indicators for important parts of each function. If you are looking to optimize customer experience, your remote customer service reps should be measured on calls answered, average handle time, etc.

Communication – take pride in your messaging. Whether that’s through email, zoom, or phone, really think about what you are trying to achieve with your message.

Process – take the time to define and codify your processes. Every one of our employees works with the client to clearly define the process and creates a manual so that it is codified into memory and can be easily referenced.

QA – To have good QA, you need good metrics and good data. That’s the first step. The next step is giving good, constructive feedback early and often. As someone gets more proficient at their task you can lower the feedback and QA frequency.

If you have any more questions about how to manage a remote team check out our management insights at https://www.connext.solutions/management-lab/.

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