Remote Team Management: A Full Guide to Making Your Virtual Team Happy

Good team culture is much like a good sports team. You have a rockstar team that is ready to jump in through thick and thin. Strong leadership and coaching calling the shots. The try and true rituals from start to finish. While many believe that this culture requires face-to-face interaction on a regular cadence, that’s not truly the case. With remote work increasing year-over-year and changes in the current landscape, as seen with the onset of COVID-19 in changing work-from-home culture entirely, we are at the forefront of major change. Making sure your remote teams still embrace a strong culture is crucial to growth, productivity and professional development for everyone involved. So, in managing the day to day changes in the telecommuting landscape, these are the three tips to build and grow your remote team’s work culture.

Hire a Team Where Everybody Feels like a Rock Star
It seems like a straightforward task, to get the best work you have to have the best team? But, within a remote work culture, your best team can be located across the globe. When hiring, take into consideration the diverse individuals and viewpoints you are bringing onto your team and how they will contribute to your culture. Are you bringing on team members who are all located in the same region? Are there ways to push beyond the standard and find new teammates from the larger hiring pool?

When you are onboarding new employees who will be working remotely, support them early and often. Make sure to take the time to introduce them individually to the rest of the team, preferably with a video call to make it more personable.

Culture starts with the first hire. Make sure that you create an even playing field when hiring and promote a culture of team building and togetherness. So, as your team continues to grow, they will feel more encouraged to contribute to the overall culture.

Create Inclusivity across Channels
Even before the days of social distancing, it has always been extremely important to ensure that your team feel engaged and connected. Establishing channels early on for your remote team to stay in touch regularly is the first way to do that. There are many streamline platforms beyond email and phone such as Slack and Zoom, designed with the work-from-home future in mind.

Once you the means of communication set up, make sure that your team feels included the same way they would in person. Hold group huddles digitally and setting up the cadence of conversation so you avoid the awkward talking over each other moments. Allow for everyone in your team to feel represented, giving credit for those who have made big accomplishments digitally that would normally be celebrated in person.

Create avenues for offering and engaging your team with encouragement and emotional support. Many new remote teams may have experienced a sudden shift into a new work-from-home lifestyle where to speaking intimately with their leadership in a non-office environment is a challenge. Set up a time for your employees to have a daily check in or virtual office hours to talk about things beyond the day to day tasks. Using this time to encourage self-care among your team, discuss long term professional development goals in a remote environment or whatever makes sense for you to promote one-on-one inclusivity among your team.

Show Employee Praise in Unique Ways
It can be hard doing your day to day work, managing projects, getting on and off phone calls to find the time to highlight your team’s accomplishments, no matter how big or small. While you can take the time to set up calendar reminders, manage multiple Slack channels, and have a whole separate notebook dedicated to just employee encouragement. But, finding ways to highlight your new and existing teammates doesn’t have to be complicated. Our engagement platform was designed to help you with just that. Between highlighting employee achievements in a snap, creating a space to share in the overall team culture and even team messaging blast for the bigger events like birthdays and holidays, we have you covered. No matter what way you go about it, finding the ways to encourage your team is the key to maintaining a happy, healthy and productive remote team.

About the Author: Derek Hawkins
Derek Hawkins is a Technical SEO and Content Marketing specialist with a focus on innovations in the search and HR-tech space. Currently, he is a Sr. Search and Linguistics Analyst for MRM//McCann, working with clients such as the US Army, The United States Postal Service, Reckitt Benckiser, and Honeywell.