✋ 5 common mistakes that remote teams leaders are making
To succeed in your projects, it is essential to work with a motivated, united and productive team. However, many managers have to manage teams with collaborators not necessarily working on the same site, whether they are teleworking, abroad or posted in different subsidiaries at the national level. And the pandemic has only accentuated this phenomenon of remote management.
Team leaders therefore face many challenges in managing their teams despite the distance. If you are in this situation, discover five common mistakes that can endanger teams working remotely, and the solutions to avoid them.
1. Difference in treatment
When working with a hybrid team, where some employees are face-to-face and others telework, it can happen that, unconsciously or not, you make differences between employees. For example, you will use the pronoun “them” for remote workers and “we” for people present in the office. This type of attitude is harmful for several reasons:
This involuntarily devalues employees working from home, in particular by implying that they work less because they are not present in the company;
It contributes to driving a wedge between members of the same team and breaks team cohesion;
Tensions and negative behaviors (feeling of injustice, frustration, etc.) are likely to develop and relationships will deteriorate.
As a remote team leader, you need to foster respect and encourage the building of healthy relationships within your team. To do this, you must treat all of your team members equally, regardless of where they work.
2. Not trusting your remote team
The question of trust is central when you manage, and even more so when you have to manage a remote team. Overcontrol is a fatal error. Because it is an illusion to think that we can control everything. Being an overly present manager is counterproductive. Thus, multiplying videoconferences or phone calls to ensure that all team members are in front of their computer will have a deleterious effect on everyone's productivity. It’s a waste of time and evidence of a lack of trust.
Videoconferences must be justified by a specific agenda and kept brief. In addition, everyone's schedules may differ because you do not manage your time in the same way in remote work as in face-to-face. Each team member has individual constraints that must be taken into account. Rest times must also be respected so as not to pressure team members and respect everyone's privacy.
3. Limit contacts to the professional aspect
When you work in your company's offices, you go to the coffee machine, you have lunch with colleagues. You have discussions that go beyond the professional sphere. You get to know each other, to trust each other. Furthermore, you create a bond, a connection.
These are absolutely essential. A company is first and foremost a group of women and men who must trust each other and want to share a business project.
Managers who limit their contact with their collaborators on purely professional matters contribute to breaking the link that they have with their company. So, as a remote team leader, you must maintain “extra-professional” contact to keep building a strong relationship.
4. Lack of feedback
Remotely, some team members are working without others being aware of their progress. But the remote manager is like an air traffic controller! He must converge everyone's experience in one place so that it is known to all. It has a real role in promoting everyone's experience. The remote team leader is a contact facilitator between all the members of his team.
Be attentive to the needs of your employees, and ask them to give you regular updates on the progress of their tasks. Give them also feedback on their daily work, in a formal and informal way. And do not forget to ask them to give you some feedback on your way of working, and especially on how things can be improved. Set up a feedback system that will benefit you and your team.
5. Manage everything by email
Many remote team leaders like to send emails, for everything, all the time. No videoconference, no phone calls, no asynchrone collaboration! If you keep sending emails, most of the time, you will lose human contact with your team. And the lost of human contact between co-workers has real consequences on the wellbeing and productivity of your team.
Always prioritise a quick call or message, or start working asynchronously. You will see, the communication is actually more effective! You may also consider creating a virtual office for your team so that you can easily go and spontaneously talk to them.
Managing a remote team is a real challenge for the manager. To keep his team efficient and motivated, he must adjust his management style and avoid these 5 mistakes that can seriously affect the proper functioning of his team. The remote team leader must also rely on appropriate tools for transparent collaboration and communication.
WorkAdventure, for example, is very practical for monitoring the progress of your projects as well as the performance of your remote team. You communicate directly with your employees, wherever they are. Try it for free now!