As a remote employee, there is nothing quite like finding the perfect company to work with. Being able to find a place where remote employees, like myself, can use our skills and grow feels like Cinderella finally slipping on that glass slipper. It feels as though good companies that inspire employees to stay and develop are few and far between. According to LinkedIn, the top reason employees quit is due to a manager issue. However, this can easily be avoided with just a few minor adjustments. With these little changes, every company has the potential to be that perfect place for employees to flourish.
Here are a few things every remote employee wishes their manager did:
Practice Open Communication
In all relationships, open communication is always a key factor in terms of moving things forward. This includes the relationship that managers build with their employees. In a remote work setting, open and honest communication is especially important to ensure things are running smoothly. Encouraging your team to have a voice will not only help in clearing up any misunderstandings on tasks and processes but will strengthen your bond as a team.
Establish an SOP
One of the things that I appreciate the most, as a remote employee, is when managers take time to create a standard operating procedure. An SOP helps keep remote employees as well as the projects you and your employees are working on on the right track. Having something to look at as a guide lessens the feelings of uncertainty when doing routine and specific tasks. This will then make tasks quicker and easier to complete.
Effectively Use a Project Management System
In line with having a standard operating procedure, having a project management system is a great addition to your remote employee’s work tools. Verbally listing tasks during a meeting is sometimes not enough. An article in Healthline discusses how human memory is often unreliable. The article further discussed that while we are able to retain the gist of the whole experience, our memory tends to lose the details. Having a project management system in place will not only serve as a To-Do list but will also help you identify what tasks to prioritize first.
The best part is you don’t need to design one yourself. There are tons of free project management software out there today like Asana and Trello. They even have mobile apps you can easily download on your phone so you can delegate, organize, and check tasks on the go. Project management systems, when used effectively, will establish accountability for both parties, get tasks done, and push the project forward without getting the details lost in the process.
Trust Your Employees
When all the training has been done, allow your team some space to grow. Trusting them enough to complete their tasks and make decisions without you micromanaging them. Micromanagement creates an atmosphere of uncertainty where employees are afraid to think and work outside the box due to the fear of getting reprimanded. While functioning just within the box that you set for them might seem productive, in the long run, this causes burn out and decreases productivity.
Instead of micromanaging, strive to be a manager that employees can look to for guidance. Encourage them to make decisions for the tasks that you have laid out on the project management system. Encourage ideas and suggestions as well. After all, if you are confident that you have trained them well and set out great SOP’s why waste time monitoring their every move?
Practice Giving Positive Feedback
When working on a task, I prefer getting feedback rather than nothing at all. Giving and receiving feedback should not be viewed as something negative. People are bound to make mistakes and a little guidance goes a long way. When giving feedback, think of the delivery and how it would be received by your team. Take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. Does the feedback sound more like a piece of advice to be better or is it just merely nitpicking what is wrong with the task? Aim for criticism that is constructive. Recognize the good points first, then tell them what they did incorrectly, and lastly, offer a solution. That way, next time they encounter the same issue, they will remember the positive feedback rather than recall the time they got reprimanded by the boss.
Bonus: Provide Further Training
With the help of a good team, your company has nowhere else to go but move forward. When your company grows it means that there will be new opportunities for your team. Whenever possible, offer opportunities for further training. Allow your team to grow along with your company. This helps your employees avoid feelings of stagnation in the workplace. As an employee, further training helps me feel satisfied in the workplace and allows me to look back to where I first started and see where I am now. This will make your team feel that they are an integral part of this growth.
Being a good manager, like all things, is a learning process. Hopefully, these tips will help you establish a good rapport with your team and build a work environment that employees look forward to and enjoy being in. Here at Hire Like Fire, we strive to help managers as well as remote employees get the best of both worlds. Check out what we do here.