Running a Successful Remote Team 

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Defining Micromanagement

 

If you’re a manager of any kind, you may be sitting in a place of leadership with the task of drawing new levels of success out of others and building a winning remote team. This is going to excite or scare you, maybe even both. You are looking for innovative and creative ways to help them excel, but what you don’t want to do is fall into the trap of micromanagement. You will also need tools that help your team run smoothly, efficiently and have clear data pictures. 

First, let’s start by defining micromanagement. It is a management style where a manager closely observes or controls the work of subordinates or employees. Micromanagement generally has a negative connotation and can feel much like smothering to the employee. Three big dangers of micromanagement are loss of trust, dependent employees and your own burnout.

 

Loss of Trust

 

Trust is imperative to success in any relationship. The professional setting is not outside of that boundary. To build a cohesive, winning team they must trust you, be close enough to feel the passion of your vision but far enough away to grow in their own gifts and talents. By micromanaging them, you will dwindle their self-confidence, plant seeds of frustration instead of encouragement, and show them that you don’t trust them to do their job. 

 

Dependent Employees

 

Micromanaging also forms dependent employees. Your staff will start to depend on you for every task, every decision, and you will lose productivity, growth, and efficiency. The full-spectrum rainbow of ideas that pours out of a group of people striving for a common goal will be lost.

 

Getting Burned Out

 

A highly overlooked danger of micromanaging is your own burnout. Let’s start with the basics. If the vision that burns so brightly in your mind takes 25 people to bring it to life and an array of talent, then it is clear that by attaching yourself to every facet of the operation will divide your energy 25 times. This is not possible to withstand, you will be burning the wick at both ends. Remember you are the leader and as you begin to fizzle out, you are also stomping the flame of all of those beneath you.

 

Staying on Track Remotely 

 

There are many tools available that will help you successfully monitor and run your team remotely. These can help ensure proper workflow, encourage productive time-management, build confidence and keep the gears of your company running like a well-oiled machine. At FMTC I manage the data processing team of 30-50 workers adjusting seasonally, spanning over multiple projects by using precise data and reportable KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

 

Setting Goals

 

In collaboration with other departments at FMTC, I set goals and minimums for deals processed per hour and adjust these to reflect the time to handle different types of deals. Reports are run weekly to make sure everyone stays on track to hit month-end targets and allow for any needed training to be quickly highlighted on specific projects. Having a clear data picture helps to manage the team at a distance and alerts you quickly if there are any wheels on your train of success that fall off track.

 

Communicate Plans

 

It is also important to have clear action plans, strong communication and be able to recognize if an employee is not aligning with the core values of your company or is struggling with working remotely. Training is also designed specifically for the needs of the team and because it is built in-house it is ever-evolving. We recognize different learning styles and offer one-on-one screen share training, written directions, visual presentations as well as videos and quizzes to ensure understanding.

 

Track Activity Percentages

 

The activity percentage is tracked while workers are clocked in and targets are set per project, badges can be won and are given for high performing workers. This large umbrella of data reporting and checking produces efficiency and confidence throughout the company as well as with our clients. Here at FMTC, we are able to check, monetize and provide our clients with over 50,0000 up-to-date offers from thousands of merchants every month using these practices and tools. 

 

Slack

 

When you can’t all be in the same room Slack can be your meeting place, team organizer, and will help your team collaborate and coordinate their work no matter where they are. It can be used as a check-in for shifts, group and private messaging, set reminders, send notifications, or even start a video or voice conference call on the fly. 

 

Trello

 

This is a noteworthy project management tool for remote teams. Trello is interactive, easy to use, a flexible and creative “brain dumping” ground for brainstorming and planning. It works in real-time and can give you a great visual representation of projects that will look like in the form of tasks and can also help organize and prioritize what needs to be done first.

 

Zoom

 

This is a great tool for meetings and can be used with video on or off. Having regular team meetings can help protect the unity of the team and remind everyone that we are all real people working together for the same goal. It is easy to schedule meetings and connects to your G-Suite account where it will set the time aside on your calendar. 

 

G-Suite

 

This is the perfect combination of tools that will aid in the success of your team. From email, spreadsheets, visual presentations, documents, team and personal calendars, hangouts, and more G-Suite is your go-to toolbox. At FMTC we have precautions in place to secure everyone’s data and privacy, we have a lock on Google Drive so that only our team members can access it. 

 

Bonusly

 

This is a well-loved tool for encouraging team collaboration, improving morale and giving everyone the ability to share in lifting each other up and saying thank you in a bonus sort of way! Bonusly helps the team have a sense of a common purpose, provides instant gratification and feedback. 

 

Hubstaff

 

A time tracking and monitoring system that will improve productivity and optimize business processes. It is easy to use, highly configurable, includes screenshots for employee monitoring as well as reports activity percentages. 

 

Freshworks

 

This user friendly program helps our customer support team be more strategic with a platform that delivers superior ROI while giving our agents the tools to deliver a great customer experience. The ticketing and reporting system allows for KPI trackables as well the ability to loop in other departments in the company. 

 

Monitors

 

At FMTC we send out external monitors after the employee has passed through the probationary period. We have found that this not only boosts morale but also improves data processing efficiency. Building a sense of unity and employee importance in a remote environment can be more challenging than your typical office setting but small gestures like this can make a dynamic impact. Take time to step back, breathe, and get excited about rich soil that you have to produce amazing things from.

 

Also, realize that your team can handle their tasks without you micromanaging them. Make sure you have clear data reports in place so that you can see and set goals for the work produced by your team. Encourage and reward them regularly but also have clear action steps outlined when things go outside of your core values or team mission. Feel confident in the tools, example, and training that you have provided and let them shine in an interactive remote working environment!