Remote management can be stressful for both manager and reportee so here are some tips that should help both parties.
This is a topic which is close to my own heart as I manage a national HR recruitment team from an office in Cork, while my team is located across offices in Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Here are some tips that help to make remote management simple, pleasant and more efficient.
While all team members need to show initiative you can multiply this requirement by two when hiring someone for a remotely managed team. Initially, you will be on site quite a lot but once the person has settled in they will need to be resourceful.
Have a plan and try to stick to it. Don’t forget to communicate this plan to your team and senior management. There should be no surprises – people should know where you are! Also, try to see your team members in person on a weekly basis, if possible.
These minutes need to include an action plan with an agreed time frame. Minutes should go out on a regular basis and in a consistent fashion.
This should be done both formally and informally. Pick up the phone to say “hi, how are things” without a business agenda.
You may not be in the office to see the extra hours being clocked up. Other managers in the business should / could tip you off to the extra hours being done. It is really important to acknowledge and praise any“above and beyond" effort.
Icy, wet and windy road conditions can interrupt even the most organised of people. At times you need to go with your gut. If you think that it is too dangerous to drive then don't. Your team will understand this valid reason.
A quarterly get-together is important to consider how things are going, areas that require focus and most importantly to celebrate the wins and to plan ahead.
Be open to feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding how the National team could operate more efficiently. This will hopefully help to build the engagement of the team.
Put the key measures in place, set the expectations and if you have the right people in your team, you should be able to trust that they are following the grand plan.