By Lauren | February 16, 2015 | 0 Comment
It’s 2015 and it is time to face reality, often times you may be managing staff and employees that aren’t necessarily in the same office as you. Whether they are across the country in another office, working from home, or have a job that involves them to be on the road, here are some tips I gathered from my past experience of managing a team offsite.
Being organized is key for the success of your team, and to maintain some sanity for yourself. Make sure that your team knows exactly what they are to be doing, where they can find anything they may need to do their job to the fullest, and what your goals and expectations of them are.
When I worked with a promotions team that would go out of office to promote our initiatives, I always set goals of how many people I wanted them to reach. I also would outline where they should be, and what they should be doing, this way at the end of their shifts I could check in with them and gather what’s working and what’s not. Plus make sure they were actually talking to enough people in their shifts.
Communication is key to managing an offsite team. Make yourself easily available through phone or email if they have any questions or issues, and make sure you are communicating with them your expectations. By keeping the communication open, there is less of a chance of confusing your staff, and they will feel more confident in their job.
All hands on deck
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help from your colleagues that may be onsite. For example: when I managed 3 teams in 3 different cities, I’d reach out to my colleagues to keep an eye on what my staff were doing and making sure they were executing their job 110%. Although this may seem like you aren’t trusting your staff, it is important to remember that you can’t be everywhere at once. Sometimes you need to count on other people to help be sure your team is leading your company to success, not burning your reputation or being unproductive because they know their manager isn’t watching.
As mentioned in communication, making sure the team is 110% aware of your expectations for them will help. When they are hired, be sure to properly train them and lay out the ground rules. Let them know what you expect from them at each shift and what sorts of things they should not be doing. By laying this out from day one, down the road you won’t run into the problem of your staff saying, “I was never told that.” Plus, it’s easy to lose site of expectations when your boss isn’t standing over you throughout your whole shifts, don’t be afraid to reiterate them.
Getting regular updates and status reports from your team can be crucial to garner what’s working, and what’s not, and also to figure out any problems you may have within your team. Maybe one team member seems to be exceeding their goals in 2 hours of their shift, but other team members can’t even achieve their goals in a 6 hour shift. Make sure to get regular updates on how your team is doing. Also, don’t forget to have regular meetings where you actually are onsite and get to chat with the team one to one.
Managing an offsite team doesn’t have to be as hard as you may think, but keep in mind that it takes a lot of organization and dedication. Anyone can just hire people and never follow-up or speak to them again, but to achieve a great manager to staff relationship, plus success within your company, you will want to be organized, and follow some of the above tips!