Effective communication is critical to success. For managers, working with a remote team can be a pressing issue. Can you communicate effectively with your employees virtually? How do you overcome communication challenges such as team collaboration or project coordination?
Specify all channels and their purpose. Video calls for in-depth discussions, instant messaging for quick updates or questions, emails for detailed explanations, guidance, or to discuss official business, and phone calls for emergencies. Set a tool for each method to avoid chaos.
When writing a message, use short and simple sentences rather than long, complex text. If something needs to be explained in more detail, use voice or video calls to avoid long, confusing written explanations. Watch your tone and review your message before hitting send.
Use project management tools to set goals, objectives and tasks. Assign tasks to specific people, set deadlines, and track progress to monitor task status and completion. Use Google Calendar to mark important dates, events and reminders so people know they have a task to complete.
Avoid calling or texting your employees too often, as this can distract and demoralize them and give the impression that you are trying to control them. Let them do their own tasks and trust that they can do so without your supervision.
Be reachable via messaging tools, as they can't just come to your office. Be available or online if they need to speak with you immediately. Be reachable if they need a quick video call to explain a project. Don't make them wait for a message or email response.
Use video conferencing tools to bring the team together and hold weekly video meetings. Record meetings for employees who cannot attend due to different time zones.
Use video calls or for group discussions, cloud storage solutions for sharing and storing files online, platforms (Google Drive, OneDrive) for document collaboration, platforms like BuzzStream for coordinating email campaigns and Miro for brainstorming.
Organise meetings, workshops, conferences, and occasional outings or fun activities so employees can get to know each other in real life. This gives employees the opportunity to build relationships, resolve problems or conflicts, and even plan joint projects.
Enable the employees to connect as individuals. Open channels or groups on Slack or Zoom to discuss casual topics like TV, music or weekend plans. Group chats can help the distributed team develop a sense of community by allowing them to share interests and entertaining content.
Recognise your employees' efforts and reward them for their accomplishments. Give an "employee of the month" award, a gift certificate or a salary supplement, or invite them to lunch if they work in the same area as you.
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