8 Tips to Connect Your International Remote Team
When you want to be able to turn your remote team into a great team, there are a few secrets of the trade that you really need to know. To get you up to speed in an instant, we’ve put together the 8 things you really need to do to connect your international remote team.
Apply each of them in turn, learn the lessons that you’re presented with, and then reap the rewards as your team takes things to the next level.
Harness the power of social tech
Emails are a great way to communicate, but they’re not always the most natural way for a dozen or so people to discuss something. Chat programs such as Slack or Google Hangouts allow you to collaborate in a more natural and engaging way than a session on Outlook ever will. It’s all about giving your team the tools they need to put their ideas out there, and then listen to the echo from the rest of the team.
If you can do it in a way that everyone enjoys and finds approachable, you’ll find that your creative output goes to the next level virtually overnight. Just what you need if you want to take your business in an exciting new direction!
Create a newsletter that gets your values out there
Core values are something that every team needs if it’s going to come together to create an entity that’s more than the sum of its parts. Because you’re all working in different locations, you need to work that bit harder to make everyone feel invested in what you’re trying to do.
If your team is big enough, then you can easily justify spending the time to produce a periodic newsletter. It’s a great way to get everyone reading from the same sheet as it were, because it keeps everyone up to speed with how you’re doing as a team. If your team is a bit smaller, then how about a weekly sign off email that lists a few of the key achievements? You could even give a shoutout to anyone who really went above and beyond.
That way you’ll give that lucky person a well deserved pat on the back, and you’ll motivate the rest of the team to follow suit so they’re mentioned sooner rather than later. Give it a try, the results might surprise you.
Ask for feedback, and take it onboard
There are so many businesses that never ask their staff for feedback, and then act surprised when some of their most talented people suddenly decide to leave. If you’re working remotely, you need to work extra hard to achieve great morale because you don’t get to talk in person all that often.
Sending round a couple of quick questions on how the latest project went is a great way to hear everyone’s input. You could even do it anonymously if you want to ensure you get to hear what they’re really thinking. Listen to what they tell you, and then make the changes accordingly. The chances are that you only need to tweak a few little things to make a big difference to the way the team performs.
Standardize your onboarding process
Connecting your team is all about letting them know who each of them are, and making them feel like they don’t have to go through you to get things done. This can sometimes feel like you’re abdicating responsibility, but think about it for a minute.
You’re working with a team in remote locations because you love that lean and flexible way of working. So wouldn’t it be even better if you could let them get on with it, and do what they do best? By creating a standardized onboarding process in which everyone is introduced to their new remote colleagues, you can ensure that your new hires are ready and raring to go.
It might only be a small thing to you, but it will help set the tone for an open and collaborative culture that will take your business to the next level. Give it a try.
Quality, not quantity, when it comes to communication
Over communicating is such an easy thing to do when 99% of what you send is electronic. You might think that by updating everyone about everything constantly you’re disseminating information at the speed of light, but that’s never really the case right?
What you’re running the risk of doing is slowing everyone down with such a huge quantity of information that they don’t have time to process it. Be concise and precise, and only send things that will help the team do their jobs even better than they’re already doing. You’ll find they get a lot more done.
Remember that if everyone is instantly messaging, not much else is getting done
When you invest in stuff like Slack, it can be all too easy to let it take over. If you’re always expecting an instant answer, and then chasing when you don’t get one, you’re just going to drive the team mad. Send a message, calmly wait for a reply, and use the time in between productively…just like they’re doing.
Host team events whenever possible
Okay, so this one isn’t always going to be all that practical, but we thought it should still be in here just in case you can do it.
Team events are a great way to get everyone together so they can share an experience outside of the usual work setting. It allows everyone to loosen up a little, relax, and get to know each other. The idea being that the next day they’ll find one another far more approachable, and the collaborative element that your business relies on will go up a notch. If you can find a way to bring your team together, do it.
Don’t check in constantly, trust your team
The final way to connect your team, is not to drive them away from you the moment you hire them. You’re hiring the best and brightest in their field, and it just so happens they don’t work in your neighborhood. That’s fine, and it’s the way the world of work is going these days.
To make it work for you, you need to trust your team. They make a living doing what they do, so trust that they’re actually doing it. The results will speak for themselves in time, and those results will be a lot bigger and bolder if they’re not being constantly chased for status updates. Sometimes when you want to connect a team, all it takes is to give them the right tools, introduce them to one another, and then let them do what they do best.
About the writer
Erica Sunarjo graduated from South Texas College majoring in Marketing and Creative Writing. She used her knowledge to make a difference in the realm of business copywriting and invested heavily in traveling and language learning. She keeps track of the latest trends in IT and technologies, blogs about efficient strategies in education and business coaching, holds educational webinars. Right now Erica is a blogger for The Word Point.