Remote operations are beneficial for both the company and the employee. Your marketing staff has the flexibility to work from home, while your business enjoys the cost savings that come with a reduced office floor space for employees.
However, managing remote marketing teams can be daunting; especially when you are working with individuals of different cultures, work ethics, and time zones. Fortunately, you can implement certain procedures to make working with your remote team as seamless as possible.
Here are the top tips for managing a remote team.
Develop a Strong Culture
If you thought work culture applies only to the office setting, think again. A strong culture is critical when you're running a remote marketing team. It will foster your team’s loyalty, commitment, dedication, freedom, accountability, and flexibility.
How can you create a strong culture that resonates with your remote team?
Creating a remote team culture is a process requiring consistent investments of time and effort to continue reaping the benefits. Some ways to create this culture include:
- Design business values that promote the kind of culture you want for your team
- Communicate your culture and values to all members of your remote marketing team. You should document your culture and values and share it as part of the onboarding process. All members of your team should understand the expectations, performance metrics, and other details related to your company’s culture.
- Choose tools that support your company’s culture and encourage team communication
- Encourage socialization amongst your remote team members through team building activities
- Allow your team members to own their processes
Provide the Tools and Resources Your Team Needs
When working with a remote marketing team, you must provide the necessary tools and resources to help every member perform their duties and be productive. The specific tools you choose will depend on your business goals, the responsibilities your remote team handles, your budget, and your preference.
You will need different tools for the smooth running of your remote team. The most important tools you need include:
- Work management tools
- Communication tools
- Document management tools
- Social media collaboration tools
- Employee time tracking tools
Measure and Track Results
The successful management of a remote team requires you to set up the metrics for performance, productivity, and returns on investment. Measuring your results helps you identify the management practices that work and eliminate redundant processes.
You can track your results quarterly to evaluate the number of completed projects, employee contribution and productivity, and areas that need improvement, both for individuals and as a team.
Some best practices when tracking your results include:
- Set clear expectations
- Communicate these expectations to your remote team
- Create healthy goals and objectives
- Pay attention to tangible and intangible KPIs (some intangible KPIs include customer or client satisfaction)
- Schedule frequent check-ins with your remote team
Establish a Remote Hiring and Onboarding Process
Managing a team starts with hiring the right talent for your organization. Whether you will source the talent from the existing workforce or new employees, you need to keep certain best practices in mind when hiring a remote team.
Announce the job opening with a clear job description that includes roles and responsibilities of the new hire, salary expectations, and other defining qualities the ideal candidate should have. You can use job boards and professional networking sites such as LinkedIn to advertise open positions.
Interview and evaluate the candidates through video interviews, online assessments, and other tests that let you know the skills potential candidates have.
Once you find the right fit for the open position, the next step is onboarding. A virtual onboarding process should introduce the employee to the company and other team members. You could have a training website, a document, or a presentation that introduces new employees to different aspects of the company.
Alternatively, you can conduct a one-on-one virtual tour and training session for the onboarding process. Whatever onboarding style you choose, it should start your employees on the right foot and provide them with the tools and resources they need to meet their responsibilities.
You should also communicate your policies during the onboarding process, including the devices and tools your employees should use as well as your cyber security policy, such as the use of a VPN to access company tools and data while working from home.
Managing a remote marketing team can be a rewarding experience when you have the right systems and tools in place to ensure your success. The first step toward the successful management of such teams is having the right hiring and onboarding strategy. Secondly, remember to establish a remote working culture and tools that encourage collaboration and effective communication. Finally, you should have a tracking system in place to measure the results of your efforts and implement the strategies that work for your team.