Remote teams can enable business owners to tap into talent and business opportunities that would otherwise fall by the wayside, thus providing business owners a unique and viable way for cost-effective, scalable business growth. While remote teams are beneficial for freelancers and business owners alike, the main problem is that it often becomes increasingly difficult for owners and managers to maintain a constant, meaningful, and open dialogue as the remote team grows and is possibly scattered over large areas.
As anyone in management can attest, having such a line of communication is vital to address each team member’s needs and productivity demands effectively. This is all true when dealing with remote teams off on their own representing you and your business. Without proper communication, your remote team can quickly turn from an asset to a burden.
The following five communication tips will help you make communication a priority so that the team stays healthy; everyone reaps the benefits, and it remains an invaluable asset to your business.
Maintain An Open Online And Mobile Communication Channel
Slack is a platform the connects apps, resources, and services with teams, bringing teams together to drive the business end and help ensure each team member has a grasp of their work roles.
Of course, there are times that you, the business owner, will be unavailable. After all, remote teams may be in various time zones across the nation, even world. Their work hours may not align with your wake hours.
With platforms like Slack, you have an open access channel of communication for the entire team that remains live at all times. Group and individual emails and messages can get lost in the shuffle and drowned out by other business communications, delaying your response efforts at best. Slack helps you see all notifications immediately so that you can judge if an immediate response, guidance, or action is warranted.
Delegate Front-Ends Of Communication
You aren’t the only one that your remote team can connect with through communication channels like Slack. You can open the conversation to HR, upper management, or departmental directors. Various remote team questions, concerns, or needs can often be addressed more efficiently and effectively by these parties anyway.
Let’s say one of your remote team members has a login issue, a basic question on a product or service, or a paycheck issue. These are all issues that can be resolved by the appropriate department and don’t require you to respond personally. Delegate within the communication portal so that your remote team understands they can reach out to your chief of technology, sales team, HR, and other departments to get their issues directly addressed.
Delegating front-end contact with certain authorities has many benefits, including:
- Streamlining the communication process for speed and accuracy.
- Encourages a broader branch of communication between individual remote team members to weed out issues that are self-solve or peer-solved and don’t actually require authority responses.
- Freeing up business owners and upper management to focus on the most pressing communications.
- Establishes a formal hierarchy structure for communication.
Keep Remote Employees In The Loop
As your company grows, it will become increasingly difficult to remember what you have and haven’t shared with your remote employees. In-house memos are much easier and routine, and news often spreads from desk to desk like wildfire. Remote employees, however, are often unintentionally kept out of this loop, which is a grave mistake to both your business endeavors and the team’s morale.
Create a standard for company news via email updates and routine newsletters that you’ll send out to remote employees.
This can be accomplished in-house by both you and department heads keeping a running tally of important events and changes in a note app throughout the month. Delegate someone to formulate a simple bullet point newsletter in-house, or you could hire out a professional service to formulate the newsletters. Either way, the most important point is to keep your remote employees in the loop about past and future happenings within your company.
- Keeps employee morale high, making remote employees feel included and valued.
- Allows remote employees to visualize and get a better sense of the company’s direction and focal points.
- Answers some questions before they require a communication thread.
- Apprises remote employees of areas that are working and not working so well, allowing them to use the same roadmap and goals as in-house employees.
Address Alienation Issues
Humans inherently complain about the slightest thing that is wrong, but we often completely forget to pay equal attention to that which goes right. Ironically, business owners of all people should particularly recognize this concept from customer relations.
Now, add that things out of sight are also out of mind, and you have a recipe for a remote team to feel devalued and alienated.
Your remote team is pumping out work and revenue for you. With everything running great, many business owners frequently remain silent. Mistake. Now is the time to speak loud and clear to acknowledge the hard work of your remote employees.
Remote workers, by the very nature of being away from the hub, are likely to feel somewhat alienated automatically, lesser than and underappreciated than in-house employees. Recognize the critical role they play in your businesses success and failures by:
- Communicating their value routinely and often.
- Ensure they receive company-wide recognition when it’s warranted.
- Utilize technology to include them in company happenings when appropriate.
- Provide reassurance with routine one-on-one and group check-ins and catch up sessions via their preferred communication channel.
Integrate Document Collaboration
When it comes to accuracy and speed, shared documents is an excellent collaboration effort. It’s much more efficient and inclusive than standard emailing and uploading files back and forth.
You can use Google Drive, for example, to collaborate documents and spreadsheets. You’ll be able to use the messenger and chat function to discuss ideas, concerns, and opinions so that everyone is on the same productivity page.
As you can see, there are many caveats to effective communication with remote teams. Following these communication tips can help retain your invaluable sources of talent and streams of revenue. They are efforts well worth the productivity results. Be sure to revisit your communication strategy periodically as your remote team further grows and disperses.
At Bright Vessel, we understand the importance of an active content plan. Contact us today to learn more about how a content marketing strategy can benefit your business’s bottom line.