How to Prep Your Team While You’re Away

One of the benefits of being a manager or team leader is that you often get to travel for your job. And nowadays, it’s not uncommon for you to work this type of position remotely. In either case, how do you keep your team efficient, empowered, and excited to get the work done when you’re physically absent?

It’s a daunting thought, but you don’t need to panic – there are lots of business management solutions out there to help you with this task. Here are five for you to try:

1. Build a Virtual Support Network

If you’re away, you might not be able to help your team when they need it. The solution is to build a virtual community that can support your people at these moments. With a virtual community set up, your team will know how to reach other so they can resolve the issues at hand.

There are plenty of tools on the market to get everyone together virtually, like GoToMeeting or Citrix, which your company may already use. If they don’t, try using HipChat or a program like iMeet to keep the support network online and interacting.

2. Meet With Employees and Establish Goals

Even if your team works well together in your absence, you need to make sure they’re continually working on improvement and completion of projects. One of the biggest challenges remote workers have is effectively setting goals in real-world isolation from one another. The same can happen if a manager is away or remote.

The best way to avoid this problem is to make sure you establish clear goals and expectations for your team before you even leave. Use a project or business management tool like Basecamp to help, and check in with your team every now and then to make sure they’re on track.

3. Instill a Task-Based Focus

When any part of your team is separate from each other, establishing goals is helpful but can only go so far. The follow-through still matters, so in order to avoid a business management nightmare like coming back to a lot of incomplete work, stress the importance of seeing tasks completed on time.

Make the successful and timely completion of these tasks your number 1 concern. The time it takes your workers to finish the task at hand shouldn’t matter, only the results. If you need to, figure out ways to reward workers who get their work done on or before schedule.

4. Cut Out Unnecessary Communication

You may think that a good business management technique to keeping your team organized and functional during your absence is to send them lots of emails to make sure they’re on task.

But research has shown that remote employees, and even those in the office, get more stressed from a constant barrage of emails, and are more likely to be less productive and less interested in your company on the whole.

So if you want your team to be a productive one, think again before you push that “send” button. Only send communication that is absolutely necessary towards keeping the team motivated and efficient.

5. Assure Them You Will Be Periodically Available

While it’s best for you to stop micro-managing your employees with lots of emails, you also need to let them know that you aren’t completely gone from the face of the planet.

Tell your team when you will be available, and utilize that virtual support network we discussed earlier. Your team members like knowing that you have set up a way for them to get in touch, and they’ll appreciate your efforts to check in even while you’re away.

These are some of the key factors for a thriving and successful remote situation where you’re absent from your team.

Of course, there are other business management techniques for keeping your team focused and on track while you’re away, so let us know if you have tried any others that worked.

Did you have a great remote management experience that we could learn from?

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